Disowning The Enemy

By Johnny Tatum




This is another situation that might cause us to be depressed. We have seen many situations that can cause us to be depressed or just feel weird. Ways in which we could be uneasy —

If, unconsciously, we think Holy Spirit is killing off my flesh; He is killing the real me then we have the wrong identification of ourselves. The correct identification of ourselves—

The flesh is the old man and the new man (new nature) is the real me.

That is why I like Romans 7. To me, it is the high point of the book of Romans — higher than Romans 8 — because that is where Paul says I cannot do anything; I cannot do God's law; and then he says But that is not the real me.

In Romans 7, the tenses are continuing type tenses, which I believe, tell us that Paul had a problem with depression. What caused Paul to break through the depression? It was not because he had better behavior, because he learned some new system (formula), or because he was praying or reading Scripture more (though those are important). Every time Paul broke through his depression, he acknowledged That flesh is not the real me; the real me is [Esther in] the new nature. Paul says The part that wants to follow Holy Spirit — even if it does not happen very often and even if I am dimly aware of that part of me — that is the real me.

Paul is exposing his flesh, and that is why Romans 7 is the pinnacle of the book of Romans. Many people say Paul broke through with victory in Romans 8; but he broke through in Romans 7 when he says Thanks be to God after he has been describing this [seemingly] horrible struggle. He says Thank You! and you wonder What? And then, Romans 8 is a continuation. Otherwise Therefore that begins Romans 8 does not make any sense — Paul would have started Romans 8 with However there is no condemnation (judgment), but he says Therefore there is no condemnation.

So the victory was already won in Romans 7 — That is not the real me. Before presenting Romans 8, Paul says Thank God for this victory! even though he had not explained the victory yet. The only thing he could be thanking God for is the realization that the flesh is not the real me. And apparently, that is what would bring Paul out of his depression, and that was the end of the battle — Therefore, there is no condemnation for those in Messiah Jesus.



There must be a mechanism for killing off our flesh and actual sin in our lives. That is why I believe it is important that we understand the Triunity. Although God is One, He has chosen to manifest Himself as three Persons for a reason — separation.

Question: Does The Triune GOD See Our Sin?

So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. (Romans 7:17)

I believe that is how Holy Spirit sees our sin. He sees our sin and flesh in our lives [because He is omniscient], but He sees it like a bad guy (bully) who is trying to hurt you — the perfect person. Holy Spirit is saying to our spirit, who then says to our mind Can I get him for you? [Just like when a bully is after one of your kids and you say Let me jump in here.]

Note: If Holy Spirit did not see our sin, then He could not be dealing with it in our lives by killing it. In another words, if all the reality of our sin stopped at the Cross, then literally, we would not have any sin in our lives. So now when sin comes up in our lives, Holy Spirit takes care of it so our worship of God the Father, of God the Son, is total and it is pure.



I think when we get out of fellowship with the Lord God, we think we have to gradually work our way back in, so we ask the Lord God to gradually remove things from our flesh, or from our spirit, neither of which is going to happen.

For example, biblical believers will say Lord, give me peace in my spirit -or- I have to prepare myself — get rid of this anger in me, get rid of this bitterness within me. It is a foolish request for them to ask the Lord God to remove the anger, or the bitterness, from their flesh because their flesh is never going to improve — he has been crucified. And if they are asking Him to remove it from their spirit, that does not make any sense either because our spirit is [already] perfect.

Illustration: We should say what John Wesley (writer and preacher to England, Scotland, Ireland and North America) would say when he had really blown it — when he was totally out of fellowship with the Lord God — Can you believe he (talking about his own flesh) did? — but that is not surprising because that is the best he can do without You. And that was the end of it for him; Wesley would return to his studies to prepare his sermon.

Application: He was telling God You and I both know he is not going to get better; You are not going to remove anger and bitterness from my flesh. John Wesley was exactly right, because there is no gradually improving the flesh. There is no Remove this bitterness from me because the flesh is always going to be bitter. There is no Remove this anger from me because our flesh is always going to be angry. Like John, we just say Lord God, can you believe that guy?

Note: This is NOT to sound flippant; the important thing is that God sees that sin as somebody who has died but is still hanging around, trying to destroy us. Holy Spirit sees sin as our mutual enemy. If we do not understand that, we are going to be very reluctant for Him to really start killing off our flesh, because we, unconsciously, think Holy Spirit is killing the real us. Actually, He is saying That is not you; it is this enemy over here.

Question: Which Part Of Us Is The New Nature?

Our spirit is our new nature, who is really us.

Question: Which Part Of Us Is Talking Right Now?

That is a good question, and we will answer by first referring to a passage in Romans 7—

For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do but I am doing the very thing I hate. But if I do the very thing I do not want, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin. (Romans 7:15-25)

People often ask Is that one person talking? Two people talking? Three people talking?

Paul says When I do this, it is my new nature. When I sin, it is not really me, it is sin. So who is talking there in Romans 7? In Romans 7, it is the real Paul; it is Paul's spirit talking. Paul's spirit and flesh are not taking turns at the microphone since he says I want to do it but I cannot; and that certainly is not the flesh talking, because the flesh would never say something like that. The flesh says I am okay; everybody else is the problem. It is the new nature (spirit) saying I cannot do anything.

In life, they both step to the microphone — [I know exactly what my flesh sounds like: he has an accent (that sounds just like my own West Texas accent) and I hear him all the time] —

I think if we ever get the understanding that letting Holy Sprit kill off sin does NOT affect me; Holy Spirit is getting rid of the bully — the flesh.

Question: Is This Sanctification By Holy Spirit?

Yes. Sanctification is not where we gradually remove anger and bitterness; it is knowing and saying My flesh will never improve, so switch me over to new nature. Holy Spirit takes over a small area at a time, and when He does, He takes it over — it is not a gradual process.

For years, I thought that when you were totally out of fellowship, you gradually had to work your way back in I will get rid of this pride in my heart; I will get rid of this anger in heart. Get rid of it from where? That is why we see many times Put on the new man — mentally — because our new man (spirit) is already perfect. Instead of gradually working out of whatever funk, or whatever anger, we just say Can You believe him? We expose our flesh Okay, just be bitter, just be angry; you are not going to change anyway. And the one thing the flesh hates is to be exposed.

Our soul is the mind, will and emotions, and our will is the core of our personality — by far the most important part because that is the arena where the battle takes place. Holy Spirit and our spirit are on one side; flesh is on the other side. Both sides are trying to woo our will to follow their way. Even knowing that — just saying that and understanding that — snuffs out the flesh even more. Exposing him is like sunlight on a vampire; it makes him whither. The flesh will not articulate these things; he would never say something like It is the spirit — that is total exposure of the flesh. As Holy Spirit kills off the flesh —

The flesh gets worse in character but smaller in control

Once again, that gives us new understanding of Put off the old man — do not try to improve him. When we pray, we unconsciously want God to gradually improve the old man. But Paul says The old self is being corrupted, and that is a verb tense that means it is continually being corrupted. Not only is it not getting better, it is going to keep getting worse, so just forget about trying to gradually improve him.



As we see in the next verse, the important thing is that once the flesh is exposed, the victory is won…

6 Esther said, "A foe and an enemy is this wicked Haman!" Then Haman became terrified before the king and queen."

Picture: That is what the flesh does.

Application: Again, in Romans 7, Paul says That sin is not the real me. Our own flesh is the real enemy who is within us, who is at war against God and who hates God.

That is the same struggle we see with the king…

7 The king arose in his anger from drinking wine and went into the palace garden;

The king had just said to Esther Whatever you say, I will do it, up to half of the kingdom. And now this! He had considered Haman a friend — they even had drinks together. To kill Haman would cause chaos both horizontally across the whole known world and vertically in every level of administration over his entire kingdom.

Picture: Unconsciously, we do not want to let go of our flesh. We think our flesh it too intertwined in every part of us, in every part of our activities, and in every part of our lives — horizontally and vertically. Am I really going to kill him? What will happen to me? What are we really thinking? We are thinking that the flesh is the real me. Holy Spirit says It is not the real you; he is your enemy. We do not realize that if the flesh were really killed off, the only loss would be a good loss.

Application: I believe that is what church age biblical believers are going to recognize once they are Raptured (resurrected prior to the start of End Times). At the moment we are changed, I do not believe we will feel a huge difference — we will feel like we are the same people with our same personalities. However, after a little while, we will notice a good loss: there is no sin, there is no depression, and the are not more self-interest pursuits that backfire on us.

Story: The king has two questions:

  1. Can this really be; is Haman really my enemy?
  2. Should I really kill the prime minister?

The king is still thinking about these things when he goes back in, but then he sees something that makes up his mind real fast…

but Haman stayed to beg for his life from Queen Esther,

Haman is a coward!

for he saw that harm had been determined against him by the king.

Notice: The king does not speak forth any orders.

8 Now when the king returned from the palace garden into the place where they were drinking wine, Haman was falling on the couch where Esther was.

That is a disgusting spectacle, is it not? Haman crawling up to Esther and crying Please, please, please!

Then the king said, "Will he even assault the queen with me in the house?"

The king gets the wrong picture.

As the word went out of the king's mouth, they covered Haman's face.

Common In The Orient: When the king passed a sentence on someone, they would put something like a bag over a person's head — they covered Haman's face. To cover the face was to give a judicial sentence of death by execution. Again, the king did not have to say anything; he just made his intentions known, and they covered up Haman's face.

Picture: Biblical believers do not have to sell themselves out to Messiah Jesus — we do not have to put ourselves on the altar or say All to Jesus I surrender, All to Him I freely give — that is impossible for us to do! We just have to make our intentions known (turn toward His direction), and Holy Spirit covers his face (kills off our flesh).

Application: Basically, there are three levels for the biblical believer's life, as follows:

  1. [For most—] Where the flesh dominates. Not hanging out in bars or not by doing horribly gross sin; just living by self.
  2. Where the flesh has been exposed (knowing/saying what the flesh does). We do not want to live by our flesh, but we know that our flesh has too much control in our life.
  3. Where the flesh is crucified. This is a difficult subject, because in one sense, the flesh was totally crucified at the Cross, and in another sense, he will not totally be crucified until we are Raptured. As we stated earlier, from God the Father's and the Son's perspectives, the old man was crucified at the Cross — he was killed and that person does not exist anymore. However, from Holy Spirit's and our perspectives, in this life, the sin nature is still hanging around and he is still our mutual enemy.



The attendants grab Haman and cover his face, and somebody has a great idea…

9 Then Harbonah,

Harbonah means a voice.

one of the eunuchs who were before the king said, "Behold

Behold means Hey dude in Persian.

indeed, the gallows standing at Haman's house fifty cubits high,

Well, well, well!

which Haman made for Mordecai who spoke good on behalf of the king!" And the king said, "Hang him on it.,"

[I love this—] Haman wanted to be lifted up and exalted, and he was about to be — 75 feet high — finally, everybody would be beneath him!

Picture: This is the same kind of exhalation Satan is going to get.

10 So they hanged Haman on the gallows which he had prepared for Mordecai, and the king's anger subsided.

Subsided means gone.

Picture: Hanging Haman is a picture of killing the flesh. We recognize our flesh does not gradually get better, so we say Crucify that loser! And then, we do not gradually get back into fellowship with the Lord God; we realize that our new nature is already in fellowship; that loser was our flesh — the enemy.



Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (Galatians 5:24)

Consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. (Romans 6:11)

Consider yourselves to be dead to sin… We say I am dead to sin; I cannot sin. That sounds ludicrous because all of us have sinned today. However, we say I cannot sin. Can we say that and be truthful? However, who is the real me? The real me is the person who cannot sin.

To God… It would have made sense if Paul had just said But alive in Christ Jesus. So why does he say But alive to God in Christ Jesus? Crucifying our flesh is not accomplished by changing our behavior; it is an act of our will.

I am alive to God in Christ Jesus… When God looks at my life, the only life that He sees in me is that life that is in Christ Jesus. Does He see any sin there? No, because we are dead to sin. We still sin, not in our new nature, but in our old man (our sin nature). From God's perspective, I am alive in Messiah Jesus; so crucifying the flesh says I am alive to You in Christ Jesus.

I believe that if we said that everyday, it would make a profound difference in our lives; a lot of things would be lifted from our lives. Going through that process everyday — saying I am dead to sin, but I am alive to You in Messiah Jesus — is what Paul calls Setting our mind on the things of the Spirit—

For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. (Romans 8:5)

We think setting our minds on the things of the Spirit means praying and reading the Bible. I am not making light of those things; they are wonderful for us to do. However, that is not setting our minds on the things of the Spirit.

Remember in Romans 7, Paul says I want to, but I cannot. Oh, is that not wonderful? Then in Romans 8, Paul says Let us keep setting our minds on the Spirit. What does he mean? By Paul saying I sinned, but that is not the real me. Thanks be to God that is not the real me; the real me does not sin is to him Setting my mind on the things of the Spirit.

Paul also calls it Walking according to the Spirit—

In order that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. (Romans 8:4)


Next: Esther 7-10, Part 3, MAKING RIGHT CHOICES

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