Carnal

Charismatic Dualism

Charismatic Dualism? Lets talk about that.

Dualism – the division of something conceptually into two opposed or contrasted aspects, or the state of being so divided

Gnostic Dualism is the heretical teaching that says all physical matter is evil thus shunning it and only adhering to spiritual world.

Charismatic Dualism can be described as the belief that the soul-life is bad and the spirit/Spirit life is good.

This isn’t a wide-spread issue that I personally know of however from time to time I do hear the phrase “They were in the spirit and then dropped back into the soul” meaning what they were doing was good but now that it’s the soul it’s not good anymore. Spirit = good and soul = bad. This is not so in my opinion and I believe Scripture supports it.

Another common sayings could be, “Oh he is just operating from the soul” or “That person is so soulish.” What I think is happening is that people mistake soul with flesh or carnality. They are not the same thing. “More of Him and less of me” is also a common one. Personally I don’t like that term either. Number one reason for not liking it is because people base that off of John the Baptist says in John 3:30, “I must decrease and He must increase”, when the context was John the Baptist forerunning Jesus’ coming and Jesus’ ministry. Some of us take it as we don’t matter and we need to crucify the soul. Both are wrong.

3 John 1:2 says,

Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.

Soul in the Greek is psychē and simply means the seat of the feelings, desires, affections, aversions, etc. So here Paul is saying he wants us in good health and prosperous just as our soul prospers. So our souls must prosper and if so, how can they prosper if we equate the soul with flesh, evil, etc? God gave us a soul and it is the life of God. God made it and gave it so His original intent was and still is for good. The soul operates with the organic body. Mind with brain, emotions with chemicals (generally speaking), and will with brain (conscious or subconscious). The soul can only operate as good as the organic operates. That is why when there is a chemical imbalance in the body, emotions, will, and mind do not operate the best. With the soul we do believe, have faith, reason with the Lord and others, have strongholds (whether good or bad), and affect the body. Our souls must be healed, cleansed, restored, set apart, and grown. Our souls carry a strong redemptive gift (see http://www.sandylandry.com) and with that redemptive gift is a birthright, authority, and redemptive quality God has given us to affect the world around us. The soul is good because God originally created it good and once saved it becomes good. But the most important factor in our soul’s growth, stability, wholeness, and essence is when the soul is led by our spirit (of course the Holy Spirit as well).

1 Thessalonians 5:23 declares,

Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Do you see how it’s listed? Not body, soul, and spirit but spirit, soul, and then body. I have a hypothesis about why the body is listed last and not first but that’s for another blog.

God has designed the spirit, as the light of God and made in the very essence of God, to lead the soul and body. This is why I believe Moses, Jesus, and others could have not eaten or drank water for 40 days yet survive. Their spirits were leading and in charge of their soul and body.

Spirit in Greek is pneuma and simply means the part of us never referred to as a depersonalised force but the efficient source of any power, affection, emotion, desire, etc. Oftentimes the spirit and soul get combined together as one so we longer are a trinity like God (thought we are created in His image) but a dual being of sorts. However, Hebrews 4:12 dispels this argument and says that there is a division that happens and must happen. But this division is not for dividing to separate and remove but to distinguish mode and function.

For so long we have operated out of our souls in most of our spiritual activities. Our souls have been trying to do the work of our spirit and vice versa…and it’s not our soul’s fault not our the fault of our spirit per se. It is the fault of inadequate teaching of our spirit’s role, design, and function. Our spirits have an incredible database of things spiritual, soulful, and bodyful (is that a word?). Our spirit is light and light can and does carry data. “Really?” you ask. Yes, really. Think fiber optics. Data is put into light, then transferred to then be used. Same as our spirit. “In Him was Life and that Life was the Light of Men,” says John 1:4.

Only when our life, mode of being, and priorities are lined up spirit, soul, and body will we see ourselves prosper in ways never dreamed of. Our souls have a function and our spirits have a function. Each has different functions and some functions being very similar. Each has its own emotions. Our spirit loves differently than our soul does. Did you know our spirit has a voice just like our soul? Our body also having a voice. Three Scriptures that have jumped out at me ever since learning about the human spirit are 1 Corinthians 2:11, Proverbs 18:14, and Proverbs 20:27 and they really give a broader picture of the place of our spirit.

The spirit and great and the soul is great. It’s all about alignment. Next time you hear someone speak bad about the soul just know that our souls need work but they aren’t bad…they just need direction and leadership from our spirit. Our souls give us context to the natural world whereas our spirits give us context to their spiritual world both of which are and should be under the Will and Want of Father God. And when we beat up our soul for not doing the spirit’s job then we are missing the mark.

Charistmatic Dualism should have no place in the Church. Another aspect of Dualism is that our spirit and soul are one and the same, but that is a whole other subject.

 

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Phantom Flesh Syndrome

Phantom

While looking at the above picture how many of us have felt this way? Not in regards to the hand but our flesh?

Phantom Flesh Syndrome

There are a couple of definitions for flesh and carnal in the Scriptures.

sarx – flesh (the soft substance of the living body, which covers the bones and is permeated with blood) of both man and beasts and the sensuous nature of man, “the animal nature.”

sarkikos having the nature of flesh, i.e. under the control of the animal appetites

I’ll be talking about the fallen, carnal nature aspect of the word. But first I will briefly explain Phantom Limb Syndrome

Phantom limb syndrome is the perception of sensations, including pain, in a limb that has been amputated. People with this condition experience feelings in the limb as if it were still attached to their body. This is because the brain continues to receive messages from nerves that originally carried impulses from the missing limb. (http://www.med.nyu.edu/content?ChunkIID=96857) There are many different articles about it but one I found interesting stated that while talking a person would gesticulated(talk with their hands) with a phantom arm. They still operated, or so they thought, out of something that was cut off and removed. It still felt like they had something even though it was removed. In their mind they thought they still had this limb….and now we come to Phantom Flesh Syndrome.

How many of us operate thinking we still have a “flesh” problem. “I just need to crucify my flesh more” or “this darn flesh I just can’t seem to kill it” are just a couple of things we’ve heard or said about ourselves. The Scripture declare the flesh dead, cut off, and removed from us yet we still think and appear that we are operating out of our flesh. But this is not the case. Romans 6:6 declares:

We know that our old (unrenewed) self was nailed to the cross with Him in order that [our] body [which is the instrument] of sin might be made ineffective and inactive for evil, that we might no longer be the slaves of sin.

“Know” is Greek is ginōskō which means to learn to know, come to know, get knowledge of, perceive, feel. It is also a Jewish idiom for sexual intercourse between a man and a woman. And Galatians 5:24 declares:

And those who belong to Christ Jesus (the Messiah) have crucified the flesh (the godless human nature) with its passions and appetites and desires.

I love the past tense here. “Have” and “was.” Crucified in this passage is systauroō – to crucify along with!!!! Strong’s Concordance has a gem in the explanation of this word: utterly estranged from former self. If you just skipped that over read it again: utterly estranged from former self. This revelation is astounding me as I type. Utterly means – carried to the utmost point or highest degree and estranged means – to arouse especially mutual enmity or indifference in where there had formerly been love, affection, or friendliness. But how many of us feel or know that deep inside. We look at our action and figure it isn’t dead yet and there is more that we need to do. We look at our actions as proof to our nature instead of the other way around. We don’t know who we already are.

I could go on and on but I want to keep this simple and to the point because sometimes we can get cloudy by many words. So how do we learn, come to grips with, and perceive that we are not in the flesh anymore? Now comes the astonishing fix which isn’t astonishing really but after by Mirror, Mirror post it blew me away. How does one get free from Phantom Limb Syndrome and Phantom Flesh Syndrome? Mirrors! Yep that’s right, mirrors! If you can, read this article: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-mirror-cure/. The epiphany came and I was like wow!

It should be clear that a person doesn’t need a fallen nature to miss the mark. ie. Adam sin while in complete perfection and relationship with Abba. I mean Adam literally walked with God in full Glory and out of Adam’s full spirit man and still missed the mark. We all know the saying, “We aren’t sinners because we sin but we sin because we are sinners” and to use a term very loosely, “our nature is not dependent on our actions but our actions are dependent upon our nature.” Death came to all based on one man’s action regardless if you sin in Adam’s likeness(Rom. 5:14) In both fallen and redeemed natures we can sin and miss the mark and/or act righteously (Rom. 6:20-22).

I’m really trying to keep this post short… I would encourage readers to read: Kainos Ktisis New Creation and What You See You Become. Also read: Don’t Hold Me Back Both are fuller explanations of my quick summary that I will do.

We are designed to become what we focus on and believe about ourselves. Out mirror must be not only the graphe(Scriptures), which is very important, but also the logos(Jesus) and rhema(God’s spoken word). When we see things happening in and around us and when we act out of this phantom flesh we continually need to wash our minds with the Word(rhema) and renewing our mind with the truth of our redeemed nature and the glory He has given and shared with us. We behold as in a mirror the glory of the Lord(2 Cor. 3:18). We reckon that false image of ourselves dead and our new and true image alive to God in Christ. When we see ourselves walking in sin we must look to see where our mirror is. Are we focusing on sin and weakness or our glory and heavenly seat? I also need to note that you can’t wipe a dirty mirror(old self) with a dirty rag(own righteousness). The Lord Jesus gives us a clean mirror that will never get dirty…we just need to keep our eyes on it because as soon as we look away and walk away we can get confused and dismayed (James 1:23). We must listen what the rhema is telling us to do and believe it. We live in a finished work and we need to believe that it is finished. Amen?!

Let’s pray…

Father, forgive me when I look away as Adam did and missed the mark. Thank You for ransoming me from that fallenness of mind and nature and setting me free. Continue to cleanse my vision of myself and You so I can reflect You in all our fullness together. I am one spirit with You so today I choose to believe it and act on it. I keep my eyes on my Mirror and reckon all false reflection void and destroyed. Transfigure me, Father, into the same Image and Glory I see in You. Help me to live in my current glory in order to build the foundation for the next glory.

In Jesus’ precious and fiery name,

Amen and Amen

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