In 2003 a fascinating book by Rick Joyner came out entitled ‘The Torch and the Sword’. It contained a pertinent message to the body of Christ – namely that masses of Believers were living in a barren religious culture even though this mode of religion had been undone and extinguished by the cross: This was the regime of the knowledge of good and evil, known also as the ‘law of sin and death.’
The effect of this disability was not just that it leaves people vulnerable to the degradations of sin – as is witnessed by the unfortunate ravages of sexual abuse in Christian institutions. As illustrated by Joyner’s vision, a Christian life lived off the fruits of the knowledge of good and evil paralyses Godliness and leeches Believers of spirit and life.
The law and an attachment to it is one branch of the knowledge of good and evil tree. Religion and institutionalism are branches.
MISSING THE POINT
It seems that what many received from the reading of The Torch and the Sword, was more a tonic in how to live the Spirit filled life and not very much about the basis of that life: That life in the Spirit with the gifts, authority and spiritual discernment * is a function of our eating from the tree of life. This is to say eating Jesus Himself and allowing Him to (1) be our life and (2) be our uni0n with the trinity.
To put it plainly the new covenant is union with God. It’s we and Father are one. This is the deep soil on which The Sower casts his seed – Himself as our life and our oneness with God. Jesus is our life and our fellowship with the Holy Family. The result of eating the fruit of the Knowledge Tree whether or not we possess ‘gifts’ is that we remain a ghost of our real selves. The two trees mark the dividing line between the Kingdom of God and institutionalism.
You can live in a culture of the gifts and still be tied to the law and the old covenant because you have ignored the incarnation as the fact of post cross living.
My first contact with the issue of the trees was a book I purchased in a Christian Bookshop in Albury NSW one holidays. Rick Joyner had been privy to this revelation of the reason for dormant Kingdom life before he wrote The Torch and The Sword. He was not the only one with the important insight that forms of Christianity are but a Christianised version of the knowledge of good and evil. Among these ‘others’ are Bonhoeffer and Gregory Boyd.
Michael Kapler explains,
“Much like Adam, it’s unfortunate many people with a desire to please God are still eating from that tree today instead of abiding in the Tree of Life (Christ). There was nothing wrong with the tree itself, just as there is nothing wrong with the law, but they both had something in common. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil represents the law, and it was ordained to show us humans that we would be unable to find life in the effort of our morality, ethics, or principles, which is just a new twist on an old approach. How do we know this? Through the works of the law, no one is justified, because it is the law that brings about the knowledge of sin (see Romans 3:20). You see, our moral principles are connected to the wrong tree, and they also become relative, based on our human perceptions, personal perspectives, or the surrounding culture. The fruit from the tree of thou shall not may look good to the eye, but it is not to be confused with the fruit of the Spirit found in a better covenant where law doesn’t get in the way.” (1)
If attached to any of the law in any way we are eating rotten fruit from a toxic tree.
When Christ is our life plus nothing, He pushes law out and takes a grip on our body, soul and spirit. Christ in us is not the key to a sinless life. He is the reality of His sinless life as yours however. Christ in us is the cause of leaving behind the false self to flourish in the true self. Christ our life is the progressive release from addictions and degradations and the expression of the Christ within you as a person of grace and love.
In this morning's Age Chris Uhlmann wrote, 'The Coalition’s time in government now looks like tinkering at the engine of a Model T Ford as the world drove by in a Tesla. It has not understood that the West’s wrenching loss of trust in the big institutions of church, business and state presents it with an existential threat; the Coalition doesn’t just support these things, it is these things.'
Is the Christian Industry also 'these things?' Is the predicament of the church that it is religion and institutionalism but not the person of Jesus manifest?
* A feature of utilising the gifts without new covenant union is a colossal lack of discernment.
(1) Kapler, Michael C.. Clash Of The Covenants: Escaping Religious Bondage Through The Grace Guarantee . Kindle Edition.