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… I am the LORD your God, which have separated you from other people….26 And [you] shall be holy unto me: for I the LORD am holy, and have severed you from other people, that [you] should be mine. Lev. 20:24 KJV
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. II Cor. 5:17 NKJ
Salvation at its essence means the loss of one’s original identity in Adam’s bloodline to become reinfused with a new identity in Jesus Christ. The loss of first identity occurs via a severance from our adamic line and origin. The Lord introduces us to this understanding in Leviticus 20:24 and 26. Severance is necessary to the concept of holiness. The holiness of identity in and unto the Lord—even the holiness of our identity in union with His holiness—demands a complete severance from all former lineal blood identity.
The Hebrew word for sever as used in the King James Version is the word hiphil. Severance is the foremost meaning of hiphil, carrying the tone of separation to the point of violence, such as by a sword. It is an uncompromisingly marked division admitting of no blurring or doubt. It is, as we would say, “black and white.” There is no room for “grey” in the matter of identity separation unto the Lord.
By comparison, hiphil is more secondarily translated in other versions as “separated,” “set apart,” “to make a distinction” or “distinguish.” These weaker translations however do not convey the starkness of identity separation God intends and requires, indicated by the context of His own holiness, “for I the LORD am holy.”
The Lord’s holiness is not just a mark of His “distinction” from us. His identity is uncompromisingly divided in origin and essence from all He has made to the point of violence. The defense of that separateness explains why He is a jealous God of wrath, why He so stridently opposes idolatry, why the foundation of all His commandments is “You shall have no other Gods before Me,” why “Holy” is His one attribute uttered ceaselessly around His Throne as a sound shield, and why its violation demanded the lake of fire and otherwise the execution of the very Son of God.
With all this in view, so it is the Lord has in view the same severity of our separation unto Him from all the rest of adamic identity—in origin and essence.
Portrayed by Circumcision
The violently executed and defended nature of our severance from original blood identity is shown by the rite of circumcision. Circumcision required a cutting off of the actual flesh at the place where human life is generated. It was an irreversible act against the site of first identity issuance.
The same violence against the root of human identity is carried forward by John the Baptist into the New Testament:
Lk. 3:9 "Indeed the axe is already laid at the root of the trees; so every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire."
Executed by Baptism into Christ’s Death
This is also what Paul is describing by our entrance into the circumcision and baptism of Christ’s very death:
Col. 2: 11 NKJ In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God,,…
Rom. 6:3 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.
What Paul and John the Baptist are asserting is traced to God’s Leviticus 20 call for total identity severance. Baptism into the death of Christ speaks to the completeness and finality of that separation from first identity. For death is the ultimate identity separator. It is not just talking about severance from the residual effects of that identity in our sin prone bodies.
Identity Severance Requisite to Identity Salvation (New Birth)
Severance from old identity, while not the whole of our salvation, is requisite to the implanting of the entirely new identity by which we are born again. The latter cannot be had without the former.
Other passages speak to us of the depth and severity of internal separation that must take place in the course of our receiving our new birth:
For you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God…. For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart…. "Behold, …. a sword will pierce even your own soul -to the end that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed." I Pt. 1:23; Heb. 4:12; Lk. 2:34-35
See how the word of God by which we are born again is first a sword that must cut us asunder from our original identity. The soul is the seat of the old identity, and that identity must be excised and replaced by new spirit identity around which the soul is to be savingly refashioned, being increasingly purged and cleansed from the blood effects remaining from our former identity.
Soul salvation begins with identity salvation, and identity salvation begins with identity severance.
Identity Replacement, Not Betterment
We must be vitally clear. We are talking about identity salvation. Identity salvation is the fundamental root of salvation. Salvation from the penalties and powers and effects of our sins in our bodies and souls is secondary to the salvation of our identity.
To be further clear, identity salvation is a salvation of identity replacement, not identity betterment. We receive a new identity through the new birth, not a “makeover” or “renovation” of our old identity. Most mainstream believers in Christ do not comprehend this fundamental of conversional reality.
Identity Severance Fundamental to Identity Replacement
But now, and to the ultimate point of this article, we must understand that identity replacement is predicated on first identity severance. That is the point of our spiritual circumcision. It is the point of our spiritual baptism into Christ’s death.
At new birth, we do not just receive a new identity in Christ. At true new birth, we are and must be absolutely severed from our original adamic identity. This is the identity severance of Leviticus 20. It is the beginning point of our holiness unto the Lord as a people known and marked only by His identity, which is holy.
Nevertheless, despite its indispensable root importance to our entire salvation, identity severance is the least understood dimension of salvation in our times, and has been so historically.
Purified Identity Begins with Identity Severance
Throughout the course of this ministry, we have taught much on the theme of purified identity. We have deeply exposited how the Lord ministers the cross to purge our souls of remaining sin so our new righteous identity in Christ may shine through in all thought, word and deed.
We have further taught on our need to stop identifying ourselves by the world’s people groups—families, nations, social groups, political alliances, etc. Because we are born again of Christ’s identity, we are to be increasingly taking our practical identity in Him alone. We are not to be reinforcing old familial and national identities. We’ve spent literal decades challenging this.
But today, I see a still deeper need to more targetedly nail the issue of actual identity circumcision required ahead of taking on Christ’s new holy identity. The lack of this circumcision is crippling the body of Christ at its point of spiritual genesis.
The Reason for False Culture Prophecy
Failure to grasp adamic identity severance underneath our salvation is the bane of the Spirit-filled prophetic intercessory multitudes who do otherwise have a good understanding of our “new identity in Christ.” The problematic question has forever been,
“Why do good Spirit-filled ministries who understand our new identity in Christ keep getting sucked back in to reinvesting their new identity into the very cultures from which God has out-called us? Why do they keep prostituting and lavishing their spiritual gifts on the world as if the world was or had the potential to become the body of Christ???”
The problem in this dimension of the body is not the failure to apprehend that we have new identity in Christ and are the righteousness of God in Christ (which is a problem in other parts of the body). The problem in this stream as well as all the other streams is the failure to apprehend that we have been first intrinsically severed from and been crucified to our original identities in this world—family, nation and all. As Paul said it,
Gal. 6:14 … the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
Paul understood and preached identity severance. The church does not. Where there is much profession of having been raised to new life in Christ, there has been little first entrance into the spiritual baptismal pool of His death to old identity.
The church-wide failure to comprehend root identity severance is ultimately responsible for the corrupt pandemic reinvesting of new identity back into futile idolatrous enterprises to “convert the culture.” All other teachings on repentance for societal evils have been born on the bosom of this failure, promoting superficial repentances within the church and “vicarious repentances” for the lost that never touch the underlying root demand for cultural identity severance.
Ignorance of identity severance is the reason for the constant misaligning of the prophetic and intercessory movements with the world. It is the reason for culture prophecy and the constant “casting of the children’s bread to the dogs”—ie, the prostituting upon the culture the Spirit’s gifts meant for the body of Christ (like market place prophesying /fortune telling in malls?). It is the reason for the prostitution of the gospel itself in terms of the culture. We don’t understand the inviolable separateness of our saved identity from that of the world’s peoples, nor therefore call anyone to that.
Identity severance failure is behind the mania of trying to “reach people at any cost,” even the cost of mongrelizing our identity in Christ with the culture’s identities just to get some bland confession out of people. It is also the reason now for the progressive redefining of the gospel itself in humanistic terms that—bypassing the clarion axe-wielding calls for repentance from sin unto clear radical conversion—simply tells people, “God has a beautiful destiny for your life.”
(No, He doesn’t, I’m sorry to say. The only destiny God has for your life is crucifixion! He only has a beautiful plan for His Life, if you are willing to receive it at the expense of your identity, which you will have to let go.)
See, if a “believer” believes his new identity in Christ has merely been “added” on top of his old identity, and not that he has been severed from it, he will never do anything but try to “minister” what he thinks is his “new identity” with its spiritual gifts to better his old identity, and that of all of his worldly friends and family and nation from whom he has never allowed the circumcising sword of God’s word to internally separate him.
Identity severance failure is the reason for the reinterpretation of God’s love for the world in terms of God’s love for culture—the ultimate harlotry.
Teachings on Purified Bloodlines
This all became so much clearer to me recently upon listening to an apostolic teacher regarding satanic legal disabilities in the bloodlines of God’s people that prevent God from answering our prayers. On the whole and in the main, the teaching was quite good.
The thrust of the teaching is that if prior generations in your bloodline have made covenants with demons or given satan any legal right to make a claim on them, then satan can maintain this right before the throne of God as your adversary and accuser to keep you legally bound to a situation related to that disability, no matter how many decades you pray and fast or do warfare against it.
It explains that until satan’s legal right through past bloodline sin is dismantled in the court of heaven, you cannot prevail in prayer before the Lord there. Resolution can only come by revelation on the hidden legal disability, by making repentance for it by the blood of Jesus, then by confessing this case before the Judgment Seat to receive God’s speedy verdict to overturn the legal block.
Again, this teaching was quite profound, having great merit. I learned much, took it to heart, and began to implement it. But there was only one critical problem. The teacher was ignorant of the underlying fact that in Christ, our identity has already been severed from the identity of that bloodline! In Christ, we are not of that adamic bloodline any more. Thus, it is not “my” bloodline. It is not “your” bloodline (if you are in Christ).
This does not mean we can’t be held up by satanic legal disability committed in that bloodline, any more than it means we can’t get sick. We can be held up. And we are being hindered. And it must be dealt with. But in dealing with such disabilities, we cannot and must not own that bloodline any more as if it is ours! We cannot confess our identity in terms of that blood line. The Leviticus 20 mandate says we have been severed from that bloodline. And we must know this deep within us.
The teacher’s failure to acknowledge our fundamental identity severance in Christ from our first blood lineage led him to erroneously extrapolate his teaching to say that we can just go around praying into all the bloodlines of all the world’s nations to take away all of satan’s legal rights in all their cultures. We can “turn it all around,” we can even “prevent the judgment of Sodom,” etc.
(In a separate message, this apostle applied his teaching on satanic legal disabilities to the prosperity gospel in a spirit any one on this Circle would recognize as a bogus spirit. It was grieving and unbecoming of one otherwise given such a promising powerful message from the Lord for His People.)
People, do you see what this is all about? Are you seeing why we as a church are perpetually failing the Lord, why we continually revert to idolatry and prostitution as the body of Christ?
God’s people simply do not understand and/or embrace the gospel of identity severance. We have no understanding of the meaning of identity circumcision or of baptism into the death of Christ. We have no concept of our election and “out calling” from our natural lineage in this world.
This puts any genuine new life in Christ in an uphill battle against our retained old identities. It’s not just the leftover effects from our old identity we are fighting. It is the identity itself we have not yielded to be severed. This can actually stand as the make or break point of the reality of our new birth! The holy seed can fail to take and can be aborted where adamic identity severance is not first in force, producing the great falling away of many through a “syncretic” gospel.
Of this I can assure you, in the words of the apostolic teacher, there is no greater satanic legal disability before the court of heaven than failed identity severance.
Practical Outworking of Identity Severance
As we wind down this article, we just want to touch on an area of practicality regarding this truth of identity severance.
If there is one spiritual reality more responsible for effecting a divide between the wilderness and mainstream prophetic people of God than others, the truth of identity severance could be it. The reason believers go into the prophetic wilderness is because something has touched them at the core of who they are in Christ that severs them internally from all else they see going on around them. They can no longer identify with it or with those who live by it and promote it. They have lost that identity, and now must search for a truer identity base of fellowship. And that can be hard to find in the Laodicean church age.
However, upon realizing they have been severed unto the Lord out from their original blood identity base, many wilderness people understandably but erroneously conclude that they must automatically physically disassociate themselves from all or most people and churches. Their own sense of internal severance leads them to develop a complex of unique specialness and importance to the Lord leading to total disassociation. And their teaching becomes stuck on the gospel of severance.
As a result, such believe they have been called to go off and start their own isolated holy group unto the Lord. In this, their consciousness is not marked as much by their union of identity unto the Lord as it is by their severance of association from people, from churches, from denominations, from streams, etc. (I know whereof I speak. I have been there.) And in the extreme, this is how cults are born.
Not a Stand Alone Gospel of Total Disassociation
We must understand that the truth of identity severance is not a stand alone truth. It is absolutely requisite. But it is not stand alone. We are called past identity severance into identity union with the Lord and with those of like holy identity. We are always called to a union with something larger than ourselves.
We must also understand that identity severance is not the same as association severance, though it will necessarily lead to strategic severances of associations.
As such, the call to “come out from among them and be ye separate” is neither the goal nor definition of our calling. It is not the target or meaning of our purpose. It is not the raison d'être of our being, our meeting, or our ministering. Rather it is the necessary byproduct of the Spirit’s call unto Himself, to be executed only according to His strategic directing and leading.
Again, we have not been called to be severed from the line of humanity as an end in itself nor therefore from all association with sinful humanity, including religious humanity. As Paul said, “Otherwise must we needs go out of the world!” This is not what we see in the life and ministry of Jesus, the most Severed One of all.
Practically, this means that as we pursue the Lord in His holiness, and as we make necessary exits from relationships, churches and cultural venues, we must never resort to defining ourselves in terms of that separation, and never preclude the Lord’s ability to live out the holiness of His name back inside such cultures as led and required. In other words, we are not to succumb to a spirit of spiritual isolationism.
We understand that no matter what truth the Lord would impart to us, satan will have the counterfeit ready at hand to destroy us. Many good people throughout church history have been seized of God’s requirement for identity severance. And succumbing to counterfeited extremes, they ended up starting abusive closed Christian communities and cults. (Some significant denominations began this way.) That is not what today’s teaching is about!
Identity severance is an internal realization that will meet with varying levels of practical implication. For some, it will mean picking up like Abraham and going off lock, stock and barrel to a new place of life. For others, it will result in some key separations, but not all. It will mean some separations now, some later. And then for still others, it will mean no immediate disassociations in the flesh. Such separations may not be possible to them.
The realization of identity severance also comes at different rates of speed to our awareness. For some it is more sudden, for others more gradual. For “masculine” warrior believers, the conviction comes suddenly. For “feminine” pastoral believers, it comes more gradually. But come it must. And to the point all of us fall short of this realization, God shows mercy and patience. We are all on the learning curve of holiness.
The Heart Is What Finally Counts
In the end, it is the internal separation that counts. Do we realize we are no longer in adam and have no obligation to our adamic lineage? Do we realize that the foreskin of our original identity has been circumcised and cut off and thrown away? Do we realize we have been baptized into Christ’s death to our first identity? And do we realize that all of this is predicate to walking in the newness of our new identity in Christ alone?
That is what counts. We are moving toward conformity with our true identity in Christ alone, rejecting competition from our prior identity in the bloodlines of families and nations. It is God who makes this clear to us, who brings forth the “black and white” out of the foggy grey of our perception.
May this teaching help illumine every reader to the vital mandate regarding identity severance, to take stock of where one is, and to respond faithfully to the Spirit’s call to this holy circumcising baptism where it must be effected for our complete salvation.First Love Ministry
New Meadow Neck, Rhode Island
- a ministry of Anglemar Fellowship
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Page created August 28, 2018