Living By Every Word of God

Image

I have been a reactionary most of my life, sad to say. One day about 20 years ago I was praying and I heard Father say, “Michael, is there a Book of Re-Acts?” I said, “No Lord, just a Book of Acts.” Then He said, “Learn from this.”

As I read the Book of Acts again I was amazed at how much of it was the acts of the apostles and saints as they listened to and obeyed the Spirit. I had to do some serious soul searching after this encounter as to how many things I believed that were simply a reaction to what happened in my past. And He STILL is showing me things that are more a reaction rather than walking in All Truth as the Spirit was sent into our lives to make happen.

Did I get this message from the Bible? No, I got it from the mouth of God. Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that PROCEEDS from the mouth of God.” Did the Word who created all things stop talking with the closing of the canon as most Biblicists believe? I think not! We talk about a “Personal Saviour” and “Personal Salvation” and then set out to depersonalize our walks in Christ by following the traditions of men and what THEY say about the scriptures.

What is most interesting to me is that the early church members had no personal copies of the scriptures or personal Bibles as we have today. That eunuch from Ethiopia had to pay much for a copy of Isaiah to read on his way home and he was stumped by what the prophet said until the Spirit in Philip revealed it to him and he was converted on the spot!

The early church had ears that could “hear what the Spirit was saying to the churches,” but by the end of the first century their hearing had become dull and as a result they had gone off coarse as they had heaped to themselves teachers to tickle their ears teaching Gnosticism and Judaism. This is what 1 John is all about, trying to get them to return to the voice of God instead of the voices of the deceivers that were among them in the form of many anti-christs.

As for the power of tradition, God had to rebuke Peter, who was hung up on his Jewishness, for isolating himself from the Gentiles who would and did come to Christ. Concerning this matter, he even said to the Spirit on one occasion, “Not so, Lord!” Now there is the worst from of religious blindness possible! Calling God “Lord” and refuting his commands because of our perception of what the scriptures say. Like Jesus said to the Jews, “You make of no effect the commandments of God with your own traditions.” “Man was not made for the Sabbath, but the Sabbath was made for man.” “If you had known what this means, ‘I will have mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless”… His concept of obedience to the Word of God and theirs was miles apart.

It is obvious to me that if we are truly of the NEW Covenant we are not to live by the letter of the law or the letter of the scriptures, but by the Spirit that God has put in us to “lead us into all truth” (Jesus’ words, not mine). The sin against listening to and obeying HIS voice is what must be dealt with, which is mostly a result of our reactions to the past. The doctrine of Sola Scriptura is a REACTION of the reformers to the Papal decrees called “bulls” and such and it is flawed because of the flesh which seeks to enforce it even to this day.

Something deep and lasting happened to Paul between his Damascus road encounter with the living Christ where he said, “Who are you, Lord?” and when he was able to write many years later, “For me to live IS Christ and to die is gain.” That something is called the way of the cross of Christ which puts to death the First Adam and makes way for the pre-eminence of the Last Adam, Jesus Christ in a life.

Whether we search the scriptures because in them we think we will find life like the self-righteous Pharisees of old or whether we become spiritualists and listen to every voice that speaks to us from the ether waves, we are equally deceived. Why? Because the human heart is desperately wicked and deceitful above all things. It will always grasp on to a message that fortifies its position and pre-eminence over its own life and the lives of those around it. Unless we have been converted and given an NEW heart, the heart of Jesus, and Christ’s Spirit within to lead us and then take up our crosses and follow Him, we will be deceived. That which is born of the flesh IS flesh, but that which is born of the Spirit IS spirit.

Knowing this I often pray, “Oh Father, don’t let me miss the high calling IN Jesus Christ you have on my life. Search me out and root out everything in me that is not of your Son. Conform me into the image of Christ, the Last Adam, and put on the cross all that is in me of the First Adam.” I know that only when His deep cleansing is going on will I hear His voice clearly and will be able to read the scriptures with HIS full Light bringing them forth to accomplish what they were intended.

 “In Him was life and the LIFE was the light of men.” It is always Life then Light.

Advertisements

Jesus Prayed, “That They ALL May Be One…”

God would have us all be single-minded and with the Mind of Christ in each of us it is possible. In Acts we read of the infant ekklesia in Jerusalem, “And they were of one mind and in one accord.” Jesus prayed just before He died on the cross:


“That they all may be one; as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that you have sent me. And the glory which you gave me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and you in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that you have sent me, and have loved them, as you have loved me.” (Joh 17:21-23 KJ2000)

I have been absorbed, pondering the depths of this prayer as of late. The thought of such unity in the Father and the Son that Christ has made available to us is overwhelming to me. I just now coupled for the first time Jesus’ prayer with something that Paul wrote,

“For you are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized [immersed] into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Gal 3:26-28 KJ2000)

If we are ONE in the Father and the Son because we have been immersed INTO Christ through faith true faith in Him alone, then it stands to reason that there can be no divisions among us whatsoever unless someone is failing to be ONE by clinging to their self-life and individuality, more than they cling to Jesus. Maleness (macho) or femaleness (feminist), Jewishness or pride in nationalism, free people lording over their servants and slaves, the rich looking down their noses at the poor, etc., all these things have their roots in pride, the ugly pride of fallen Adam and Eve who ate of the wrong tree so that THEY could become their own gods separate from the Father.

But true unity IN the Father and the Son is found by abiding IN them alone and being totally caught-up in the love they have for one another and for us and being caught-up in that love until our only identity is one great fellowship of love in Christ and in one another.

But whoever keeps his [Jesus’] word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: by this we know that we are in him. He that says he abides in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. (1Jo 2:5-6 KJ2000)

Will it Be the Churches or the Called-Out Ones of the Father?

churchesJesus knocking

 

 

 

 

 

 

Very early on in the history of the body of Christ, the father of lies discovered that he could not eliminate the kingdom of heaven on earth by persecuting it. The more he did so, the more it flourished! So, he decided to kill it with kindness. He cleverly made an earthly counterfeit of the ekklesia of God and called it “the church” and its popularity has continued down through the last 1700 years. In its infancy the ekklesia of Christ were known as the people of The Way, not “the Church,” because they adhered to the One who said, “I AM the Way to the Father.”

According to the New Covenant, we who are Christ’s are God’s assembly of called-out ones. We are called out of the world and all its systems; governmental social and religious. As we follow our Good Shepherd we are pilgrims and exiles upon this earth for just as they hated Him, they hate and reject those who truly belong to Him and are born from above by the Father. Here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one which will come down from the throne of God, the NEW Jerusalem, which is above and is the mother of all who belong to Jesus, not that wicked city that kills the prophets and the Christ. We NOW sit in heavenly places IN Christ Jesus. We have a kingdom that does not come with an outward manifestation like the church systems of today which break up the sky line with their great monolithic buildings and institutions, but rather is hidden from the world’s view as His kingdom developes within us.

With all this in mind is it any wonder that there were no “church buildings” erected by those of The Way until after Emperor Constantine of Rome got his hands on what was left of that faith in about 311 AD and seduced them to fall in line under His rule, promising peace in the place of persecution and made it the new official religion of the Roman Empire? He rapidly converted The Way into another bureau of his government with which to conquer and control the world, the bureau of religion, to facilitate his military conquests and capture the minds as well as the bodies of the subjugated masses! Those conquered nations that would not convert were often put to the sword by this great “benefactor of the church” with the advent of a new theology, “holy wars.” Funny how he took to himself the titles of “the Thirteenth Apostle” and “Pontifix Maximus” (the greatest pontiff or bishop of Rome) totally lacking in humility. What a contrast to the lowly Jesus who came as a Servant in a back-water town in a subjugated nation where He conquered hearts with the weapon of His great love.
Soon the visible church ceased to be an organism with Christ as its Head and only Foundation and became an organization with paid priests (often “converted” pagan priests) and bishops over it with the Emperor as their head as the first pope. The “birds of the air,” demons, began to nest in its upper most branches and tares were sown among the wheat (see Matthew ch. 13) as new adherents to the king’s new religion were either bribed or coerced to joining the his new church. Cut off from its true Head, the body soon died and it was not long until the City on a Hill filled with light became the cause of the Dark Ages as its light went out bringing to mind Jesus’ warning, “If the light within you is [becomes] darkness how great is that darkness.” When salt looses is saltiness it is good for nothing but to be trodden under the feet of men. That living organism born from above that “turned the world upside down” soon became part of the world system.

Since then Church Reformers have come and gone and were often persecuted and killed by the “mother church” and they made some coarse corrections redeeming part of what was lost due to doctrinal changes, but the changes were not enough. Sad to say, these reformers were often just as bloody and hateful as was the mother church they protested against, using force when argument did not prevail. The nut (Protestantism) didn’t fall far from the tree (the Catholic church). The daughters of Babylon never fully returned to having Christ as their Head, but rather chose men to lead them and be the heads and lieutenants of their denominations. They never fully comprehended Jesus’ warning to the disciples when He said, “The kings of the Gentiles rule over them and they are counted as benefactors, but with you it cannot be. He who is great among you shall be your servant and the greatest one among you shall be your slave.” They also never fully embraced the Holy Spirit as the guide and Teacher of each individual believer, but rather chose pastors and bishops to be their teachers and guides. They never left off constructing and supporting Christian temples and “churches” or appreciated what it means to be the Living Stones in God’s holy temple “not made with hands,” but kept on building “church buildings” just like their mother. They still embraced sacerdotalism, seminaries to generate its leaders and Old Testament laws with which they furthered their power structure, lording over the people to keep them in bondage and fear. They still kept the rigid division between clergy and laity — those with the right to rule-over and the subjugated masses — adhering to the doctrine of the Nicholaitans (Greek – to conquer and rule over the people) which God hates. The more that things “changed” in the Reformation, the more they remained the same.

The hour is now come where Jesus has had enough. He is no longer content to stand outside the Laodicean church system, knocking on its doors, asking them to join Him while those inside this closed door system are oblivious to the fact that He has left “the building” and that they are “poor, miserable, blind and naked” — the only state a body can be when each member no longer looks to the Head for its supply! Jesus is now seen standing in the heavens, as the next passage in Revelations reveals, calling to us through an open door! Didn’t He say, “I am the door to the sheepfold. By me they come in and go out and find pasture”? He is calling and saying, “Come up here and I will show you things…” It is as we seek Him as our ALL in all that He administers eye salve that we MIGHT see and clothes us in His white raiment, the garment of His bride who is being made ready. It is here that we are made rich with gold (His righteousness worked within) made in our fiery trials as we sit with Him in heavenly places with the Father, where we have only ONE Mediator who ever stands before the Father to make intersession for us, not an earthly priesthood of paid professionals.

Saints, what will we say to Him if “we neglect so a great salvation” and continue to settle for the kingdoms of men which call their organizations “the church” and ignore His upward call? God help us!

Therefore, having left the discourse of the beginning of Christ, let us go on to full growth… And this we will do, if God permits. For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good Word of God and the powers of the world to come, and who have fallen away; it is impossible, I say, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify the Son of God afresh to themselves and put Him to an open shame. (Heb 6:1-6 MKJV)

And he called out with a mighty voice, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! It has become a dwelling place of demons, a haunt of every foul spirit, a haunt of every foul and hateful bird; for all nations have drunk the wine of her impure passion, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have grown rich with the wealth of her wantonness.” Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues; for her sins are heaped high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. (Rev 18:2-5 RSVA)

 

 

 

“That where I am, there they may be also”

“That they all may be one; as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that you have sent me. And the glory which you gave me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and you in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that you have sent me, and have loved them, as you have loved me.” (Joh 17:21-23 KJ2000)

Jesus told Philip, “If you have seen me you have seen the Father.” Oh, what pure obedience to the Father that He could safely say this and affirm to them that He only did the works He saw His Father doing and only spoke the words He heard His Father saying.

I once prayed this, “Father that I would be as your Son, that I would only speak the words you have for me to speak and would only do the works you have for me to do.” Don’t pray like this if you are not ready to suffer greatly and be totally broken by Him.

As we are broken of trusting in ourselves and seek only that Life that is found IN Christ to abide in us, we will be able to say to this lost and dying world as Christ’s body, “If you have seen us, you have seen Jesus” and it will stick. Until then we are just part of the problem.

Beloved, now are we the children of God, and it does not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that has this hope in him purifies himself, even as he is pure.” (1Jo 3:2-3 KJ2000)

Constant Prayer

Road RashATV Wreck

From “Practising the Presence of God” by Brother Lawrence…

“That he expected after the pleasant days GOD had given him, he should have his turn of pain and suffering; but that he was not uneasy about it, knowing very well, that as he could do nothing of himself, GOD would not fail to give him the strength to bear them.
That when an occasion of practising some virtue offered, he addressed himself to GOD, saying, ‘LORD, I cannot do this unless Thou enablest me;’ and that then he received strength more than sufficient.
That when he had failed in his duty, he only confessed his fault, saying to GOD, ‘I shall never do otherwise, if You leave me to myself; tis You must hinder my falling, and mend what is amiss.’ That after this, he gave himself no further uneasiness about it.
That we ought to act with GOD in the greatest simplicity, speaking to Him frankly and plainly, and imploring His assistance in our affairs, just as they happen. That GOD never failed to grant it, as he had often experienced.”

As I was flying through the air in that wreck I just had on an ATV machine two days ago, I prayed, “Jesus, I need your help in THIS one.” After looking at the wreck afterwards and where I landed thirty feet down the mountain side, I had to conclude the He had given His angels charge over me least I had dashed my face upon the stones. As it was I lit face first in a bed of pine needles and small sticks. I praise Him that the injuries were bad enough to teach me not to go riding when there was snow and slush on those mountain roads, yet minor enough to keep me from any real permanent harm.

The other thing that has occurred to me in all this was that I need His help, direction and LIFE in ALL the things I encounter each day, not just the ones in which I feel out of control. “For it is in HIM that we live and move and have our being.” The Lord is so good! (the picture of me above was taken right after I got home and I had not seen the humor in all of it as of yet 🙂

Love to you all,

Michael