What is a “Naked Relationship”? It is a relationship where there is no fear of the destruction of that relationship because of something you might say, do or think. In other words it is a relationship based on unconditional love i.e. God’s love. A Naked Relationship with another human being is impossible without God. The very foundation of a naked relationship is the triune nature of it, Adam-Eve-God. The denial of any aspect of our being is a denial of our very being.
The vast majority of human relationships are mental and materially based. They are mental because they incorporate your belief systems, what you like or dislike, what you judge to be good and evil. They are material because they are based on physical connections such as a brother or sister, Mother or Father.
In order to move beyond materially based relationships we must begin to know ourselves. There can be no knowing of ourselves without knowing God who is the source of all life.
Knowing God is not knowing an image of Him but to know Him as He is right here and now. To often we look to past expressions or images of God and miss what God is right here and now. Paul talked about this very thing when he wrote: From now on, then, we do not know anyone in a purely human way. Even if we have known Christ in a purely human way, yet now we no longer know Him like that. Therefore if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come. 2Cor.5:16-17 (HCSB)
It is often man’s way to judge things according to their belief systems instead of what is. Jesus pointed this out in his parable about the good Samaritan. He asks the question: “Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” “The one who showed mercy to him,” he said. Lk. 10:36-37 (HCSB)
It was the Jews who pre-judged the Samaritan as a sinner because of their understanding of God’s laws. Their belief system kept them from seeing what was true in the here and now. Jesus was trying to open their eyes to what was through his story.
Almost of all Jesus parables do this exact thing – remove you from your belief system and place you in the here and now to see love.
We will choose our belief system over love in other words we will choose our image of God over God Himself.
This exact fact was demonstrated in the life of Jesus on earth. It was the Jews who choose their understanding of the Laws of Moses over the Life of love Jesus lived before them. If we are ever able to live naked and unashamed we must not be ones who hold on too tight to our understandings of God, doctrines and belief’s. As the scriptures say: Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; think about Him in all your ways,
and He will guide you on the right paths. Prov.3:5
There is a difference between relying on your own understanding and meditating on the Lord as you walk daily in your life. One comes from a remembering of the past the other is found within us in the moment of need. One from Law the other from the Spirit of Love.
A Belief system is like clothing we put on. We think it looks good? We trick ourselves into believing that it defines us. Two Christians meet and often one of the first conversations might go like this: “Where do you go to church? I go to First Baptist, Oh your Baptist I am a Methodist.” What does that do except bring about separation. No one is a Baptist or Methodist – at best these are words to describe a belief system you adhere to or at least try to appear that you adhere to. We do this because we don’t think Christ is enough. For a church or a people to say I am of Christ is not good enough. For someone to show love is not good enough, I need to know what you say you believe. I need to know that you cloth yourself with the same rags I use (Isa.64:6).
Paul wrote in the very first letter of the NT: There is no Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Gal.3:28 (HCSB)
In Genesis we find recorded: This is why a man leaves his father and mother and bonds with his wife, and they become one flesh. Both the man and his wife were naked, yet felt no shame. Gen.2:24-25 (HCSB)
When there is only one there is no shame to be just as you are, no need to add anything. It is to look through the material world and see what is. What is? An eternal spirit manifested in many forms but still only one spirit. This is how two are one and how Christ brought about peace. In doing away with the law (the belief system) the Jews would be able to love the Samaritan and see them as they are, children of God just like the Jews. No longer to be judged according to the fleshly laws, (there clothing) but to be accepted just as they are.
For He is our peace, who made both groups one and tore down the dividing wall of hostility. In His flesh, He did away with the law of the commandments in regulations, so that He might create in Himself one new man from the two, resulting in peace. [He did this so] that He might reconcile both to God in one body through the cross and put the hostility to death by it. Eph.2:14-16 (HCSB)
How many laws or belief’s of yours to you put on others?
Do you accept people who don’t believe like you?
Do you allow others to explore in ways you don’t think is right and proper?
Can people tell you things without fear of you judging them?
The other day a sister shared with me in private a book she was reading. She shared it in private because she knew that if some of her friends found out that they would judge her.
It was the Pharisees named Nicodemus that came to Jesus at Night (Jn.3:1-21) so that none of the other Pharisees would know.
Can you be Naked with the group of Christians you meet with?
Or, Like Nicodemus, do you seek out and explore Christ in the middle of the night where none of your friends can see you?
Nicodemus was not wrong, he was seeking truth. He knew that if he did it in the open he would be persecuted by those who claimed to love God and follow his ways.
Do the people you gather together with unconditionally love you i.e. love you with God’s love? Or do they like you because they think you are like them in your belief system, your clothing?
Its a little odd that in today’s Christian Church in order to be considered a member you must agree on certain beliefs, that Christ’s acceptance of you and your expressed love for Him is not enough.
Do you have “Naked Relationships?” if you don’t you will never know intimacy or experience the joy of oneness.
The first step is to follow the words of Jesus when he said “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” Lk.6:37 (HCSB)
Are Christians like Jesus or the Religious Jews?
Then the elders and pastors brought a woman caught in adultery, making her stand in the center. “Teacher,” they said to Him, “this woman was caught in the act of committing adultery. The Bible says: (Matt.5:27-29 “You have heard that it was said, Do not commit adultery. But I tell you, everyone who looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. … For it is better that you lose one of the parts of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.) So what do You say, is she going to hell?” They asked this to trap Him, in order that they might have evidence to accuse Him. Jesus stooped down and started writing on the ground with His finger. When they persisted in questioning Him, He stood up and said to them, “The one without sin among you should be the first to throw her into hell.” Then He stooped down again and continued writing on the ground. When they heard this, they left one by one, starting with the older men. Only He was left, with the woman in the center. When Jesus stood up, He said to her, ” Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, Lord,” she answered. “Neither do I condemn you,” said Jesus. “Go, and from now on do not sin any more.”Jn.8:3-11 in today’s language.
This was a woman caught in the very act of adultery, she was probably brought to crowd naked and yet Jesus accepted her as she was, he did not need to know what she believed, or if she was guilty or not – he did not judge her or condemn her he simply forgave her without her even asking.
If we cannot accept others exactly as they are do we really believe that God accepts us as we are? If we can’t accept others nakedness it means we can’t accept our own. We like Adam and Eve before find the leaves of belief’s (the knowledge of good and evil) to cloth ourselves rejecting both the message and blood of Jesus Christ.
Can you be naked, unashamed and intimate with God and all your brothers and sisters?
Do you have or want Naked Relationships?
Paul in his letter to the saints with the overseers and deacons in Philippi writes:
Philippians 4:8 (The Message)
8-9Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.
Paul asks the saints to fill the mind and meditate on things true…… Why?
Vs.6 Paul says: Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray.
To fret or worry is a condition that plagues many today. Part of the problem is that we accept this mental and emotional condition as normal and just a part of everyday life. Often we enter into a time of prayer because we are feeling “worry” of some kind. The reality is many prayers are not answered because the one petitioning the Lord does not know how to pray. His prayer is not of faith but of fear and worry.
How did Jesus make his Petition Prayer known to the Father?
Mark 4:37-40 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? (KJV)
Jesus was speaking not only to the Sea but to Peter and the other disciples as well and said “Peace, Be Still”
It was in the Psalms that the words: Be still, and know that I am God Ps 46:10 (KJV) were spoken.
Through faith Jesus remained in stillness and was the very expression of Peace on earth this is how he would Pray.
Vs.7 And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
How do we allow The “Peace of God” to guard both heart and mind?
Paul addresses this very issue in his letter: Finally brothers,
whatever is true
whatever is honorable
whatever is just
whatever is pure
whatever is lovely
whatever is commendable
—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things.
To dwell is from the greek word λογίζομαι 3049. logizomai to reckon, to consider
to reason, decide, conclude; think, suppose. logízomai (the root of the English terms “logic, logical”)
Paul asks us to think about, meditate on and consider Truth. Truth is not a doctrine but the reality that is right inside of you. Jesus said “the kingdom of God is within you” and “you shall know the Truth and truth will set you free” Jn.8:30-32 What more can you ask for?
Consider if you are a true disciple of Jesus? Its not enough to just believe he is the son of God, even Satan believes that. Do you believe and have faith in the words he spoke?
These are not just saying but realities that we can experience now, today as we dwell on His gospel, the good news of what is right now!!
If you believe what Jesus has said why do you still have fears? Jesus words were Mark 9:23-24 “Everything is possible to the one who believes.” Immediately the father of the boy cried out, “I do believe! Help my unbelief.”
How is our unbelief helped?
Meditate on what is lovely – as we consider what is lovely our hearts are filled with love and joy – no longer do we find room in our hearts for fret, worry and unbelief because it has been overwhelmed with love, joy and peace. Isaiah knew this experience when he wrote the words:
You will keep in perfect peace the mind [that is] dependent [on You], for it is trusting in You. Isaiah 26:3 (HCSB)
When one is filled with fear he cannot find God who is love. This is why the scriptures say: 1 Jn.4:18 There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear……..(HCSB)
Paul knew that if the saints in Philippi practiced what he had taught them about how to meditate on the lovely and commendable things they had experienced that they would know the love and Peace within themselves:
Do what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:9 (HCSB)
When you think about or meditate through faith on God’s lovely creation or a commendable act that a brother or sister has done your heart is filled with love and truth not fret or worry and you are able to approach the Lord in peace and faith then, and only then, can you: ….in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. Phil 4:6 (HCSB)
The first Adam stood naked and unashamed before God. Together, God and Adam were One. Adam turned away and left the image of God, the one community, to an existence of material laws of good and evil no longer in community with the Spirit. In the last Adam we see the restoration of that community and communion with Spirit. This last Adam is a man who “does nothing of His own” but everything in communion with the Father of Spirits. It is at the end of his material life on earth Jesus declares that “It is finished”. It is here we find the last Adam both physically and spiritually naked and yet unashamed. Why?
Nakedness is not a state of physically being unclothed but an expression of the “I Am”. It is the state of the being who remembers the One Spirit that God breathed into his good and perfect creation. It is remembering who we are, the image of God. Clothing is an adding to, its foundation is the idea that as you are is not good enough. This is the great lie of the enemy that you “need to become” like God. As long as you are trying to “become” you will always be clothing yourself with fig leaves, living in fear of God and man and trying to justify your existence.
What does it take to know yourself?
Gen.2:25 Both the man and his wife were naked, yet felt no shame. (HCSB)
The thought of being naked in front of a group of peers is the classic dream of dread. The idea of this sends shivers down most peoples spines and yet it describes the first human relationship mentioned in the Bible. Not only were they naked but even more important was the fact that they felt no shame. This “Shameless Nakedness” describes a key component in human relationships it also describes the state of being when man was first in relationship with God.
Naked – ST. 5903. erom or erom; naked, nakedness
Original Word: עֵירֹם: erom or erom
The root word is “ur” it means to be exposed or laid bare.
Nakedness is the state of nothing being between two beings. In essence nakedness is oneness.
Gen.3:7-11 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves. Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and they hid themselves from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. So the LORD God called out to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” And he said, “I heard You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.” Then He asked, “Who told you that you were naked? Did you eat from the tree that I had commanded you not to eat from?”
I was afraid because I was naked – why does Adam make this statement? Adam went from naked with no shame to naked and afraid.
We see an indication to the reason in God’s response – Who told you, you were naked?
Who told you? Here are two ways of learning. One is through experience, you experience a life situation and through the experience you discover what is. The other is to be taught or told what is, how things are, and why to respond in a certain way. This way is known as law – Law is the statement of what is good and what is evil. It is grace that allows a person the time of wilderness wandering to discover through experience and it is law that demands you blindly follow a certain way without the means of discovery.
What was Adam told that caused him to be aware of his nakedness and to have a problem with his nakedness?
Gen 3:4-5 “No! You will not die,” the serpent said to the woman. “In fact, God knows that when you eat it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
“if you do this you will become like God”
or in other words – You are not like God and need to do something to become like Him.
Remember the introduction to the enemy was Gen 3:1 Now the serpent was the most cunning of all the wild animals that the LORD God had made.
Cunning = St 6175 – from arom Definition; crafty, shrewd, sensible, prudent and subtle.
The enemy planted the seed of a lie telling the children of God that in order to be like God they needed to do something. Instead of just organically growing up they needed to add to what God had already done. For the enemy God’s creation was incomplete and still needed to be perfected.
Gen 1:27 So God created man in His own image
Image = 6754. tselem Original Word: צֶ֫לֶם
form , image , likenesses.
TWOT says:– God’s image (He who is Spirit) obviously does not consist in man’s body which was formed from earthly matter, but in his spiritual, intellectual and moral likeness to God from whom his animating breath came.
So Adam and Eve were like God spiritually, intellectually and morally but unlike God they dwelt in body or material form. They were babes i.e. spiritual beings without material experience.
The writer of Job describes it this way – Job 10:11 You clothed me with skin and flesh, and wove me together with bones and tendons.
The image of God finding a home in the flesh.
Your eyes will be opened
Gen 3:6-7 Then the woman saw that the tree was good for food and delightful to look at, and that it was desirable for obtaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate [it]; she also gave [some] to her husband, [who was] with her, and he ate [it]. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.
The question is what eyes were opened? As we see in the verse “the woman saw that the tree was good for food” She had sight, she had certain understanding.
They knew – St 3045 yada – to know (properly, to ascertain by seeing); used in a great variety of senses, figuratively, literally, euphemistically and inferentially
In other words “to ascertain by seeing” = To use the material eyes to determine what is truth. Those who live by the Spirit “ascertain truth” by the Spirit and not by the natural eye. The eyes that were opened were the natural eyes for judgment – it was now the natural eyes that would determine what was good and what was evil. Up until this point it was the voice of God that they lived by i.e. the Word of God. But when they believed and followed the words of the enemy they were led down a path where they would use their material eyes, brain and senses to determine what only the Spirit of God can truly see and know.
Instead of living life as the God-Man (God’s nature in a material form i.e. the image of God) they choose to live a fleshly life as Man with his 5 senses apart from the Spirit of God. When they choose for themselves this path their spiritual eye closed and they could see what only the fleshly eye can see. And what did they see? Flesh, nakedness, the material world without the ability to see the spiritual world.
Adam and Eve had been spiritual beings living in material bodies but when they choose to live as material beings they lost sight of God, they no longer knew who they were spiritually. They became lost, spiritually blind and for the first time, incomplete, fearful and ashamed.
“I heard You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.”
Afraid – 3372 to fear Original Word: יָרֵא yare’ – external dread.
Shame – 954. bosh; to be ashamed; to fall into disgrace; be put to confusion when things go contrary to ones expectation.
To go from a state of a spiritual and material world into a state of only the material produced confusion and a dread that led to fear. Instead of hearing God in Spirit he now was hearing Him only through the flesh and God is only one with man in Spirit not in flesh – To Adam God is distant and a stranger. God is spirit and man had chosen to live as flesh this difference brought confusion and man became afraid and ashamed.
They sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.
Loincloths 2290 Original Word: חֲגוֹר chagowr apron, armor, girdle
When mankind chose to walk in the material world his answers were all material but his problem was spiritual. He found himself naked and his answer was to take a leaf and make an apron – material covering material this was their answer. His deep sense of loss led to a feeling of lack, it was Adam who tried to fix this lack by covering himself with leaves.
It was Adam & Eve’s spiritual life that died that day. They had lost and forgotten the image of God. They had become like the animals, so, God clothed them in animal skins.
Gen.3:21 The LORD God made clothing out of skins for Adam and his wife, and He clothed them.
God met them where they were, in their material flesh and began to make a way for mankind to return to what he left. Mankind was now to discover the path he choose, a path of the material, 5 senses, fleshly way. And what is the way of the flesh? LAW, The knowledge of Good and Evil.
Jesus Comes the Last Adam and Life-Giving Spirit Returns
1Cor.15:45,49 So it is written: The first man Adam became a living being ; the last Adam became a life-giving Spirit. And just as we have borne the image of the man made of dust,we will also bear the image of the heavenly man.
Jn.10:10 A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come that they may have life and have it in abundance.
Paul calls Jesus the “Last Adam” because Adam being the first man was the one who choose for mankind a life in the fleshly 5 senses without spiritual eyes or ears. Jesus, the last Adam came to return to mankind what was his to begin with. He came to show man the way back from his state of spiritual darkness and being afraid, confused and lost. Jesus came to show what it was like for a man to walk not after the material, fleshly “LAW” way but to walk after The SPIRIT.
1 Sam.16:7 But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or his stature, because I have rejected him. Man does not see what the LORD sees, for man sees what is visible, but the LORD sees the heart.”
Often times I have heard this passage to describe what the Lord sees and what man is unable to see, but this is not the case. It is not that man is unable to see what God sees. It is that Adam chose to live only in the flesh and as such was limited to the material world. We see that the last Adam is not limited in this way He has chosen to live not only in the flesh but also in the Spirit, in union with God.
Jn.2:25 He did not need anyone to testify about man; for He Himself knew what was in man.
John & Jesus – The end and beginning.
Jn.1:29-34 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Here is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is the One I told you about: ‘After me comes a man who has surpassed me, because He existed before me.’ I didn’t know Him, but I came baptizing with water so He might be revealed to Israel.” And John testified, “I watched the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He rested on Him. I didn’t know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The One you see the Spirit descending and resting on—He is the One who baptizes with the Holy Spirit. ‘I have seen and testified that He is the Son of God!”
John represented the pinaacle of what a man following the Law could accomplish. A man is his message and the message of John was one of repentance; a turning away from one way to walk another. And of this other way John did not know but he said to follow the one who did. It is John who stands declaring a new way that not of the Law but of the Holy Spirit.
John 1:17,32-33 for although the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. And John testified, “I watched the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He rested on Him. I didn’t know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The One you see the Spirit descending and resting on—He is the One who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.
Water Baptism = The Death of one way and the desire for a new way. It is the act of faith like Abraham leaving his home not yet knowing where he is going.
Spirit Baptism = The power of the New Way, it is the trans-formative renewal process of a mind that is bent to live in the knowledge of good and evil.
Eph 4:17,18,20-24…. You should no longer walk as the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their thoughts. They are darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them and because of the hardness of their hearts….But that is not how you learned about the Messiah, assuming you heard Him and were taught by Him, because the truth is in Jesus: you took off your former way of life, the old man that is corrupted by deceitful desires; you are being renewed in the spirit of your minds; you put on the new man, the one created according to God’s [likeness]
Renewed is to “make new again” the old man or first Adam choose to walk alone without God who is Spirit. The New man is in the image of God i.e. Spirit and Spirit is community and oneness. One body many parts but one body. The man created in God’s image was Adam and Eve; One man, two parts male and female. God’s image is the many but always the many are still One.
Before sin had entered the world, before Adam choose a path with God, God declared something not good in his creation.
Gen 2:18 Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is like him.”
The image of God was never to be alone – the image of God is community – oneness with many.
Adam and Eve were the visible expression of the community of God and man. Man walked away from this community but God waits for his return.
Heb.7:11,15-19 If, then, perfection came through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need was there for another priest to arise in the order of Melchizedek, and not to be described as being in the order of Aaron? (And this becomes clearer if another priest like Melchizedek arises, who doesn’t become a [priest] based on a legal command concerning physical descent but based on the power of an indestructible life. For it has been testified:You are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek. So the previous commandment is annulled because it was weak and unprofitable (for the law perfected nothing), but a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God.
The law perfected nothing – In other words the law could never make the flesh, Spirit. Flesh-Man alone is not good, it is the body that was prepared for the Spirit not to be alone.
Heb.10:1 Since the law has [only] a shadow of the good things to come, and not the actual form of those realities, it can never perfect the worshipers by the same sacrifices they continually offer year after year.
The reality is in Spirit not Law which is only a shadow of Spirit activity. A shadow is form with no actual substance or life in it.
Heb 10:19-21 Therefore, brothers, since we have boldness to enter the sanctuary through the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that He has inaugurated for us, through the curtain (that is, His flesh); and since we have a great high priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, our hearts sprinkled [clean] from an evil conscience and our bodies washed in pure water.
The new and living way that Jesus inaugurated for us is life in the Spirit, life in union with God. Which means hearts full of faith and clear consciences with no fear. No longer walking in confidence with our knowledge of good and evil but walking by faith in God, that is hearing and doing that which is spoken by the voice of God within our hearts.
Heb.10:16-17 I will put My laws on their hearts, and I will write them on their minds, [He adds]: I will never again remember their sins and their lawless acts.
It was Jesus who inaugurated this way of listening to a heart and mind that has been saturated even baptized in the Spirit.
Jn.5:30 “I can do nothing on My own. I judge only as I hear, and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.
Jesus did not judge according to the law of the knowledge of good and evil – Jesus judged according to what His Father said his will to be.
Jn.14:10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me? The words I speak to you I do not speak on My own. The Father who lives in Me does His works.
It was the first Adam who made the choice to walk in the commandments of the Law of good and evil. This way was alone, independent from the Father. It is the Last Adam who choose to walk in the word of the Father, and invites us to join Him in this New and living relational Way. The Father’s commands are his internal instruction and counsel within us, Christ asks us to listen and obey what is declared within us just as He listened and obeyed the counsel of His Father within Him.
Jn.14:15-21 “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever. He is the Spirit of truth. The world is unable to receive Him because it doesn’t see Him or know Him. But you do know Him, because He remains with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I am coming to you. “In a little while the world will see Me no longer, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live too. In that day you will know that I am in My Father, you are in Me, and I am in you. The one who has My commands and keeps them is the one who loves Me.
Naked and Unashamed
It was the first man, the first Adam who stood naked and unashamed before God. Together they were One. Mankind turned away from the image of God, the one community, to an existence of material laws of good and evil no longer in community with the Spirit. In the last Adam we see the restoration of that community and communion with Spirit. This last Adam is a man who “does nothing of His own” but always in communion with the Father of Spirits. It is here at the end of his material life on earth that we find the last Adam physically and spiritually naked and yet unashamed.
Luke 23:33 -37 When they arrived at the place called The Skull, they crucified Him there, along with the criminals, one on the right and one on the left. [ hen Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, because they do not know what they are doing.” ] And they divided His clothes and cast lots. The people stood watching, and even the leaders kept scoffing: “He saved others; let Him save Himself if this is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One!” The soldiers also mocked Him. They came offering Him sour wine and said, “If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself!”
Jesus was not in confusion here nor had things gone contrary to his expectation. Jesus was willingly being the end of Adam’s rebellion against God – The end of an independent existence lived out in the knowledge and laws of Good and Evil. Jesus lived in oneness with the Father and oneness with everyone he ever met. He never saw two, simply one as he demonstrates on the cross. He says: Father, forgive them, because they do not know what they are doing.”
Jesus knew the state of man and that sin is because of ignorance but on the cross Jesus the light had come to enlighten the understanding of the darkened mind of man.
Jesus was not hiding behind any laws or pleading for justice because of his innocence. He did not cover himself with anything, he felt no need for justification in anyway. Jesus knew who he was. He knew who mankind was. Jesus was naked, unashamed declaring to all humanity that mankind is the child of God, His very image and that we can remember that we are One. We don’t need to try and justify why God should love and accept us – we simply need to believe and receive. Openly, nakedly and intimately receive the love and acceptance of God who declares himself One with us.
Our nakedness is not a state of material being it is an expression of the “I Amness” of mankind of the I AM of God. It is accepting God’s creation as good and perfect. It is a remembering of who we are, the image of God. Clothing is an adding to, its foundation is the idea that as you are is not good enough. This is the great lie of the enemy that you “need to become” like God. As long as you are trying to “become” you will always be clothing yourself with fig leaves, living in fear of God and man and trying to justify your existence.
When Jesus was tempted by the enemy the first two temptations were a challenge to prove identity. “If You are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” In essence he was asking Jesus to put on the clothes of the miraculous in order to justify and prove his being the son of God. The response of Jesus was a declaration that man lives on every word that comes from the mouth of God. And what had just come from the mouth of God was “This is My beloved Son. I take delight in Him!” The word of God was what Jesus experienced, sustained his life, and nothing else needed to be added to that. Before the enemy he remained naked (adding nothing to what was) and unashamed.
Jesus lived life as he was, never falling into the trap of trying to justify his life but lived a life Naked before God and Man adding nothing to what already is. If you live life trying to be justified, Christ’s life, message and death is meaningless but to those who see the Light know that the Just live by Faith alone i.e. Naked before God and man. These are the ones who come to fully know themselves as God knows them, these are the ones who experience knowing Love.
1 Cor.13:12 For now we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, as I am fully known.
Heb. 11:35-39 Some men were tortured, not accepting release, so that they might gain a better resurrection, and others experienced mockings and scourgings, as well as bonds and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawed in two, they died by the sword, they wandered about in sheepskins, in goatskins, destitute, afflicted, and mistreated. The world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts, mountains, caves, and holes in the ground. All these were approved through their faith.
I was talking with someone the other day who said that Christ came, died and rose again to help make their lives better and that Jesus came to help us become more like Him. It sounds good but I thought to myself “how does that match up with Paul’s pronouncement that he preaches only Christ and Him crucified”. I began to look and see that something within this thought believed that Christ did not destroy our rebellion from God and then made us NEW but simply gave us the power to change. I believe that Paul was one who was very clear on this point – The real thing Jesus did was destroy the old independent way of living and rebirth us anew into Christ’s community. This is the Kingdom come.
We know that our old life died with Christ on the cross so that our sinful selves would have no power over us and we would not be slaves to sin. Anyone who has died is made free from sin’s control.
(New Century Version)
This is what is meant by Freedom in Christ! Freedom and sin’s control don’t go together. The freedom we have in Christ is our being released from the power of the independant flesh and able to live in fellowship and community with the Spirit. The “I” has died with Christ on the cross! It’s not a future event, it has already happened. We are free from sin’s control i.e. Adam’s rebellion and independance from God. We are no longer waiting to be set free from sins control. Our sin i.e. (independance from God) was nailed to the cross and died in Christ! We were then raised with Him in the One New Man which is a corporate man. If we believe what Paul is saying we accept the fact that you and I as independant beings died that day 2000 years ago. Before I was even born “I” died, wow! What a thought. I guess that follows with our older brother who was crucified before creation had even happened – good luck on figuring that one out!
Dear Brothers and Sisters, what a wonderful vision of the functioning church Frank has been able to describe in Reimagining Church. With a solid and dynamic foundation in the fellowship of the Godhead, Frank takes the reader on a journey out of an institutional mindset and into an organic way of seeing what the writers of the scriptures were experiencing and communicating in the letters they wrote. In Frank’s own words he says:
“Christians must learn the language of scripture with respect to the church. The original meaning of countless biblical terms like “church, “ “minister,””house of God ,”…..have largely been lost. These words have been invested with institutional power. A power that was foreign to those who originally penned them.”
Reimagining Church challenges the reader’s mindset towards a different vista. To see from the table of fellowship in the Godhead and to not settle for the good that we have experienced in the church, but to desire the BEST of what God has intended for the church in its practice and expression of His life. Each chapter takes on well known doctrines and practices of the modern church and lays them out as they are presently practiced, and then, challenges them through the light of God’s intention of community with man. In other words, Frank challenges us by asking how our church practices lines up with the reality of God’s eternal purpose.
I wholeheartedly recommend this book to all those who have left the institutional form of church and who desire to meet in a practical way under the headship of Jesus Christ. To those of us attempting to meet in an organic way this book is a refreshing and pointed challenge for us to seek the fellowship in the Lord, examine our forms of meeting and yield to his building of us together in Christ.
Over the past 12 years, we have had many visitors to our organic church gatherings. We often ask our visitors if they have questions or comments, but have found that most people don’t even know where or how to begin with their questions. With Reimagining Church, many of the “big” questions are asked and answered in a clear way that point’s to God’s eternal purpose. I believe that being able to put this book in both brothers and sisters hands will help open up understanding and conversation, thus, pointing us into the fellowship of Christ.
Your brother chris pridham