[To make sure we’re on the same page, I’ve put the definitions of system and construct at the end of this paper for reference.]
Last article I referenced the notion that our judicial system has been hijacked by another system and has been operating under a different set of rules than one would expect with the U.S. Constitution. I’ve been doing some digging and learning and I want to address both the realities of that and the implications of it, including its unfortunate consequences. But to do that I need to lay some groundwork.
I’m going to start by explaining parallel systems and constructs from an area I understand, because wrapping one’s head around the concept of this can be tricky. We have a lot of misinformation, deliberate deception and ignorance – along with our ever present normalcy biases – that inhibit understanding.
I’m a disciple of Christ, and while I’m no theologian, I am a studied and practicing Christian. So I’m going to speak from what I know in that area, because I think it’s analogous to what we have going on in both America and the world.
Years ago, an extended family member of ours housed a college exchange student from Korea. She was a delightful person; our family loved her. She was, however, an unbeliever. Our six year old daughter (at the time) made fervent effort to share with her the salvation of Christ and her need for it. She politely declined.
Shortly after this woman graduated from law school, she was driving to her first job interview with a law firm at a city a couple hours from us. She fell asleep at the wheel, rolled her car, and was on life support with swelling of the brain. We stayed up all night with her praying, and she died shortly after the life support was pulled the next morning. She was 24 years old.
There were things about this lovely young woman that indicated to me she harbored some dark spirits. As we were driving home, exhausted in every way, I mentioned to my husband that our family member should beware. The spirits this young lady was harboring would come back only they wouldn’t have a vessel to lodge in. He was tired, and we moved on.
Two nights later, around the midnight hour, my husband’s phone rang and our family member was panicked. She could hear an “intruder” in her house downstairs. They were opening and closing cabinet doors, and the glass-lidded candy jar lid was being removed and slammed back down. We lived a block away. My husband jumped up and threw on clothes. As he was running out the door, I said to him, “There won’t be anyone there. It’s the spirits coming back.”
Sure enough, ten minutes later I got a phone call from my husband that no one was there. I grabbed my oil and headed over. I went through the house commanding spirits to leave and anointing doorways, until the Spirit of God showed me they were gone. There were no more “intrusions” after that.
This is an example of a parallel system or construct. Most people call the police if they think an intruder is there. Most seasoned police I know have had experiences with people certain someone was in their house but no one is there. When you address realities of one system according to the constructs of another system, you rarely, if ever, get the desired outcome.
Paul and Timothy touched on this in Colossians 1:16. In fact, all of Colossians is a tapestry of weaving two different systems back and forth and worth dedicated study. We are introduced to this concept in verse thirteen. (I’ll be quoting from the English Bible*.)
He [God] has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son [Christ]…
We have two systems addressed here: the domain of darkness and the kingdom of Christ. These are different systems. They have different rules.
We’re going to hone in on verse sixteen, but I’m going to quote it in context because the context is so very, very important. So Colossians 1:15-20 reads:
He [Christ] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
This passage is a mouthful, and one we could spend weeks digesting. But for the purpose of this paper, I’ll synopsize that the identity of Christ is laid bare here. We are given very specific definitions of who He is. Knowing these things is key to operating in His kingdom.
Now verse sixteen reads, “For by [Christ] all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities…” We have a plain statement given as a matter of fact that there are dominions in the invisible realm. There are thrones and rulers and authorities in the invisible realm. So now we can know for certain that there is a parallel system in a realm we cannot see with our physical eyes (i.e. the invisible realm).
We can also know there is a system for heaven and a system for earth. Here’s what we should be starting to understand: each system has its own rules. Can they be the same? Sure. Are they? You have to learn about the systems to know.
Lucky for us, Christ came to teach us these things. How did I know the young lady’s spirits would return to the house of my extended family member? Christ taught me that. [See Luke 11:24-26.] How was I able to remove those spirits from the house? Because I had authority in that realm. My family member did not have the knowledge of how to operate in the invisible realm, but I did. She was the homeowner, but gave me authority to conduct my business in that realm on her property. Because she gave me permission to do so, I had the authority and the spirits had to obey.
We live in a fortunate era because things that were not known before are known now (or can be known). Paul refers to this when he speaks of his stewardship of the word of God in verse 25. He elucidates when he references the “mystery”: “…to make the word of God fully known, the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints.” It’s important we don’t miss this. It’s a privilege for those who adhere to Christ to know the hidden mystery. What is that mystery? He goes on to tell us [vs. 27]: “…the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
Don’t schmooze over this! I know it’s a phrase that is used almost flippantly in Christendom. Christ in you is the secret to your position in the invisible realm AND it runs over into the visible realm! It was Christ in me that commanded the dark spirits to leave the home of my family member. It’s the mystery for the successful maneuvering and operation in the kingdom of Christ.
Paul continues expounding in case we don’t understand the application. Look at Col. 2:8-10
See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.
Notice the “elemental spirits of the world” and that they are NOT “according to Christ”. Two different systems, and now we can know they don’t have the same rules. In fact, human tradition, philosophy and deceit are systems of the world! These things have the ability and power to enslave us (take us captive).
BUT the mystery (Christ in you) is what keeps you aligned in the system of the kingdom of Christ, and not enslaved in the system of the world. This is quite huge, and mostly missing in the modern church instruction today. Because Christ is the head of all rule and authority and He is IN ME, that rule and authority is preeminent over every other system! [See Col. 1:18 again.]
Simply put, I have dominion over any other system – through Christ in me. But if I don’t know I have that, I am captive to every other system that dominates its will in my life. [“My people perish for lack of knowledge.”]
Let’s just quickly look at the HOW this happens, and then we’ll move on. See the next verses, Col 2:11-15:
In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.
So we learn here that our flesh has been circumcised (in the invisible realm) which catapults us into the spiritual (or invisible) realm. Our baptism symbolizes the visible being buried and the invisible raising.
(A couple things here: 1) our flesh dies in the physical realm, but this reference is symbolic of our flesh dying so our spirit can dominate and 2) Christ was buried and raised from the dead, which we are privy to the benefits of BY FAITH.)
So Paul explains that our ability to operate in the invisible realm (spiritual) was DEAD until we were born into the kingdom of Christ by faith in His atonement and adherence to His system, which gives us the privileges and rights of one in Christ’s Kingdom and not the product of the earthly domain (which is an inferior domain). Make sense?
Now another big thing happens here. Christ dealt with all of the consequences of the earthly domain, so we don’t have to. (This is so big, but so neglected in church-anity.) See what Paul says: “…by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands.” If we can get our heads wrapped around this, it will 1) change our personal lives and 2) help us understand what I’m going to explain about the dual justice system in America.
There are rules in any system. Sometimes the rules are hard to understand, and sometimes the rules are complex.
Look at Luke 4 and spend some time studying it and asking the Holy Spirit to really expound on it to you. Christ was “tempted”, or so church-anity likes to word it like that. The actual word for “tempt” there in Luke 4:2 is “peirazo” and means “to test”. Other variances of that word include “endeavor, scrutinize, discipline” [Strong’s].
Now catch this: Christ was being led by the Spirit (vs. 1) and tested by the devil (vs. 2). What was the test? Legal knowledge. Satan was given stewardship over the earth when Adam forfeited it in the Garden of Eden. (Recall that Satan addressed that in verse six, that the kingdoms of the world had been given to him.)
So everything Satan said to Christ was true, and was also a test. Satan was testing Christ on His legal knowledge of the system. Just read Luke 4 again with that understanding and see if it doesn’t mean more to you – if it doesn’t clarify some things for you. Why? Why was this so important???
Because this earthly system had/has legal demands. In order to release the inhabitants of the land of its legal demands, the legal demands had to be satisfied on legal grounds. Now look at the passage once more:
…the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.
Your and my ignorance of the rules of the system doesn’t negate the system. It still exists. Being deceived by the system doesn’t negate the consequences for us. We can and do operate in the worldly system on a daily basis. But there’s a better system if we can learn how to operate in it. It takes knowledge (which comes with instruction), and it takes discipline. Yes it’s work. But the system of the spiritual is the superior system.
Paul exhorts us like this, Col 2:20-23:
If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations— “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.
This is so vital to understanding how to break out of inferior systems!! Apply it now spiritually, and then I’ll try to explain how to apply it with the concept of national bondage to an inferior judicial system.
In Christ, we’ve been given access to a superior system. However, so many Christians still operate in the inferior system. They don’t understand why they’re powerless over poverty, sickness, etc. It’s because they’re still submitting to the regulations of the inferior system! And as Paul pointed out, that system has an appearance of wisdom, but is in actuality of NO VALUE for the superior system!
I will attempt to explain the dual justice system in my next article, but I am just learning it, so I am not the best teacher. However, I understand the dual system well in my Christianity, so that is how God has been expounding it to me. If you are a believer, please pray for God’s wisdom and words for me as I proceed.
System: 1) complex whole formed from related parts; a combination of related parts organized into a complex whole 2) set of principles; a scheme of ideas or principles by which something is organized 3) way of proceeding; a method or set of procedures for achieving something
Construct: (noun) constructed thing or concept; something that has been systematically put together, usually in the mind, especially a complex theory or subjective notion [e.g. social constructs]
*Please don’t write me and tell me I should only quote from the KJV. I address that here. If you still have concerns and questions after reading my explanation, go ahead and write me.
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