Monday, May 01, 2006

Spiritual and Mental Logic

Within each of us are two centers of thinking. In the Bible they are referred to as the spirit and the soul. The thinking center of the spirit is called the heart. The thinking center of the soul is called the mind.

We are primarily familiar with the thought process of the soul's mind. It was created to provide self-awareness and calls itself "I am." Thus, it is introspective by nature and is susceptible to pride. When it does not understand the logic of the spirit, it can easily stage a coup and take over the management of a person's life in order to maintain what it sees as orderly truth.

The soul's mind attemps to understand all things in life by their contrasts. In other words, it is dualistic. It does not understand white except when it contrasts it with black. It does not understand good without contrasting it with evil. It cannot understand long without short. The mind employs its logical ability to polarize its perceptions.

In our world of the kingdoms of men, the mind is the acknowledged master of the universe. But the mind was not created to be one's master, but only the servant of the spirit's heart. The spirit, along with its thinking center (the heart), is our point of divine contact. It has a logic of its own that is incomprehensible to the mind.

As long as the mind defers to the spirit, recognizing its subordinate role and purpose, it has a very good and useful function. The problem comes when the heart gives it signals (truth) that the mind cannot comprehend. The natural reaction of the mind is to think that it is being betrayed by the spirit. To the mind, irrationality is betrayal. It is then left with a choice, whether or not to defer to that which is beyond its capability to understand logically. If the mind's demand for order, structure, and logic is too strong, it will stage a revolt and usurp the authority of the spirit.

The Apostle Paul discusses some of these things in the first two chapters of his first letter to the Corinthian Church. He says in 1 Cor. 1:17 and 18,

"For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel; not with wisdom of words [Greek: logos, "logic"], lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect. For the preaching of the cross is to them that are dying [mortal] foolishness [moronic]; but unto us which are being saved, it is the power of God."

Paul is showing his readers the difference between the wisdom of mental logic and the logic of "the cross," which is the logic of the spirit. He admits in verse 21 that the spirit's logic is "foolishness" to the mind-dominated world--especially the Greek world, which worshipped the mind and considered it to be divine. Paul had lived in that culture long enough to know that the true gospel is spirit-based and not soul-based. Verse 23 says that "we preach Christ crucified, which, to the Jews is a stumblingblock, and to the Greeks foolishness."

The Greek word for foolishness is moros, from which we get our English word "moron." In other words, in the view of the intellectual, mind-dominated Greek philosopher, the cross is illogical, irrational, and just plain stupid. It makes no soulish sense for God to leave His glory, power, and comfort of heaven and be born of a virgin in a body that they considered to be "evil." Worse yet, why would an immortal God come to earth to die, not only a normal death from old age, but the tortuous death of the cross?

The gnostics could not understand it either, and so they attempted to rebuild Christ's honor by removing Him from the cross. They said He survived. Some said it was not really Him on the cross at all. They attempted to explain events rationally, and when the truth was irrational, their minds simply dismissed it and explained it rationally. Today the remnants of gnostic thinking is seen in The DaVinci Code, which claims that Jesus did not die, but lived and married Mary Magdalene, and had children who became the Merovingian line of Frankish kings in Europe.

To them the gospel that Paul preached was foolishness, and Paul says to them,

"Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weak thing of God is stronger than men. . . But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty." (1 Cor. 1:25, 27)

The logic of the cross is seen in the days of Moses in Exodus 15:23-25,

"And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter; therefore the name of it was called Marah [bitterness]. And the people murmured against Moses, saying, 'What shall we drink?' And he called to the Lord; and the Lord showed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet."

God tested Moses to show Israel that Moses was not mind-dominated. He listened to the voice of his heart through which God spoke to him by the logic of the cross. The bitter waters represent the bitterness in man that is caused by sin and death. The tree in question represented the cross, which was the solution to the problem. Though it made no mental sense to do this, Moses' mind was subject to the leading of the spirit when his heart told him to put a certain tree in the water. If we are led by the spirit, in which the Spirit of God dwells, we will live in and perceive a miraculous world.

An example from the prophets is found in the story of Elisha (1 Kings 6). He and the other prophet students went to the Jordan River to cut wood. One of them had borrowed an axe with an iron head--very valuable in those days. Unfortunately, the iron head flew off its handle, and it fell into the river. The man would have incurred a great debt and probably would have had to become a slave for a time to pay off the debt. But Elisha "cut down a stick, and cast it in thither; and the iron did swim."

The wooden "stick" (tree) again represents the cross, which, when applied to the problem, restores the iron to its owner and cancels the debt. Thus, we see the logic of the cross manifested in both the law and the prophets. Not that it makes any sense to the mind. But as we learn to live by the heart, rather than the mind, we are opened up to a whole new world where the miraculous is a way of life.

By this, I do not mean to imply that GREAT miracles take place daily, for that implies that such miracles are aberrations. Rather, I am saying that the heart perceives the miraculous in all things, and therefore comes to be a way of life. Only occasionally do such miracles occur in such a way that they smack the soul's mind on the side of the head. Most miracles are quiet and unobtrusive.

The mind, however, tends to ignore reality in favor of a perception that it considers to be logical and orderly. Paul says in 1 Cor. 2:14, "But the soulish man does not perceive the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."

If reality is cluttered, the inner "soulish man" (that is, the mind) will not see or remember the clutter. It will see what it wants to see. It demands structured orderliness and feels betrayed by anything beyond its capability. Christians are admonished to be led by the spirit within (in which is housed the Holy Spirit). Christians do not receive this spiritual perception the moment they are justified by faith (Passover). It comes through the learning process called sanctification--the function of Pentecost.

The human mind demands structure. It takes at least 2 points to make structure, because a single point has no size or structure. Thus, the human mind is limited to the dualistic way of thinking and cannot understand the things of spirit. The Apostle Paul makes it clear in 2 Corinthians 1 and 2 that the source of divine knowledge is neither the body's sensory perception nor the carnal mind's perception of the world. It is rather a third source called the spirit and its heart-mind.

Not many Christians have a clear understanding of this. I was raised in a Christian home but was never taught such a thing myself. It was not until God took me out of the ministry back in 1981 that I began to experience a "knowing" that my mind itself did not believe or understand. Only then did I realize that I had another mind within me that was in conflict with my carnal mind. Paul calls these two minds the "new man" and the "old man."

From that point on, I slowly began to learn how to be led by the Holy Spirit (within my spirit). Most of the training took place when I was forced to choose to follow my heart when my mind found such a decision to be illogical and irrational. Believe me, with my love of logic, this was difficult.

Paul says at the end of his great "Love Chapter" in 1 Corinthians 13 that there are three great things in earth: Faith, Hope, and Love. He says that the greatest of these three is Love. Why? Because both faith and hope end with "sight." When you get what you "hoped for," hope ends. When you receive that which you had faith for, faith ends. Only love continues without end.

As Christian believers, we are being led to experience all three of these great principles as we grow up into the full stature (maturity) of Christ. There are denominations who give men the message of hope. They give believers hope in a future, other-world life of immortality. That is nearly their entire focus and message, and it is certainly acceptable to God. It is the message of Passover and the true Lamb of God who is our Passover. This message is enough to bring us out of the house of bondage with the hope of going to the Promised Land.

There are other denominations who bring believers beyond hope into faith. In fact, there is even a movement called "Word of Faith." As one might expect, it is more Pentecostal, or Charismatic, in its character. It tells people to go beyond the hope of Passover and enter into the world of faith. Faith comes by hearing (Rom. 10:17), and thus, it is dependent upon hearing God's voice, as opposed to the idols of the carnal mind. To distinguish between the two is the difficulty.

Hope is acceptable, and faith is good. But faith is still not the perfect will of God. Faith is applicable only until the object of faith is achieved or obtained. It then must give way to the greater experience of Love, by which we live and move and have our being. It is not that hope and faith are devoid of love. It is rather that the quality of love in those phases of spiritual development are imperfect, being restricted by the rigid structures imposed upon it by the carnal mind.

Love seeks its full expression through the feast of Tabernacles, even as hope is obtained through Passover and faith through Pentecost. Those who are justified through Passover are being prepared for Pentecost--the leading of the Spirit. Those who are being sanctified through Pentecost are being prepared for Tabernacles. A true Pentecostal is one who is learning to distinguish between the carnal mind and the spiritual heart, so that he may be divinely led toward Love.

The carnal mind has an Adamic perception of the world, and it thus creates god in its own finite image. This mental creation forms an idol, or image--a structured representation of the infinite God--that always falls short of the glory of God. But the mind of the Spirit sees and knows all things. It alone is capable of knowing God as He truly is and is therefore the source of all true divine knowledge.

On April 4, 2006 I wrote a final article on "The Axe Laid to the Root," in which I opened up some things of the spirit that were probably new and even irrational to many of you. I recorded some revelations that we received when I was in Sacramento in late March. I briefly related how we had been shown that we were repeating the pattern of Israel's encounters with Edom (Esau) and his son, Eliphaz.

To see these patterns, one must have some working knowledge of the Bible and of history. It is also helpful to understand the biblical meaning of numbers, along with the study of gematria. These are all helpful tools, and the more tools we have, the better able we are to run the farm.

In the course of history, we are progressing toward the Kingdom of God, even as Israel journeyed to the Promised Land. The final obstacle in their way was Edom, who refused to allow Israel to pass through their land toward Canaan. In modern history, this event has been repeated from 1948 to the present time. The Israeli state is modern Edom pretending to be Jacob, even as Jacob pretended to be Esau so long ago. If you have kept up with the web logs for a while, you will understand this.

At any rate, like ancient Israel, the Kingdom of God was delayed by Edom since 1948, but in late March we came to the end of delay. We had been watching Tom DeLay for nearly a decade, knowing that when he would leave office, there would be "delay no longer" (Rev. 10:6). Last fall when he stepped down as Speaker of the House, we took great interest in this sign. When he made it permanent in January, we again took note of it. But now that he has announced his retirement altogether, at the same time that God was showing us that Edom's delaying tactic had come to an end--we finally understood what the Spirit was saying to the Church.

We were seeing the signs of reaching the brink of Jordan. Remember, these are signs of what we believe will shortly come to pass.

Israel crossed over the Jordan on the 10th day of the first month (Abib) and kept that Passover near Jericho. Then came the battle of Jericho.

We went to Philadelphia for Passover to observe the sign of the Jordan crossing into the Kingdom. For you mathematicians, Philadelphia represents a PHI ratio with all its implications and is the place of the "Philadelphia Experiment" (time travel or interdimentional travel). Biblically, it is the only one of the Seven Churches that is associated with the New Jerusalem (Rev. 3:12). This the Kingdom of the feast of Tabernacles.

Essentially, we saw the signs of crossing the Jordan at the time of Passover. We returned home and immediately went to another conference in Wisconsin, where we saw the sign of the fall of Jericho. The planning for this conference was done by others, simply being led blindly by the Spirit. When we arrived, we found that the hotel's restaurant was called "Jericho's." An unusual name, to be sure. God even provided someone to act out the part of the Jericho adversary.

These are things that make as much logical sense to the mind as when Moses threw a tree into the waters of Marah to make the waters sweet. But there is a spiritual logic to these things that transcends the structure of the carnal mind and is incomprehensible to it. When I first began to experience such things in 1982, my mind revolted. But as time passed, and I began to understand the thoughts of the heart and had to subordinate mental logic to the logic of the spirit.

Such things can be addressed, but only through experience can a person understand spiritual logic.

Up to this point I have emphasized the authority of the spirit and its heart (spiritual mind) over the soulish, or carnal mind. The soul and its mind ought properly to be the servant of the spirit. When the soul's mind does not understand the things of the spirit, it tends to stage a revolt and take over control. It restructures the revelation of the spirit to fit its own mold (understanding).

This has been recognized by many in the past, particularly in the Pentecostal movement of a century ago. In fact, they became so fearful of the mind that they downplayed education in order to keep it ignorant. Sermon after sermon told the people to "shut down the mind," rather than to subject the mind to the spirit. For a long time they refused to set up Bible schools, because they feared learning.

Some went so far as to discourage reading the Bible, as if it were harmful and even evil. "Just pray and get your own revelation," they said. "Don't eat yesterday's manna." In so doing, they cut themselves off from the true education that the soul desperately needs in order to defer to the mind of the spirit. You see, the spirit will not subject the soul; the soul must submit to the spirit.

The soul is a servant. A strong servant is more useful than a weak servant, or employee. An educated servant is more useful than an ignorant servant. Proper education is good for the soul. Truth is not harmful. What is harmful are the "traditions of men," which are the soul's limited perception, beliefs, and understandings of the word, which, when not subject to the spirit, torture the word into arriving at a preconceived conclusion.

When God created Adam a living soul (Gen. 2:7). He was part of the material and mental creation that God pronounced "very good." The biblical account of creation forms the foundation of all Bible philosophy. It runs contrary to Greek philosophy, which claimed that matter was evil and that it was created by the "demiurge," a lesser god that was evil (i.e., Satan). Thus, the Greeks were always trying to escape from the body and return to the purely spiritual form in the heavens.

But the Bible says no such thing. Matter was created good, because a good God created it--not the devil. Secondly, He did not create it out of nothing; He created it out of spirit and out of Himself. Matter is only disguised spirit. If you think of spirit as water, matter is ice--frozen spirit that has been given structure. Matter is not merely a form of spirit; it is spirit with form. Thus, in Gen. 2:7 Adam was "formed"--like all of creation, shaped by the Master's hand. God used spirit as the building blocks of creation, gave them form, and called each thing by its appropriate name.

But sin distorted it and caused the body and soul to revolt against the spirit. The purpose of history and the goal of the Kingdom of God is to bring all things back into subjection to God, who is spirit. This is accomplished in three phases depicted by the three feasts of Israel: Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles.

Passover justifies us; Pentecost sanctifies us, and Tabernacles glorifies us by giving us an immortal, glorified body. It does not eradicate matter as evil; it glorifies matter, bringing heaven back into the earth, so that His will can be done in earth as it is in heaven. The great example is Jesus in His brief transfiguration in Matt. 17 and in His permanent condition after His resurrection.

The good purpose of matter and also the soul (mind) is to provide structure for the things of the spirit. Think of the spirit as water. In order to make it useful, it needs something to give it structure, whether we turn it to ice or give it form by putting it into a glass, or channeling it within the banks of a river. Structure is not evil--it is useful for spiritual purposes. When it ceases to be useful--that is, when it begins to limit and cramp the spirit's purpose--it ought to be discarded in favor of a different structure.

So also is the case with a denominational structure. If it is subject to the spirit, it is useful for the Kingdom of God. But when the spirit becomes cramped and hampered by that structure, it ought to be discarded in favor of something else. Consider Israel in the wilderness. They were forbidden to build houses in the wilderness. Instead, they lived in tents, which were flexible and movable. It is not that God wanted them to sleep under the stars, but rather that they would not build permanent structures that prevented their progression toward the Promised Land.

A denominational structure is good if it remains a tent, rather than a permanent house. It must change with the progressive revelation of God. But normally, they set forth creeds, file IRS papers, and construct granite buildings out of fear that their current revelation might be distorted by future generations. They assume it will degenerate--with good reason, no doubt. But the motive is still fear, rather than faith. The very structure that is supposed to protect the denomination from heresy also becomes its prison, preventing the spirit from revealing anything further. They have heard all that they need, and now their ears are closed. It is the equivalent of Israelites building a house by an oasis in the wilderness, where the water is good, and then refusing to leave when the cloud moves on.

There was an ancient Greek philosopher who lived three centuries before Christ. His name was Epicurus. He postulated that all matter and the soul itself was built of tiny particles that could not be reduced or split into anything smaller. He called them atoms (Greek word: atomos). The Apostle Paul refers to him extensively in his writings, but never mentions his name, lest he promote Epicureanism.

Epicurus was correct in his assertion that all things were created from irreducible particles, but he did not believe in spirit. To him, all things were material. He was a classical materialist. He did not understand that matter is spirit that has been given form. Modern scientists proved the existence of small particles of matter, which they called "atoms," using Epicurus' word. The problem is, what they called "atoms" were not really atoms at all, because they were too big. When scientists split the atom into smaller particles, it proved that atoms were not really atoms at all. But now we are stuck with calling these reducible particles "atoms."

In fact, divine atoms are particles of spirit, and they are formed into matter by the power of love. Love shapes spirit and forms creation. Therefore, you are a combination of spirit and love. Many try to do love or act loving, when in reality, love is our being. Many covet the gifts of the spirit in order to do spiritual things, when in reality, we are spirit. Only when our structured actions flow naturally and unrestricted from our being can we manifest divine love and spirit.

How does one come to this place of being? It cannot be done by doing, but by the soul's submission to the spirit. In this way the restriction is removed and you are allowed to be what you are--as God formed you and purposed you to be. When we are filled with all the fullness of God and know how to speak the truth in love, then we will have the power to do the things that Jesus did while He was on earth.