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Paul writes in Romans 4:17 that God "calls those things which are not as though they were." This is Paul's definition of "reckoning" or "imputing" or "counting," and all three of those translations (KJV) are from the same Greek word logizomai.
A lie is something that is not true, or a distorted perception. So how can God call what is NOT as though it were? Is God a liar? Well, of course not, but many Christians misunderstand the idea of "reckoning" (logizomai) and therefore end up patterning their lives after a God who seems to lie about life.
So what is the difference between lying and reckoning something to be true that is not actually true?
The primary difference is that lies refuse to recognize the actual truth, while reckoning recognizes the truth and the reality of a situation, while nonetheless overcoming it as if it did not exist.
In Romans 7, Paul freely recognized the truth of the human condition when he concluded in verse 25, "So then with the (spiritual) mind, I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh (carnal mind) the law of sin."
Paul recognized reality, but yet reckoned his carnal mind to be dead (Rom. 6:11). While this may seem contradictory, it really is not. Paul explains in Romans 7 that we are two entities and that we have an inner struggle between our self as a descendant of Adam and our self as a New Creature in Christ. The Adamic man is hopelessly entangled in sin, while the new man serves the law of God. Thus, there is an inner "war" between these two entities (Rom. 7:23).
One ignores the Adamic man at his own peril. The Adamic man is the "enemy" of the New Man in Christ. Do not ignore your enemy. Know your enemy, but keep focused upon Christ. Do not lie about the situation; recognize the existence of the enemy, but do not recognize the jurisdiction of the Adamic man in your life. You are a Kingdom Citizen before all else. Jesus Christ is your King. All other earthly kings must take second place to Jesus Christ.
On the other hand, Scripture teaches us to live at peace with all men if at all possible (Rom. 12:18) and to "be subject unto the higher authorities" (Rom. 13:1). It is only when they tell you to sin that you must humbly refuse and, if you cannot escape, be ready to suffer their wrath. So this principle should not be used as a motive to support military revolutions.
Many do not grasp how to implement these basic Kingdom principles in their own lives. A great part of this problem is due to their use of only a third of the Bible called the New Testament. We ought to live by "every word" of God (Matt. 4:4), not just a portion of it. Two of the ignored passages of inspired Scripture are found in Leviticus 14 and 16. These speak of the two works and two comings of Christ.
The first coming of Christ, represented by the first dove and the first goat, speaks of His death on the cross. The second dove and goat speak of life, rather than death. The second dove was dipped in the blood of the first dove (Lev. 14:6) and let loose into the open field (14:7). The second coming of Christ in Rev. 19:13 pictures Him coming into the world ("the field is the world," Matt. 13:38) with his robe dipped in blood. This identifies Him as the second dove.
Likewise we see the two goats in Leviticus 16 portraying His two comings and works. The first is killed; the second is let loose alive into the wilderness. The second goat was not dipped in the blood of the first goat, but instead, the priest laid hands upon his head and imputed all the sin of the people upon his head. The link between the two doves and two goats is made in the story of Joseph, whose robe was dipped in the blood of a goat (Gen. 37:31), not a dove.
The full story and explanation of the two works of Christ is written in my book, The Laws of the Second Coming, chapters 10-12. Once a person understands these laws he can then begin to apply them properly in a New Testament context.
Insofar as this applies to us personally in the context of the New Testament, the death of Christ as the first dove and first goat IMPUTED righteousness to us. The second work of Christ INFUSES righteousness into us.
To impute righteousness to us means that God is calling what is NOT as though it were. In other words, the blood of Jesus COVERS SIN, but only the second work of Christ actually REMOVES SIN. Covering sin imputes righteousness; removing sin infuses righteousness.
Perhaps I should speak for myself, because some think that they are already perfected today. When I became a believer, God covered my sin with the blood of Jesus. Think of it as putting all the dirt under the rug so that the house looks clean. As long as the dirt is under the rug, He has imputed cleanliness to the house until the time comes when He takes the dirt outside the house and makes the house ACTUALLY clean.
Because God has imputed righteousness to me, knowing full well my human condition, I can now approach the throne of grace boldly. The purpose of imputing righteousness to me was to give me access to the throne of grace. It made me legally righteous. It gave me a legal standing before God in spite of my human condition.
It is not a lie to recognize my legal standing before God in righteousness; but it would be a lie if I did not also know that if it were not for the blood of Jesus covering my sin, I would not be worthy to stand before God.
The bottom line is that I, even now, am able to lift up my head and have a direct relationship with Almighty God. I have the right to be called a son of God (John 1:12) even before I am actually perfected. That is, I am a son of God even before I have been manifested (unveiled) as such.
The two-step process toward immortality (overcoming death) is revealed in the law of Leviticus 14, for the law of the two doves was for the healing of leprosy, a symbol of slow death. The two-step process toward sinlessness is revealed in the law of Leviticus 16. These two overlay upon each other and, in fact, occur simultaneously in each step.
Jesus said in Luke 17:20 and 21, "The Kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed . . . for behold, the Kingdom of God is within you." By this, he did not mean to say that it was purely a heavenly kingdom that would never manifest on planet earth. He was telling them that the process of the Kingdom "coming" was not observable, but hidden in you. The glory of God is veiled by your flesh.
The internal form of the Kingdom demands a manifestation of the sons of God, an unveiling, by which the Kingdom of God bursts forth into this earthly dimension. At that point, it will begin to be observable. This is the point where the perfect New Man (Jesus as Head, and the overcomers forming the body) emerges from hiding.
The present form of the Kingdom is internal. Christian Nations are external, but the Kingdom of God is presently internal. The Kingdom is wherever Christ is. No longer think of Him as being somewhere up there far away in a land called "heaven." He indwells you, and where He is, the Kingdom is. This is the great "mystery" (i.e., secret, or hidden thing) of the Church (Col. 1:26, 27).
That form has been moving toward manifestation since the beginning. It has not yet burst forth to the surface, for Tabernacles has not yet been fulfilled historically. Even so, now is the time to practice Kingdom Living. This is not a matter of doing miracles, but of assimilating (understanding) the Word.