In Eph. 2:1-3 the Word of God says: “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.”
To recap, Eph. 2:1-3 outlines Seven Facts about Spiritual Death before a believer is converted and Born Again in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Before being born again:
1) Believers were dead in trespasses and sins. (Dealt with in Part 1)
2) Believers use to walk according to the course of this world. (Dealt with in Part 2)
3) The course of this world is according to the prince of the power of the air. (Dealt with in Part 3)
4) This spirit of the prince of the power of the air now works in the children of disobedience. (Dealt with in Part 4)
5) Believers dwelt in the lusts of their flesh. (Dealt with in Part 5)
6) Believers fulfilled the desires of the flesh and of the mind. (Dealt with in this 6th Part)
7) Believers were by nature the children of wrath. (Coming in Part 7)
We’ve dealt with parts numbers one through five in their respective posts. This 6th part of “What it Means to be Born Again” is about how we fulfil the desires of the flesh and of the mind.
6) Believers Fulfilled the Desires of the Flesh and of the Mind.
The apostle Paul teaches in Eph. 2:3 that before we are born again we have our way of life, “in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind.” The word “flesh” in this context does not refer to your physical body; it refers to your spiritual body. Your soul is your spiritual body. Hence, the “lust of the flesh” in the context of Eph. 2:1-3 refers to the desires of your soul.
So we can understand that to fulfil the desires of the flesh and of the mind means to fulfil the desires of your spiritual body and not the desires of your physical body. The desires of your spiritual body (your soul) and the desires of your physical body are not the same. However, the desires of your spiritual body will influence your physical body, as well as your circumstances.
The desires of the flesh and of the mind are by nature corrupt. We inherited this corrupt nature of our souls from Adam and Eve. The corrupt desires of the flesh and of the mind stem from the devil; it is his character. It was imparted to Adam and Eve when they desired the devil and his vision. They preferred the dreams and visions of the devil and his veil of death (Gen. 3:6), over the visions of God that comes in the Glory of God (Ezek. 1:1).
The Birth of the Lust of the Flesh
It was Satan’s desire to take the place of God in the lives of Adam and Eve. Even to this day it is Satan’s desire to be God in our lives (Luke 22:31; 2Thess. 2:3, 4). Hence, Satan appeared unto Eve and showed her his beauty. The appearance of Satan is in dreams and visions. A human being can only see a spirit, including the Holy Spirit, through a dream or a vision. This was also the case with our Lord Jesus Christ in Matt. 4:1-10.
Gen. 3:6 reads: “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.”
The appearance of Satan’s dream and vision changes from the most pleasant to the most filthy. When Eve saw Satan’s spiritual appearance in its beauty, she desired it. Thus, we have the first record of a human being’s lust (desire) against the will of God. This desire of Eve was a union with the desire of Satan – they lusted for each other. By believing the vision of the devil, Eve had fellowship with the devil.
God created the heart of Adam and Eve’s souls with a lust after the Light of Life in the Presence of the Glory of God. However, Eve’s mind became corrupted with the dream and vision of Satan. Hence, the lust for the dreams and visions of Satan’s veil of death was added to the desire of her soul for the Light of Eternal Life. She then corrupted the heart of her man’s soul. Consequently, they were both expelled from the Light of Eternal Life in the Presence of the Glory of God (Gen. 3:22-24). For, no one can stay true to two Gods (Matt. 6:24).
This was the birth of the lust of the flesh. We inherited this corrupt desire of the flesh and of the mind from Adam and Eve. It is rooted in the heart of our souls. The result is that we have both the desire (lust) of the Holy Spirit for us to walk in the Light of life, as well as the desire (lust) of Satan to walk in his light of darkness and death working within us (Gal. 5:17; Jam. 4:5).
The Lust of Satan versus the Lust of the Holy Spirit
The lust of your spiritual flesh is really the lust (desire) of the devil to rule as God in your life. This lust of the devil for our lives is documented in Luke 22:31: “And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat.” This Word of our Lord Jesus Christ applies to every living being. It is also the devil’s desire to have you and, to work his works of destruction and decay and death in your life.
Just as the devil lusts (desires) to have us as his own, so also the Holy Spirit lusts (desires) to have us for His own. The lust of the devil strives against the lust of the Holy Spirit within us. In Gal. 5:16, 17 the apostle Paul teaches: “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.”
From Gal. 5:16, 17 we can understand that the lust which the devil instilled in Adam and Eve, and which we inherited, strives against the Holy Spirit to rule in our lives. Likewise, the Holy Spirit also strives against the lust of the devil for our lives. We can also learn from Gal. 5:17 that because of the desire of the devil against the desire of the Holy Spirit within us, we cannot always do what we want.
Gal. 5:16, 17 also highlights that although our Lord Jesus Christ completely crushed the devil (Heb. 2:14, 15), the onus rests with you to choose whom you will desire. The same prerogative was given to Adam and Eve.
Lust and Thoughts
The lust of the devil to have us for him manifests in our souls as the desires of the flesh and of the mind. These desires of the flesh and of the mind then produce the works of the flesh in our lives. The works of the flesh are really the character of the devil.
The apostle Paul says in Gal. 5:19-21: “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”
In Matt. 15:18, 19; Mark 7:21, 22 our Lord Jesus describes the works of the flesh and of the mind as thoughts. Mark 7:21-23 reads: “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.”
Our Lord Jesus Christ says in Matt. 15:18: “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.” So we can understand that the desires of the flesh and of the mind manifests in the heart of our souls as thoughts.
These thoughts, when meditated on and vocalized, bring forth the works of the flesh in our lives and become the deeds of our physical bodies. Rom. 8:13 teaches: “For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.” 2Cor. 10:5 teaches us to bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.
The Lust of the Holy Spirit
The lust (desire) of the Holy Spirit for you is that you walk in the Light of Eternal Life in the Glory of God that is found in Jesus Christ. In John 8:12 our Lord Jesus Christ also says: “…I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” When you walk in the Light of Life, the Holy Spirit of our resurrected Lord Jesus Christ will produce the fruit of the Spirit in your life.
The Lust of the Holy Spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ manifests in our lives as the fruit of the Spirit. Gal. 5:22, 23 teaches: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” Gal. 5:22, 23 is really a description of the character of the Holy Spirit.
When your thoughts are based on the works of the flesh, it will produce the works of the flesh in your life and body. When your thoughts are based on the fruit of the Holy Spirit, it will produce the character of the Holy Spirit in your life and body.
Hence, the apostle Paul teaches in Phil. 4:8: “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things”.
The lust of the Holy Spirit mentioned in Gal. 5:17 is the desire of the Holy Spirit for you to be like our Lord Jesus Christ. The lust of the Holy Spirit is actually the will of God for your life.
The will of God for all mankind is expressed in Gen. 2:16, 17: “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”
Spiritual Trees and Natural Trees
Now, in the first book of Genesis we learn that God created the heaven and the earth. The first book of Genesis also recounts how God filled the earth and the sea with all forms of creatures and plant life.
After the creation of the heaven and the earth with all its life forms, God created Adam. Then, after God created Adam, God then created a place here on earth for His Holy Spirit with the Light of Eternal Life in the Presence of His Glory to dwell. He called that place the Garden of Eden (Gen. 2:8). The Garden of Eden was the first Heaven, the second Heaven is Jerusalem above (Gal. 4:26; Rev. 21:1).
God then created in His Garden of Eden all sorts of trees. Gen. 2:9 reads: “And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.”
The trees of the Garden of Eden are not the same trees as the trees of the earth. Whereas the trees of the earth were created in Gen. 1:11, 12, the trees of the Garden of Eden were created in Gen. 2:9. Also, the creation of the Garden of Eden was without the creatures of the earth.
Whereas the trees of the earth are the trees which we usually see as we dwell here on earth, the trees of the Garden of Eden depicts all sorts of spirits, or angels. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil depicts the spirit of Satan, and the Tree of Life depicts the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ.
Adam, the Anointed
The Garden of Eden housed the Presence of God and was clothed with the Glory of God. God then chose Adam from among all the creatures that God created, and gave him a place in the Garden of Eden in the Presence of God. When God placed Adam in the Garden of Eden, God also anointed Adam to rule over all spirits in the Garden of Eden. Then, after all of this, God created Eve.
God then warned Adam and his woman in Gen. 2:17: “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” From this verse of Scripture we can learn that Adam and Eve were warned against any fellowship with the spirit of Satan.
Gen. 2:9 teaches us that the spiritual trees that God created in the Garden of Eden were “pleasant to the sight, and good for food.” These spiritual trees were angels of God and were for Adam to fellowship with and to feed off. The apostle Paul calls them “ministering spirits” (Heb. 1:14).
When You are In the Spirit
The apostle John says in Rev. 1:10 that he was in the spirit. This means that he had a vision. You are in the spirit whenever you have a dream or a vision. You can only see the devil and his spirit, or the Holy Spirit in a dream or in a vision. This was also the case with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.
When you are in the spirit you see with the eyes of your soul and not with your physical eyes. You can only have a dream or a vision when you are in the spirit. This holds true for every person, irrespective of ethos, and whether you are born again or not. The dream or a vision that you see when you are in the spirit will either be from Satan’s veil of death, or a dream or a vision of God.
You can be in the spirit while you are awake, and you can be in the spirit while you are asleep. When you are asleep and in the spirit, then you are known to have a dream. You can only experience a dream when your body is at rest – that is, when you are asleep.
You would usually experience a vision when you are awake – even partially. When you are awake and in the spirit, then you are, as the Bible puts it, in a trance (Acts 10:10; 11:5; 22:17).
Dreams and visions are the source of the desires of the flesh and of the mind and defile your soul. Jude 1:8 says, “Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.”
In Isa. 28:7 the Word of God says about the priests of Israel: “But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment.”
This wine mentioned here in Isa. 28:7 is not the wine that we buy at a liquor store. This is a spiritual wine and is also known as the wine of the wrath of Satan’s fornication.
From Isa. 28:7 we can learn:
- To err through wine and through strong drink is to be out of the Way of Life.
- To be out of the way through strong drink is to err in dreams and visions.
- When we err in dreams and visions, we stumble in judgment.
Satan’s kingdom is called Babylon. This is a spiritual city. It is not the Babylon here on earth. In Rev. 14:8 we read: “And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.” (See also Rev. 18:2, 3).
The word “fornication” is used because fellowship with dreams and visions is likened to having sexual intercourse. Nah. 3:4 describes it thus: “Because of the the multitude of the whoredoms of the wellfavoured harlot, the mistress of witchcrafts, that selleth nations through her whoredoms, and families through her witchcrafts.”
Believing in dreams and visions makes you drunk in the spirit. The apostle Paul says in Eph. 5:18: “…be filled with the Spirit.” The Holy Spirit does not make you drunk; He fills you with the Word of Christ in all wisdom (Col. 3:16), and with strength, instead of emotions and goosebumps (Eph. 6:10).
Your Old Man in Sin
Before your soul is born again it is known as “your old man”. The apostle Paul teaches in Rom. 6:6: “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.”
Your old man is not the “hidden man” mentioned in 1Pet. 3:4. Your “hidden man” mentioned in 1Pet. 3:4 refers to your spirit. It is in your incorruptible spirit where the Holy Spirit will testify that you are a child of God, and not in your soul (Prov. 20:27; Rom. 8:16).
The picture that you see of yourself in a typical dream or vision is not the image of what you look like in the dream or vision of the Holy Spirit when you are born again. The dream or vision of the Holy Spirit is with the Light of Eternal Life in the Glory of God. When you see yourself in a typical dream or vision you actually see an image of your soul in the veil of death. Our usual dreams and visions originate from the veil of death. This holds true for every person born into this world (Isa. 25:7).
The veil of death is sin in itself. Hence, when you see yourself in a usual dream or vision, you see a picture of your soul as it appears in its state of sin. That is, an image of your old man under the veil of death with the lights of darkness. To be in sin is to be spiritually dead. Every person is born with his or her soul in a state of sin and spiritual death.
Your Old Man in Death
Physical death is the departure of your soul and the decay of your body. Your body cannot exist without your soul. Spiritual death is when your soul is separated from the Glory of God by Satan’s veil of death over your soul. Hence, the apostle Paul says in Rom. 3:23: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”
So while we are under the veil of death and in sin we are also spiritually dead. Hence, your soul needs to be born again so that your mind can be renewed in the Knowledge of the Gospel of the Glory of God in Jesus Christ. You can only be born again by the Spirit of our Resurrected Lord Jesus Christ.
The image of your old man/woman as it appears in the light of Satan’s veil of death is an image of your soul before it is born again. Therefore, you will usually see yourself in a dream or a vision that contains the light of the day and its sun, or the light and darkness of the night and its moon. At other times you may see yourself in a dream or a vision that contains man-made light. This applies to all people of all faiths and cultures.
You may appear young, or old, or thin, or fat, or even sick when you see yourself in a dream or in a vision. This is because every time that you see yourself in a usual dream or a vision, you see an image of what the devil shows you that you look like. When you believe this image it will manifest in your body and circumstances. Thus, you fulfil another aspect of the desires of the flesh and of the mind. When you fulfil the desires of your flesh and of your mind, you fulfil the works of iniquity that you will be judged according to Matt. 7:21-23; John 3:19 (ESV); Rev. 2:23; 20:12, 13.
Repentance from Dead Works
The activities of the veil of death are also known as dead works. You see and experience the activities of the veil of death when you have a dream or a vision.
The basic principle of repentance unto faith in Jesus Christ is to turn from the dead works of Satan’s veil of death. Heb. 6:1 says: “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God.” When we love the activities of the veil of death and do not repent from its dead works, then we love and make a lie (Rev. 22:15).
The activities of the veil of death change from light to darkness. Hence, it is called the night, and also the works of darkness. Rom. 13:12 teaches: “The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.” The “day” refers to the Glory of God with the Light of Eternal Life of the Kingdom of God. The Holy Spirit never appears in the light of the night. The apostle Peter describes the appearance of the Holy Spirit in the Glory of God with the Light of Eternal Life as a day that dawns, when the Holy Spirit arise in your heart (2Pet. 1:19).
Unless you are born again in Christ Jesus, the darkness of the veil of death will remain over your soul and prevent the Light of the Glory of God to shine in your soul (2Cor. 4:3, 4; 2Cor. 3:16). Thus, your spiritual man will remain dead.
Spiritual death is passed on to the child from its parents. We inherited spiritual death from Adam and Eve. Hence, we can understand when the apostle Paul says in Rom. 5:12 that death passed upon all men.
Your New Man
Your born again soul is known as the “new man”. Eph. 4:24 tells that your new man is created after God in righteousness and true holiness. When you are born again in Christ Jesus your old man is a new creation and a new being. 2Cor. 5:17 puts it this way: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” You can only be in Christ when you are born again.
When you are born again your soul is reborn and restored unto the Light of Eternal Life in the Glory of God. The apostle puts it this way in Col. 1:12-14: “Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.”
When you see yourself as the “new man” in a dream or in a vision of the Holy Spirit of God in Christ you will appear in the Light of Eternal Life in the Glory of God in Jesus Christ. Whenever you see yourself in a dream or vision by the Holy Spirit in the Light of the Glory of God, you will always appear youthful and without disease.
This image of your new man will manifest in your body through fellowship with the Word of God in Christ. Hence, the apostle Paul teaches in Col. 3:16: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom…”
Walking In Newness of Life
When you are born again you have to resist the habits of your old man by resisting those typical dreams and visions that are not in the Light of the Glory of God. When you resist your typical dreams and visions you will also be triumphant over the works of the flesh of Gal. 5:19-21. Thus, you “put on the new man”, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of God in Christ who created him (Col. 3:10).
For your soul to become a new creation you must be born again. You can only be born again by believing in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Once you come to believe in our Lord Jesus Christ, you then need to be spiritually buried into spiritual death and raised into a new life in Jesus Christ. Rom. 6:4 teaches: “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”
Being buried and raised from spiritual death is accomplished through baptism by being submerged under water. Your baptism under water depicts your spiritual burial with our Lord Jesus Christ into death. Your emergence out of the water signifies your resurrection from the veil of death into the Light of Life in the Glory of Jesus Christ.
To walk and grow in newness of life in the Light of the Glory of God you need to die daily. In 1Cor. 15:31 the apostle Paul says: “I die daily”. This daily death is the laying down of the natural inclination of your soul to believe the dreams and visions of Satan’s veil of death. This daily death is also the laying down and binding (2Cor. 10:5) of those thoughts mentioned in Matt. 15:18, 19; Mark 7:21, 22; Gal. 5:19-21 by professing the Word of Christ (Heb. 4:14; 10:23).
For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation (Rom. 10:10).
Thus, you will clean your heart (Ps. 73:13) of the works of flesh and spiritual death, and replace the desires of the flesh and of the mind with the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Eph. 4:23-27; Gal. 5:22, 23). Thus, you will also sanctify the Lord Jesus Christ in your heart (1Pet. 3:15).
Profession Unto Life
Once you are born again you will be under constant attack by the devil. However, in Christ Jesus you have a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star (Holy Spirit) arise in your heart (2Pet. 1:19).
The apostle Paul in Heb. 10:22 underscores 2Pet. 1:19, saying: “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.” Your conscience is cleansed from the works of the veil of death by the Blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ (Heb. 9:14). Your body is washed by baptism (Eph. 5:26; Tit. 3:5).
Your conscience can only be cleansed by the Blood of the Lamb of God if you walk in truth. You walk in the Light of Life and in truth by believing and professing the Written Word of God. Thus, His Word will be a lamp unto your feet, and a light unto your path (Ps. 119:105).
By believing and professing the interpretation of dreams and vision, you walk in darkness. The apostle John says in 1John 1:6, 7: “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”
It is only when you walk in the Light of the Word of God in Christ that the Blood of Jesus Christ can clean your conscience from dead works (Heb. 9:14). Only then can you crucify the desires of the flesh and of the mind and serve and worship God in Spirit and in truth (John 4:24).
The apostle Paul says in 2Cor. 4:16 that though our “outward man” (your physical body) perish, yet the inward man (your soul) is renewed day by day.” When your soul is renewed day by day, and the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also revitalize your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwells in you (Rom. 8:11).
God bless and guide you.