All articles on this website are under (C) Copyright 2013 by Jerry Wm Bowers Jr.

The Two Tap System

2nd Corinthians 10:3 “for though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh

James 4:1-2 “Where do wars and fighting come from among you? Not come from here, but of your lusts that war in your members? You lust, and have not: you kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: you fight and war, yet you have not, because you ask not

1st Peter 2:11 “dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims; abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul

     We have so many scriptures in the Bible that appear to be in direct contradiction towards each other, but this would mean both cancel out each other, and we’re left placing our faith in contradictions.

     As I read through the Bible, there are indeed two sets of messages; rather than speaking to, of, or about certain parties such as the Israelites, Gentiles, Romans, Egyptians, Moabites, etc... I believe the heart of the message is lost through presuppositional biases that are handed down from generation to generation, and age to age.

Galatians 6:8 “for he that sews to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that sews to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting

     I’ll bet the overwhelming majority believe this references one individual, trapped in walking back and forth, trying to decide between right and wrong, or good and evil; I submit to you that there are two individuals here, and that both dwell within each of us.

     Whoever wrote the letter to the Romans appears to be saying the exact same thing;

Romans 8:5 “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit

     This confusion may set in again when we read the verse following this;

Romans 8:6 “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace

     Is this now that seeming one individual trying to decide between the two? I submit to you that it is not, and the very next verse should bring clarity to this issue; I say should because even within the realm of Christianity, I don’t see many drawing the same conclusion I do from it.

Romans 8:7 “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be

     Do you see it? The Carnal Mind CAN NOT be in subjection to the law of God; many believe Romans 12:2 “And be not conformed to this world: but be you transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” refers to some “renewing” of the carnal mind itself, but this would then contradict Romans 8:7, because it then suggests that after this “transformation” the carnal mind is now in subjection to the law of God.

Romans 8:8-10 “So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if any man has not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness

     Does “flesh” in these verses relate to your skin or the meat on your bones? Wasn’t this Roman audience comprised of humans? How could then the writer says “you are not in the flesh” if this flesh relates to our skin, or the meaty flesh on our bones?

     For those who do profess to have Christ in them, are your physical bodies dead?

Romans 6:11 “Likewise reckon you also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord

     Doesn’t it make sense that our writer of Romans is referring to the same thing (death) in both of these verses? Did he suddenly change topics between these two chapters?

Matthew 6:22-24 “The light of the body is the eye: if therefore your eye is single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if your eye be evil, your whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness! No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon

     We see again a contrast between two things: light and darkness, two masters, God and mammon. Are we simply looking at six different items, or is each contrast referring to the same principle and/or message?

Matthew 18:8-9 “Wherefore if your hand or your foot offends, cut them off, and cast them from you: it is better for you to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. And if your eye offends you, pluck it out, and cast it from you: it is better for you to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire

     I can only hope that people would see this as also referencing the contrast and not that it references the actually cutting off our out of hand, foot, or eye. Such references are pointing to the world of opposites that are all around us; there are indeed two sets of messages I referenced earlier.

     From beginning to end, the Bible shows us these paralleled and opposing sides, or forces; as we go through scripture, we begin to notice a prevailing theme that is replete, and it is seen through multiple examples of two, and these come forth from the two taps:

·       Two Kingdoms: Earthly and Heavenly

·       Two Cities: Earthly and Heavenly Jerusalem

·       Two Women: The Harlot and Faithful Bride

·       Two Wives: Hagar and Sarah

·       Two Faiths: Worldly and Heavenly

·       Two Fathers: The devil and God

·       Two Paths: The Crooked and Straight

·       Two Seeds: Man and Christ

·       Two Temples: Physical and Spiritual

·       Two Promised Lands: Earthly and Heavenly

·       Two Perspectives: Seen and Unseen

·       Two Covenants: Old and New

·       Two Priesthoods: Carnal and Spiritual

·       Two Laws: Earthly and Heavenly

·       Two Adams: 1st and the Last

·       Two Mothers: Eve and Jerusalem above

·       Two Wine skins: Old and New

·       Two Baptisms: Carnal and Spiritual

·       Two Waters: H20 and Living

·       Two Lives: Temporal and Eternal

·       Two Deaths: Biological and Spiritual

·       Two Resurrections: Earthly and Heavenly

·       Two Sons: Ishmael and Isaac - Esau and Jacob

·       Two Children: 1 of Flesh and 1 by Promise

·       Two Bodies: Earthly and Ethereal

·       Two Choices: Darkness and Light

·       Two Births: Water and Spirit

·       Two Zion’s: Earthly and Heavenly

·       Two Lawgivers: Man and God

·       Two Men: 1 Taken and 1 Left

·       Two Eyesight’s: Blind and Seeing

·       Two Ears: Deaf and Hearing

·       Two Circumcisions: 1 of Flesh and 1 in Spirit

·       Two Hearts: Stony and the Fleshly

·       Two Rivers: Of Fire and of Life

·       Two Ways: Ours and God’s

·       Two Types: Unclean and Clean

·       Two Stations: Bond and Free

·       Two People: Jew and Gentile

·       Two Words: Written and Living

·       Two Spirits: Fear and Liberty

·       Two trees: Knowledge of Good/Evil and Life

·       Two Olive branches: Wild and Natural

·       Two Plants: Tares and Wheat

·       Two Animals: Goats and Sheep

·       Two Powers: Earthly and Heavenly

·       Two Ages: Temporal and Eternal

·       Two Vessels: Dishonor and Honor

·       Two Marks: Of the Beast and of God

·       Two Minds: Carnal and Mind of Christ

·       Two breads: Unleavened and Leavened

·       Two Realms: Finite and Infinite

·       Two Destinations: Death and Life

·       Two Places: Beneath and Above

·       Two Judgments: Carnal and Spiritual

·       Two Individuals: Believers and Non-Believer

     These all spring forth from the “two taps” and these are found/seen in the following verse;

James 3:12 “Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? Or else a vine, figs? So can no fountain (TAP) both yield salt water and fresh

     This verse, and all the above listed examples, works very hard in trying to teach us a very important and simple truth; as we see in so many scriptures; and the examples given above, there is a contrast within each of us, and I believe this battle is constantly present, but is merely more readily seen in some more than others.

     I believe Romans; chapter 7 gives one of the best examples of this contrast. Though I believe the writer to be dealing with a specific situation; which is a subject for another article, a principle remains that I believe is applicable for all of us.

     I have restored this chapter to its original letter format; before being separated into numbered verses, and will add commentary to each paragraph where I believe this principle is shown.

Romans 7

     Don’t you know brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives? For the woman which has a husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he lives; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband lives, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she is married to another man.

     I see a parable at work here; a parable uses a material world example, but reveals its metaphorical nature in teaching us a spiritual lesson. The writer here is expressing a contrast between the Old and New Covenants, but also shows how one can not walk in both at the same time. Consider the “No man can serve two masters” from Matthew 6:24; cf. Luke 16:13  

     Wherefore, my brethren, you also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that you should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.

     This is where this contrast becomes clearer; the writer is expounding on what was said earlier.

     For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.

     Here again, we see where “flesh” does not relate to our skin, or the meat on our bones, but is used metaphorically in relation to the “law” and “letter” and shows a transition in moving from a metaphorical “death” towards now living in the “newness” or resurrected spiritual life.

     What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. No, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, you shall not covet. But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence.

From Wikipedia;

      Concupiscence (from the Latin: con-, with + cupi, cupid - desire + -escere - suffix denoting beginning of a process or state) is often defined as an ardent, usually sensual, longing.[1] The concept is most commonly encountered in Christian theology, where it also receives the name "Fomes peccati", as the selfish human desire for an object, person, or experience.[2] For Christians, concupiscence refers to what they understand as the orientation, inclination or innate tendency of human beings to long for fleshly appetites, often associated with a desire to do things which are proscribed.

     For without the law sin was dead. For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me.

     Isn’t this representative of life today, in regards to our recognition/adherence or ignorance/non-adherence of secular law? We can’t possibly know that we’re breaking a law if we don’t know it exists; however, once we gain knowledge of that law, we make a conscious decision to abide by it and walk as free, or we choose to break it and become a criminal.

     The writer is here is drawing a contrast between knowing and not knowing the laws/ways of God, and demonstrates the freedom/liberty one believes they have while ignorant of such laws/ways, but then recognizes their own guilt in breaking such laws/ways of God, once they are known.   

     Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.

     Again, like secular laws, when we are cognizant of God’s laws/ways, and walk in them, we are free to move about in liberty and with a clear conscience, but when we know of them, and break them, we place ourselves under condemnation through a guilty conscience, whether we admit it or not. 

     For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do, I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwells in me.

     This contrast between spiritual and carnal screams out again; we likewise again see the battle that goes inside us, where we do what we know we shouldn’t, and often don’t do that which we know to be right.

     For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwells no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.

     The writer merely reasserts that they are not yet in a perfect state, and still recognizes this battle between right and wrong, or good and evil, within.

     Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwells in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

     The inward battle rages on; our writer again confirms that the recognition of doing what is contrary to the laws/ways of God brings conditions and even condemnation, with it. Notice how the writer expresses the seeming presence of two individuals/beings within. 

     O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

     The “body of death” is none other than the “flesh” and this is relative to the “carnal mind” or fleshly nature, as opposed to the “mind of Christ” or spiritual nature.

     The “inward man” mentioned here (Romans 7:22) is again referenced in 2nd Corinthians 2:14; which likewise mentions the contrasted “outward man” who is also referred to as the “old man” in Romans 6:6, Ephesians 4:22, and Colossians 3:9; and yet again referred to as the “natural man” in another scripture which demonstrates this contrast between these two natures.

1st Corinthians 2:14 “But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned

     It should be noted that I do not believe; nor do I believe these writers intend, that such refers to the physical human body itself.

     As referenced earlier, I do believe these writers are drawing a distinction between things in relation to the contrast of items found within the overall context of the Old and New Covenants, yet I believe the principles remain relevant to our own inward battles in choosing between right and wrong, and/or good and evil.

     As much as this battle yet exists for us to endure, I would like to extend a simple biblical principle that I believe demonstrates the victory that is within each of us to achieve.

Romans 6:19 “I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as you have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness

Why? Because as noted by another section of scripture which I believe demonstrates an eternal principle, truth, and reality;

 Ephesians 6:10-18

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole amour of God; that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Wherefore take unto you the whole amour of God; that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

     While it seems at times that we are powerless to overcome the evils of and in this world; or even those within ourselves, remember;

1st Corinthians 10:13 “There has no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted above that you are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that you will be able to bear it

And because;

James 1:12 “Blessed is the man that endures temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to them that love him

     You have everything within you to achieve victory, if only you can find the way to allow your “inward man” to reach over and shut off that tap of saltwater of the “old” “outward” and “natural” man, and allow your tap of the fresh and living waters, to flow freely.

     Isn’t it time you tapped into the heart of this message?

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

A Cherokee legend to help illustrate my point

"The Two Wolves"

An old Grandfather said to his grandson, who came to him with anger at a friend who had done him an injustice, "Let me tell you a story.

I too, at times, have felt a great hate for those that have taken so much, with no sorrow for what they do.

But hate wears you down, and does not hurt your enemy. It is like taking poison and wishing your enemy would die. I have struggled with these feelings many times." He continued, "It is as if there are two wolves inside me. One is good and does no harm. He lives in harmony with all around him, and does not take offense when no offense was intended. He will only fight when it is right to do so, and in the right way.

But the other wolf, ah! He is full of anger. The littlest thing will set him into a fit of temper. He fights everyone, all the time, for no reason. He cannot think because his anger and hate are so great. It is helpless anger,for his anger will change nothing.

Sometimes, it is hard to live with these two wolves inside me, for both of them try to dominate my spirit."

The boy looked intently into his Grandfather's eyes and asked, "Which one wins, Grandfather?"

The Grandfather smiled and quietly said, "The one I feed."

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