“For the ear tests words as the palate tastes food”—and having heard one too many Christians quote John the Baptist’s words: “He must increase, but I must decrease”—I came to realize their misuse or misunderstanding of these words in light of other words spoken concerning the Christian (Job 34:3 and John 3:30 respectively, NASB). Christ declared concerning John: “Truly I say to you, among those born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptist! Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he” (Matthew 11:11, emphasis mine, NASB).
John was filled with the Holy Ghost while still in his mother’s womb, but became, in adulthood—at the zenith of his life—the friend of the bridegroom (and not part of the bride which is comprised of all born again believers). And born again believers are distinctly those who came alive in Christ after His death and resurrection happened. The greatest born of women is an appropriate term for John, but if it is a moniker we wear, we miss the mark.
Certainly, all those who are born-again are of necessity also born first (and, of course, from a woman), but not all that are born of women become born-again. The pinnacle natural and limited man cannot reach the ground or premise of the spiritual and illimited one. But the Christian is foundationally and fundamentally different from the natural man; the rule of his new creation is a reign from another world—one in which God is the light without a shadow of turning and Adam simply the black backdrop from which God shines forth.
Increasing and decreasing are gray concepts shrouded in mystery; reality, however, is black and/or white, dark and/or light. God, of course, is the ultimate reality, and He casts no shadows, has no inverted gravities, no twisted or bent lights, and shines perpetually at a magnitude no star could ever sustain.
We cannot allow our limitations to pervert or misinterpret what little we see or understand; our context is far too narrow to see the real height, depth, and breadth of anything. We must die and He must live is an all or nothing black and white stance which allows no degrees of increasing and decreasing. Freemasonry—for an example—is all about degrees of light, and they are a false religion. Likewise, all manmade religions are about degrees and are therefore false by reason of mixture and impurity.
True Christianity is death to self and the image of Christ resurrected and inserted where once self animated us; Christ in us, “the hope of glory,” the rule of the new creation disposition in us, is an all or nothing stance and rule (Colossians 1:27, partial, NASB). Though our capacity, or Christ within us, grows larger and larger as we mature in Him, it is not an increasing and decreasing thing; it is only an increasing thing. The second Adam lives and grows within the empty space the first Adam left behind when it was displaced by the regeneration process; the first Adam is dead and can therefore no longer pulsate or ebb and flow with life (in other words, it can no longer increase and/or decrease). From the inception of our rebirth we are seated in the Heavenlies, but many fail to realize this except by degrees (thus many Christians are duped into thinking it ought to be by degrees since their experience proves they awoke incrementally rather than all at once).
Capacity, however, is increased only by growth of the seed of Christ within our spirit outward into our soul; it displaces the old nature which hangs dead and dark around it. Thus, Christ, the full breadth of light (even while yet in infancy), matures and widens his beam of the fullness of the breadth of light within our wholly darkened heart. As He matures within us, from seed to full revelation, the light shining out of darkness increases its scope and decreases our frame; nevertheless, all light is His and all dark is ours (thus increasing and decreasing are relative terms only useful for limited perspectives). An eclipse might hide the sun from someone’s perspective, but the sun was never lost nor did it ever leave off shining. A perspective is but a rivet holding a cogwheel that turns the entire machinery; integral and essential, but incidental to the overarching purpose that will always remain unclear if the rivet becomes and/or remains the focal point.