The question is asked,
Are there factors, which we might possess in determining our spirituality with the Lord? I think there are, but there are some who might say no! What do you folks say?
Before looking into specific factors or evidences, which confirm whether or not one is Spirit Begotten, it would seem prudent first to determine just how one becomes Spirit Begotten in the first place. The reason we suggest this is because many believers erroneously believe that they are Spirit Begotten when in fact they are not, this is primarily due to the misleading of the blind guides of Christendom who have erroneously taught that all believers in Christ are spirit begotten, that a mere confession of faith in Christ is all that is required to receive the Holy Spirit and to be begotten to a new nature.
It amazes us that many Bible Students will spend hours upon hours attempting to explain to someone the fallacy of the trinity, the immortality of the soul, eternal torment, and etc., and yet neglect to include this one of the most commonly held errors taught by the professing church.
Like many other false doctrines held by orthodoxy, this one likewise has become a common belief, one held by the majority the unfortunate results of which has been to lead many who supposed they were spirit begotten to attempt to teach spiritual things, things which in truth they have little or no understanding. The very reason we have many of the false teachings we have today is because someone who believed that they were spirit begotten, and thus spiritually minded sought to interpret the scriptures from the natural mans point of view, which in turn has led to all manner of false and misleading conclusions not only upon the subject at hand but on many other pertinent subjects as well.
Another result of this false idea that all believers are automatically spirit begotten, one which will have a much more lasting consequence upon the believers eternal destiny if not corrected and this soon, is that they will miss out on their opportunity to enter the “heavenly phase of the kingdom”. Of coarse this would still be dependent upon whether or not they were called in the first place, “For no man takes this honor unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.” (Heb 5:4) We tend to believe that such as would allow themselves to be led around blindly (Lukewarm Christians), making absolutely no effort on their own part to verify what is being taught to them, that such would not be very pleasing to the Lord.
Nevertheless it as our Lord said it would be, the blind are lead by the blind,
“Woe to you lawyers! (Doctors of Divinity, supposed Ministers [servants] of the truth) for you have taken away the key of knowledge (the bible; the standard of truth, substituting your own traditions and beliefs, thus not only deluding yourself, but also those who trusted in you as the Lord’s representatives to show them the way) you shall not enter in yourselves (enter the heavenly phase of the kingdom), and those who were (attempting to) enter in you have hindered.” (Luke 11:52)
The hypocrisy of these blind guides is that not only are they preventing themselves from joining the True Church, the body of Christ and entering into the joys of the heavenly phase of the kingdom, but likewise they are hindering (obstructing, diverting, by their own teachings on the subject) those who are reliant upon them to show them the correct way.
Note: this misleading by the blind guides in no way prohibits neither themselves nor the poor souls they have misled from entering the “earthly phase of the kingdom”.
How and where does Spirit Begettal take place?
We will use the Tabernacle picture, which is the shadow of the reality, to answer our question. (Some extracts are taken from W.P.R.S., Tabernacle Shadows and various reprints)
Picture the Tabernacle, first we have a rectangular courtyard surrounded by a wall of white curtains, this courtyard had only one entrance at the front known as the “gate”, passing through this entrance the first object immediately to be seen would be the brazen altar, upon which the fat was burnt, directly beyond this was a brazen laver, filled with water, beyond that the Tabernacle proper itself, a rectangular building consisting of two chambers, known as the “Holy” and the “Most Holy”.
Now as sinners we all begin our journey outside the courtyard in the “camp condition”, as non-believers. “The Camp represented the condition of the world of mankind in sin, needing atonement and desiring it and its blessings, however indistinctly it analyzes its cravings and groanings. In the type the Camp was the nation of Israel at large, which was separated from all holy things by the curtain of white linen, representing to those within a wall of faith, but to those without a wall of unbelief, which hindered their view of, and access to the holy things within.
Now as we had said there is but one entrance into the courtyard and that is through the “gate”, this gate represents our Lord, here is your only access to God, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father unless by me.” (John 14:6) By faith in Christ’s ransom-sacrifice, represented in the Brazen Altar, we enter the “Gate” to the “Courtyard”, thus the veil of unbelief and sin is passed.
“The Courtyard,” represented the condition of Justification, entered through faith in Christ, the “gate.” Into this Court only Levites (typical of justified believers) were allowed to come, during the Atonement Day. These had access to the “Brazen Altar” and to the “Laver,” and did service in the Court, but had no right as merely Levites (believers) to go into the Tabernacle; no, nor even to look into it upon penalty of death. (Num 4:19, 20)
Of course the condition of justification of those believers residing in the courtyard is merely one of tentative justification and not actual justification, only the Lord Jesus was ever actually justified in the eyes of God, Not because of anything done to Him, nor because of anything reckoned to Him. He was actually perfect, just, or right in God’s sight, because in Him was no sin. But none of us, His followers, are in that condition, because we are all “children of wrath, even as others” therefore, we cannot speak of ourselves as being in this type of a justified condition.
Even Abraham justified by his faith, was justified only in a tentative sense, for as it is written, “By the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight…” (Rom 3:20) although justified to receive God’s favor, and justified to be treated as God’s friend, he could never have been actually justified considering the fact that Christ had not yet died for the sins of the world.
We see, now, that justification by faith, our “first step” toward holiness, although only in a tentative sense brings us into a condition of “peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom 5:1). When our sins are forgiven, or reckoned covered with Christ’s righteousness (represented in the white linen curtains), we are a step nearer to God, we have entered the “Courtyard” as “believers”, but even yet we are still only “natural men” for we have NOT YET BEEN BEGOTTEN AGAIN.
The only way to draw near to God is to recognize that you are a sinner, and that God Himself has provided a sin offering, represented by that Brazen Altar, right at the Gate of the Court. So, to draw near to God means to exercise faith in the sacrifice of Christ. Likewise we must seek day to day to live separate from sin, seeking as best we can to wash away the filth of the flesh (1 Pet 3:21) this is pictured in washing at the Laver.
In this we are not attempting to justify ourselves, but rather merely we are trying to cooperate with God, this places us in the condition of tentative justification. All believers residing in the courtyard are considered thusly. According to God’s arrangement, full complete justification cannot be complete until we take the “second step”.
This step the Apostle Paul admonishes us to take,
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present (set apart, sanctify, consecrate) your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” (Rom 12:1)
“This is the will of God even your (believers) sanctification (setting apart).” 1 Thes 4:3
This step the first part of the sanctifying process was pictured by the tying of the two goats at the entrance to the Tabernacle. In presenting ourselves, living sacrifices, we are binding ourselves to the “door” by way of making a covenant (a “covenant by sacrifice” Psa 50:5) with God. We have done all that we can do (our share in the sanctification process), the next step is our Lords, he must accept us as a member of His own body, and likewise as our High Priest must do the offering, that is he takes our sacrificed life (our justified humanity or human nature) and makes it a part of his own sacrifice, thus we are made participators with our Lord in his death as members of his body, so we become joint sacrificers with our Lord, participators in his death. He then becomes our Advocate before the Father. It is at this point that we pass beyond the first vail (the “door”, John 10:9) into the “holy” of the Tabernacle.
From the moment that the sacrifice was made it represented Jesus’ acceptance of our consecration. At that same moment we were begotten of the Holy Spirit and reckoned as a New Creature by the Father.
Thus we pass beyond the First Vail into the Holy (Our full justification took place at the very moment we knelt under this vail).
This passing under the First Vail represents the death of the will; just as the passing the Second Vail represents the complete death of our bodies. We go down under the First Vail when our wills are baptized into His death; we are buried with Him by baptism into His death, and raise the other side as New Creatures. So the First Vail of the Tabernacle represents our death, so far as our wills are concerned, and represents God having accepted us as New Creatures, through faith, that we may have access to the spiritual things as New Creatures. Everyone who takes this step is represented as a (prospective) member of the Body of the great High Priest, the Church, of which He is Head, and so, says the Apostle, we are seated in the heavenlies–that is in the Holy. But be it noted that our justification did not reach completion until the High Priest accepted our offering and imputed to it of His merit, making it Holy and acceptable to God.
So you see with out consecration, (sanctification), full or vitalized justification could not take place, and until one has been fully justified (i.e. had the merit of Christ righteousness applied to them) they could not offer a sacrifice, which would be holy (reckoned perfect) and thus be acceptable to God. Thus they would not be permitted to join the body of Christ (the Church), as only those who have made this sacrifice are permitted, these and these alone joined to Christ are considered the High Priest.
Now if you remember your scriptures correctly, you would have recalled that the “holy anointing oil” representing the Holy Spirit was pour only on the head of the High Priest (not on anyone else, not on any of the Levites in the court, nor even on the under-priest) this anointing oil subsequently ran down to the skirts of the High Priest priestly garments, thus representing that the whole body would receive of the Holy Spirit only as they were joined to the Head, which is Christ.
Therefore if you have not yet tied yourself to the door of the Tabernacle (consecrated yourself fully to the Lord by entering into covenant relationship with the Father), you are neither justified (in the full sense of the word) nor have you been begotten of the Holy Spirit. Your current position is that of the typical Levites working in the courtyard. But be forewarned the time is soon coming when the door will be shut, and the “acceptable time” for sacrifice will end, after which no one will be permitted to enter into the Tabernacle, and all those residing in the courtyard condition who have not made a consecration will be forced back out into the “camp” or worldly condition, and they won’t be alone.
They will be joined by the “foolish virgins” those who have fully consecrated, but who have failed to make good on their consecration, these “foolish virgins” having failed to make their calling and election sure, but nevertheless refusing to deny their Lord will take their place among the hypocrites (the nominally professing church) there to be buffed by the Adversary that the flesh, which they refused to willingly sacrifice might be consumed (perish) that the spirit (the new life in them) might live.
Let he who has an ear, hear what the Spirit is saying.