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FELLOWSHIP
AND THE
MYSTERY OF GOD

“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light,
we have fellowship one with another,
and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son
cleanseth us from all sin”
1 John 1:7

True fellowship is a blessed and precious expression of the Life of the Son between His people. It is a function of light not of teaching. Many today within the landscape of the Christian Church have little or no concept of this vital flow of life. Being in one room does not constitute fellowship. Speaking of the things of God, singing, sharing, and praying together does not in itself imply this powerful act of the Holy Spirit. Fellowship in and unto God is a transaction wherein the depth of God in one vessel pours the very life and glory of God into another. The light of His Being is imprinted upon the whole; the ministration of the Blood of Jesus releases an impartation of the cleansing power of the Lamb. The wonder of community, the koinonia, is known by God’s glory. It is grievous to behold the blindness which exists between the religious things of men and the precious things of the Spirit. Within the mixture of today men cannot discern between that which is Holy and that which is lifeless and mundane. Light is the Life of Jesus within His own (John 1:4). It is so much more than words, actions and prayers. It is as we touch His Life within another person that we know the brotherhood of Christ. It is in the fragrance of another’s expression that the aroma of Christ in His Body is known. This flow of Life is the Light of the World and the wonder of Heaven.

“Then said the Lord to him,
Put off thy shoes from thy feet:
for the place where thou standest is holy ground”
Acts 7:33

Moses having left Egypt because of the recognition of his true identity as an Israelite by birth, was not yet aware of his call as a true Israelite (a prince with God) in his walk. He stood in the very presence of God and knew it not. Though he had left Egypt he still walked in the shoes of Egypt and was unable to sense God’s presence even in the place he stood. So it is with religion. Men and women may have teaching, may have even a spiritual heritage (as Moses with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob), and yet be totally unaware of God’s reality. It is in the taking off of those shoes, (the religious and carnal ways of men) that we are introduced to the Holy Presence of God. We begin to “feel” our way into the life to which He has called us. While many boast of knowledge, or take comfort in their association with great teachers or organizations, it does not avail them of the knowledge of the Holy.

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom:
and the knowledge of the holy is understanding
Proverbs 9:10

In God’s estimation it is not in the accumulation of data and information that gives a person true understanding; it is in their knowing of the HOLY. Without this sense of awe we will never be able to really flow in the life and light of God. It is this flow which brings us to the Holy Ground of fellowship in God. There is an unseen line of demarcation which religious people cannot pass through; it is a realm of life and liberty in the Holy Spirit. People may behold it but it is always outside of them. It is a thing to see but not one which is internal and real.

“But as he went the people thronged him. And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any, Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched. And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me
Luke 8:42-46

In the midst of all the people thronging about Jesus there was one who touched Jesus in the realm of need and faith. Though many were “touching” Jesus, clamouring to hear his words and see His acts, there was one who touched Him in such a manner that virtue (power) flowed from Him into her. This flow is the power of true fellowship and life. Many throng about Him in meetings, services, Bible studies and prayer meetings, yet without the living faith of Him within the heart the virtue of Christ remains hidden and distant.

True and vital fellowship exists where each member shares the substance of Christ which they have seen and heard within their own hearts. It is the communication of their faith because of their relationship and walk with God. The flow of the sharing is orchestrated by the Lordship of the Holy Spirit and culminates in the symphony of His life within the whole. This is no longer a religious gathering. It is in fact the very essence of heaven and the true life of the Son being revealed through vessels of clay who walk in the knowledge of the Holy.

It is through the Glory of such fellowship that the change and transformation of our hearts occurs. It is in the beholding of Him, seeing His wonder in our brothers and sisters, that we touch the beauty of His true Body. It is only by the seeing of Him that we are changed, for no one can see Him and remain the same. While many gather in some manner or another, change will always be the fruit of those who behold His glory; where there is no change there is no glory. The Virtue of Christ always flows into the lives of those who touch Him in the reality of the living faith of God.

“But we all, with open face
beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord,
are changed into the same image from glory to glory,
even as by the Spirit of the Lord”
2 Corinthians 3:18

The desire to know Him is the only impetus which can bring the mystery of this fellowship to the life of an individual. People who are content with the status quo will never know this vital flow of the Son. It is the story of this woman’s need and desire which caused the touching of Him in reality. Religion is content with things about Him, they who are of the truth are only concerned with the knowing of Him experientially (corporately and individually). Change is the fruit of seeing God. For fellowship with Him brings us to His light and the love of His people. No one can have fellowship with God and walk in darkness.

“This then is the message which we have heard of him,
and declare unto you, that God is light,
and in him is no darkness at all.
If we say that we have fellowship with him,
and walk in darkness,
we lie, and do not the truth
1 John 1:6

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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Let Us Build

Lost in the multitude of words and the intellectual dissertations of our day, where men work and sweat in order to build something for God, is the Call of God in the New Testament to bear His image. Jesus in speaking to His disciples said…

“A disciple is not above the teacher,
nor a slave above his lord.

It is enough for the disciple
to become as his teacher”

Matthew 10:24-25

Is it not enough for us to be filled with the heart of this call? Jesus built nothing nor had any desire to. He did not come to bring a new teaching; He came to reveal the Father’s heart. Discipleship within a man is a life of following, learning and being transformed into His likeness (2Corinthians 3:18). It is the call to forsake the way of the worldly man, the religious man, who is ever in search of building a legacy, a monument and a work which will declare his worth. (Compare the desire of Saul as contrasted with David). It is the basic instinct of fallen man. We see this need to build something for God even in the lives of His own disciples as Peter exclaimed on the mount of transfiguration … “let us build”. The words had no sooner left Peter’s lips when God Almighty spoke from the cloud “this is my Son…” He alone is the temple. There is no temple in heaven beside Him and as it is there so is it to be here on earth! While men seek to show their measure (or worth) by what they build, the true disciple is content in becoming conformed to His Image and likeness. Life is no longer defined by what men think or do; it is centered on being as Him. It is in the forming of His life in us that we are enabled to see His heart and His purposes. Inevitably the religious builders of this world will sooner or later reject the chief cornerstone in order to accomplish their own purposes.

“What is this then that is written,
The stone which the builders rejected,
the same is become the head of the corner?”
Luke 20:17

In order for any building endeavor (whether small fellowship or mega church) to succeed it must be accompanied by an agenda and the agenda always precedes the building. The agenda also requires a leader for men to rally around. (It is one thing to come together to have fellowship and a totally different thing to meet in order to build a fellowship or church organization).

“And they said, Go to,
let us build us a city and a tower,
whose top may reach unto heaven;
and let us make us a name,
lest we be scattered abroad
upon the face of the whole earth”
Genesis 11:4

This is the heart and the cry of Babylon; “let us build…let us make us a name, lest we be scattered”. While men may eagerly rally to be a part of these building programs, in the end it produces an offspring of adherents to the cause while the Chief Cornerstone is rejected. The Cross of Christ is lost in the greatness of men’s achievements.

Cain must always bring his offering (it is the only thing he knows); the work of his hands gathered from the planting of his agendas. Abel can only offer the life of another. One offering is accepted and the other rejected. The seed of Cain will always come to hate the seed of Abel. Ishmael will always mock the child of promise and in God’s time the Ishmael spirit must be driven out.

We are living in a day where the two are mingled, as the wheat and the tares, but the hour is upon us when we will see with great clarity the separation and the antagonism of the one for the other.

“Cast out this bondwoman and her son:
for the son of this bondwoman
shall not be heir with my son,
even with Isaac”
Genesis 21:10

We must have eyes to see and ears to hear that it is in THE SON that the full purposes of God lie. It is in us becoming bone of His bone that we are grafted into the tree of life and made heirs with Christ in God. It is WE who are built together as living stones…

“Ye also, as lively stones,
are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood,
to offer up spiritual sacrifices,
acceptable to God by Jesus Christ”
1Peter 2:5

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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A TRUE HEART

THE PEARL OF GREAT PRICE
Part One

“Also the Lord was angry with me for your sakes,
saying, Thou also shalt not go in thither.
But Joshua the son of Nun, which standeth before thee,
he shall go in thither: encourage him:
for he shall cause Israel to inherit it”
Deuteronomy 1:37-38

We see and hear much of leadership in the context of the Christian faith these days. We see many who are striving to build up their church, their organization and their ministry; all the while the Body of Christ remains divided and secularized. God’s true leaders seek not their own. They seek God’s glory which is the welfare and spiritual condition of His People. Moses paid a terrible price in being denied access to the promised land because of Israel’s hard heart and unbelief. In the midst of such disappointment God charges Moses to encourage, teach and mentor Joshua to finish what God had begun with Moses. A selfish and self-serving man could not endure this sacrificial task. It would be one thing to appear to fulfill a commission like this but another thing altogether to do it with a whole and pure heart. Only men who are concerned with God’s glory and purposes can walk in such high places. A pure and holy heart is the means by which these things can be real and alive within the Body of Christ.

Let nothing be done
through selfish ambition or conceit,
but in lowliness of mind let each esteem
others better than himself”
Philippians 2:3

Can we grasp the power and intent of the heart of God in this scripture? Let us meditate on the little phrase “Let nothing be done” out of the spirit of factions and self promotion. How quickly the Body of Christ would arise out of the ashes of human striving for pre-eminence and control into a glorious expression of all that HE has purposed in Christ!. May God convict us to desire that pure heart and the joy found in seeing our brothers excel in the gifts and the callings of God in their lives. If the very Son of God took upon Himself the “form” of a servant shall not we, who declare it is He alone we serve, do likewise?

It is time to search our hearts, to consider the hidden motives by which we “serve” God. Though our works may appear good in the sight of men it is the ONE with the “eyes of fire” who sees the true motives and intents of our hearts (Hebrews 4:12).

“Let us search and try our ways
and turn again unto the Lord”
Lamentations 3:40

It is only then that we will discover the “Pearl of great price”; HIS heart living in us.

“…let us have grace, whereby we may serve God
acceptably with reverence and godly fear”
Hebrews 12:28

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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“I Have No Need of Thee”

The Condition,
the Cause
and
The Way to Fullness of Life

“And the eye cannot say unto the hand,
I have no need of thee:

nor again the head to the feet,
I have no need of you”

1CORINTHIANS 12:21

THE CONDITION

The scriptures clearly speak of the ONE Body and all the exhortations that follow are based on the simple premise that all believers, who have Christ living and dwelling in their hearts by faith, are to be growing and pursuing the ONENESS for which Jesus prayed (John 17, Ephesians 4:2-6). We do not have the right (whether by deed or by thought) to dismiss or ostracize our brother or sister except for matters of heresy or behaviour that brings dishonour to His Name; (even then all actions are done to minister reconciliation and restoration). A cavalier attitude and callous ability to disassociate our brother is the revelation of a heart that knows not God. A true heart that has touched the life of God feels the necessity to flow in the administration of His life from member to member. ANYTHING that impairs this flow of the vitality of the LIFE is an antichrist spirit. For a believer to declare by actions (though in words they may say differently) that they have no need for another member is contrary to the heart and mind of God! It is what we do that reveals the truth of who we are. Men can speak of the Body of Christ in word while in deed they do great violence to the very heart and wonder of it.

THE CAUSE

“…I have no need of thee…”

is the declaration of a heart and a life that is lived out carnally, selfishly and blindly in the throes of a dead religion. “I” is the declaration of life in which the centre of all being revolves around self and its own independence and carnality. “…I have no need of thee…”  Those who declare such things by their deeds end up anemic, impotent and fruitless.  To enter into HIS LIFE requires the death of our life, our independence and the seeking of our own good. There is no room for “I” in the Body of Christ for the true heart of Christ is to see each member grow with the increase of God to such an extent we fulfill the very purpose of God in the New Covenant.

“And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour,
and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD:
for they shall all know me,
from the least of them unto the greatest of them…”
JEREMIAH 31:34

The true ministers of God know this and so interact with their brothers and sisters to SEE this PURPOSE come to pass.  Carnal men who hold places of pre-eminence in the Body of Christ are intent on “having disciples” rather than “making disciples” of Christ.  The Day of Judgement is come to separate the sheep from the goats, the wheat from the tares and the true from the false. Such is the contrast between the natural and the spiritual man; the Spirit of Christ seeks only to exalt the Son and the religious carnal man seeks to exalt self by the “…I have no need of thee…” use of the things of God.

“…I have no need of thee…”

is the outcome of those who have been indoctrinated into the teachings of men and not of the Holy Spirit; whose religion is based on the ways and methods of men and is thereby disconnected from the LIFE of the VINE. Men who do and say such things are blind and insensitive to the moving’s of the Spirit of God. If the prayer and the heart of Jesus is that we may be ONE AS HE AS HE IS WITH THE FATHER, yet we live contrary to this understanding, how can we in truth say that we know HIM?

THE WAY TO LIFE

In contrast to the declaration of “I have no need of thee…” the Love and Heart of Jesus as the Good Shepherd seeks out His own, searches for the lost and broken and ever seeks to minister the Good News of reconciliation. They who have the Love of God beating within their hearts “seek not their own way…” but walk in the way and the heart of the Good Shepherd. They ever seek to minister righteousness and truth for without these the possibility of true and vital relationship is nonexistent. It is in us becoming HIS righteousness that we are enabled to deal truthfully with one another. It is not in ignoring sin that this ONENESS is known.  It is in the functioning of the Holy Spirit through one another that the entrance into this glory is realized.

“Whom we preach, warning every man,
and teaching every man in all wisdom;
that we may present every man
perfect in Christ Jesus:
Whereunto I also labour,
striving according to his working,
which worketh in me mightily”
COLOSSIANS 1:28-29

Love is the very reason that God sent His Own Son into the earth to save His People FROM their sins. It is in us being freed from sin and self that the world will marvel at how we love one another. Where sin and self seeking are allowed to exist, love, righteousness, peace and joy will not be found. Purity of heart is the lens through which we see God. The reason Paul spent his life warning and teaching every man was to this end: to “present EVERY man perfect in Christ Jesus”. It is only from this place of the full development of the life of Christ within each member that we are able to be built into “a spiritual habitation” (1Peter 2:5) for God Himself. True hearts will welcome the correction, the teaching, the exhortation and edification of the people of God.

“…rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.
Give instruction to a wise man,
and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man,
and he will increase in learning”
PROVERBS 9:8-9

Whenever and wherever the people of God gather we are exhorted to…

“…consider one another
to provoke unto love and to good works:
Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together,
as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another:
and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching”
HEBREWS 10:24-25

Do we not see the DAY approaching? Do we not “hear the voice of the Day of the Lord” (Zephaniah 1:14)? Is there not a cry within our hearts for the prayer of Jesus to be answered? Do we not feel the same grief and burden of the Spirit of God over the division and apathy of His Body? Can we not comprehend that it is ONLY in this place of UNITY that the full revelation of HIS ETERNAL LIFE will be experienced by the people of God?

“Behold, how good and how pleasant
it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
It is like the precious ointment upon the head,
that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard:
that went down to the skirts of his garments;
As the dew of Hermon,
and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion:
for THERE the LORD commanded the blessing,
even life for evermore
PSALM 133

If we expect this life apart from our brothers, if we want this life plus our own independence, and if we want this life while clinging to the life of self, it will never be! It is in the very Love of God beating within our hearts as we interact with our brothers and sisters that we are fused together in unbreakable holy bonds. This LOVE burning as a Holy Flame within HIS OWN, to the consuming of all things that are not holy and pure; is the way to HIS END. It is to this end we labour “that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus”. We are here to fulfill His purposes by obediently treading in His Word.

May The Lord stir the hearts of all who “have ears to hear” to walk, live and seek out the welfare of the Body of Christ.

Ω

“There are two freedoms –
The false, where a man is free
To do what he likes; and the TRUE,
Where a man is free to do
What he ought”
Charles Kingsley

Brian Troxel

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HE WILL REST IN HIS LOVE

“…He will rest in his love”
ZEPHANIAH 3:17

John in his epistles makes some very startling statements, one of them being “God is Love”. Whenever love is used in relation to people it is always spoken as a verb, it is something we do or express. John’s profound statement reveals that love is not just something God does it is what He IS in Himself. Since He IS Love, everything He does flows from that one central point of His being which is governed by what He is. All of His justice, judgment, wisdom and righteousness are governed by LOVE. In order for us to understand such high and holy things we must recognize that it is impossible to separate love from all of His other attributes. God being who He is is incapable of internal conflicts; Holiness is never in conflict with Mercy, Judgement and Forgiveness meet without compromise, and Grace and Truth kiss in the Son.

Zephaniah is a Book of Judgment. It is a Book that prophesies of tremendous destruction and suffering upon His people. It is a book for today. It is a book whose very name means “hidden of YHWH”. It is a writing that pronounces great judgements upon Judah, Jerusalem and upon the surrounding nations for their idolatry, disobedience, apathy and unrighteousness. Love is the reins of our God. He knows that sin, idolatry and disobedience left unchecked will bring the human race into the very bowels of hell itself. Every act of selfishness is an offense to Him. Every impure motive, every attempt at deceit and hypocrisy is the very horror that keeps people from the glory and wonder of truth. For LOVE itself is the full expression of truth in substance and reality. In Corinthians Paul writes that “love thinks no evil”, and “seeks not its own way”. These are the fruits of the very Spirit of Truth. It is no wonder that in Zephaniah, after all of the pronouncements of incomprehensible judgments we read… “He will rest in His Love”. For at the end of all His judgements the scriptures declare that men will learn righteousness. When evil is judged and hypocrisy is destroyed then will God rejoice over His own, He will joy over them with singing. When righteousness and truth prevail God rejoices over His creation and peace and joy reign in the hearts of men.

Prior to the pouring forth of His wrath upon His Own He speaks of her ways and her insolence…

“Woe to her that is filthy and polluted, to the oppressing city!
She obeyed not the voice; she received not correction;
she trusted not in the Lord; she drew not near to her God.
Her princes within her are roaring lions; her judges are evening wolves;
they gnaw not the bones till the morrow.
Her prophets are light and treacherous persons:
her priests have polluted the sanctuary,
they have done violence to the law.
The just Lord is in the midst thereof; he will not do iniquity:
every morning doth He brings His judgment to light,
he faileth not; but the unjust knoweth no shame…”
ZEPHANIAH 3:1-5

In the midst of such wickedness in His house and the things which are committed in His Name God must rise up to restore righteousness and judge evil. Even through all of this “God is in the midst” and “He will not do iniquity” and “every morning He brings His judgement to light” for He fails not yet the unjust continue on in their wicked ways.

Peter declares that “Judgement must begin in God’s House” even before the nations of the world.

“For the time is come
that judgment must begin at the house of God:
and if it first begin at us,
what shall the end be of them
that obey not the gospel of God?”
1 PETER 4:17

We see this same truth in Zephaniah as God’s anger turns from His house to the unbelieving…

“I have cut off the nations: their towers are desolate;
I made their streets waste, that none passeth by:
their cities are destroyed, so that there is no man,
that there is none inhabitant.
I said, Surely thou wilt fear me, thou wilt receive instruction;
so their dwelling should not be cut off,
howsoever I punished them:
but they rose early, and corrupted all their doings”
ZEPHANIAH 3:6-7

God’s judgements are proportional to the stubbornness and rebellion of men’s hearts. He sends devastation and great punishments. If they do not repent He brings greater consequences for His motive is redemption and His reins are love and mercy.

“Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the Lord,
until the day that I rise up to the prey:
for my determination is to gather the nations,
that I may assemble the kingdoms,
to pour upon them mine indignation,
even all my fierce anger:
for all the earth shall be devoured
with the fire of my jealousy”
ZEPHANIAH 3:8

When men fail to repent God becomes determined to pour out fierce anger and indignation and the earth will be engulfed in the fire of His jealously. The Day of the Lord is at hand and we are standing upon the very brink of the summation of all that He has purposed. What are the results of His judgements?

“For then will I turn to the people a pure language,
that they may all call upon the name of the Lord,
to serve him with one consent…”
ZEPHANIAH 3:9

“I will also leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor people,
and they shall trust in the name of the Lord.
The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies;
neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth:
for they shall feed and lie down,
and none shall make them afraid”
ZEPHANIAH 3:12-13

The result of God’s judgments is people who are free from iniquity (self will), lying, deceit and pride. His love as expressed in judgement will bring forth His desired end: a pure and holy people.

God will rest in His love, He will conqueror all and “…the Lord alone will be exalted in that day”! Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Brian Troxel

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Then and Now

“Then, indeed, the churches
throughout all Judea, and Galilee, and Samaria, had peace,
having been built up and having gone on in the fear of the Lord.
And they were increased in the comfort of the Holy Spirit”
ACTS 9:31 (LITV)

The prospering and growth of the early Church was characterized by peace, being built up (edified) and a going on in the fear of the Lord; because of that they were increased in the comfort (<παράκλησις> a calling near) of the Holy Spirit. The stark difference between then and now of the Body of Christ is revealed in the contrast between the ways of men and the WAY of the Holy Spirit.

• 1. There was peace. The striving of men to build their own kingdom, ministry and influence was not prevalent. The environment of the Early Church was the unity of Spirit being revealed in oneness of heart and Spirit. The ministration of life through each individual was always for the building up of the Ekklesia, not one’s self.
• 2. The building up of the Body was the purpose of each member. In the atmosphere of the functioning of the individual members there was a ministration of the heart of the Son to see each member grow in God.
• 3. The reason that the above characteristics were true and real is because they “were going on in the fear of the Lord”. The true fear of the Lord creates an indelible and powerful ministration of a Holy Accountability unto the King of kings! It destroys apathy, disobedience, faithless inactivity and self seeking. It causes men to OBEY Him from the very depths of their being. It judges the false and pretentious works of men’s religion (Ananias and Sapphira). These judgments are those that make known the righteousness of God and reveal the truth of His Holiness.
• 4. The fruit of such an environment was an increase and multiplication of the Church through the calling near of the Holy Spirit drawing men and women to a greater relationship with their God.

The enormity of the contrast between then and now should convict us of the need for heartfelt repentance, a changing of our ways, and a fresh seeking of our God. (Ephesians 4:14)

The “Fear of the Lord” was the atmosphere of the Early Church. It was the air they breathed and the governing power of every man’s life. This begs the question…how long can we continue in the apathy and religion of our day? How can we continue in this contradiction of the knowledge that our God is a consuming fire while listening to endless sermons that never mention our sin or need for accountability to a Holy God? Where are the cries of “SEND THE FIRE, SEND THE FIRE”?

SEND THE FIRE
Thou Christ of burning, cleansing flame,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
Thy blood-bought gift today we claim,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
Look down and see this waiting host,
Give us the promised Holy Ghost;
We want another Pentecost,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
-William Booth –

Brian Troxel

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THE NEW WINE SKIN

OUR BROTHERS KEEPER

“And the clean person shall sprinkle
upon the unclean on the third day,
and on the seventh day:
and on the seventh day he shall purify himself,
and wash his clothes,
and bathe himself in water,
and shall be clean at even.”
NUMBERS 19:19

Within the sacred writings of the Old Testament we are constantly amazed at the glimpses into the New Covenant! In this passage we read that an Israelite who in his daily life touched something unclean (making him unclean) or something dead (bringing a ministration of death into his life), required a ministration in order for him to be received back into the life of the community of Israel. If only we could see the import and the necessity for us to so interact with one another that the community of faith (known as the Body of Christ) would begin to flow in the love of God and edify itself in HIS Love.

“From whom the whole body
fitly joined together and compacted
by that which every joint supplieth,
according to the effectual working
in the measure of every part,
maketh increase of the body
unto the edifying of itself in love”
EPHESIANS 4:16

This picture presented to us in the Book of Numbers clearly demonstrates the heart of God. We are not here to live independently from one another. We are to interact in the out workings of God. Men who have no desire to flow with others will not know of the fullness of God. God in His wisdom prescribed this WAY for the unclean to be so ministered to by his brothers that he is brought back into the life of the community. There is no mention here of the shedding of blood but of the sprinkling of water unto cleansing. This is not dealing with redemption and salvation; this is a ministry of the washing of the water by the Word being ministered to one another. It is like washing one another’s feet as we journey in this world full of darkness, temptation and death. This is a life found within the ministrations of the Holy Spirit, member to member, cleansing, encouraging and exhorting. If there is to be any real desire for righteousness and purity how the Body of Christ needs to see the vitality of this life of interaction!

Our independence, lack of trust and pride keep us from the power of this life. It is God’s way and in refusing His way we are left to our own. We have in the New Testament a picture of this in the revelation of Christ raising Lazarus from the dead. Only Jesus has the power to raise the dead; but once Lazarus has been raised Jesus turns to His Disciples and says “Loose him, and let him go”.

“And he that was dead came forth,
bound hand and foot with graveclothes:
and his face was bound about with a napkin.
Jesus saith unto them (the disciples),
Loose him, and let him go”
JOHN 11:44

Just as with Lazarus, Jesus speaks the Life of Resurrection to every true child of God. He then expects us, as His disciples, to remove the grave clothes (lingering effects, ways and habits of the “old man”) that bind. He tells His Disciples to “loose him and let him go”. Can we not see the connection? We are HIS BODY, and as such, by the interaction with one another, we are to be the means by which every man becomes truly free. Too many of God’s people are sitting passively in pews, or isolated in little groups, or alone, while the power and the WAY of God go untouched due to our lack of interaction. We are to be the New Wine Skin but as long as we refuse to walk in this way He will not pour out the New Wine.

“Then He spoke a parable to them:
“No one puts a piece
from a new garment on an old one;
otherwise the new makes a tear,
and also the piece that was taken out of the new
does not match the old.
And no one puts new wine into old wineskins;
or else the new wine will burst the wineskins and be spilled,
and the wineskins will be ruined.
But new wine must be put into new wineskins,
and both are preserved.
And no one, having drunk old wine,
Immediately desires new;
for he says, ‘The old is better.’”
LUKE 5:36-39

We keep thinking that He is going to patch up the old! Perhaps if we had a new pastor or a new teacher or a new youth leader; or perhaps if we just prayed a little harder we could get OUR way of “fellowship” or method of meeting to work. It will not happen. IT IS A NEW DAY and the new day REQUIRES a new and fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit! The former things must pass away! The problem is that people like the old wine. They say the old wine is better, they resist change, are set in the old ways and do not desire the new enough to forsake the old. It is because of this that God must go out into the highways and the byways to bring in new people who have not “acquired” the taste of the Old Wine.

GOD HAS A WORD for those who linger in the old and leaking wineskin; He has a Word for those who desire the Old Wine instead of the NEW…

“Moab* hath been at ease from his youth,
and he hath settled on his lees,
and hath not been emptied from vessel to vessel,
neither hath he gone into captivity:
THEREFORE, his taste remained in him,
and his scent is not changed
JEREMIAH 48:11

Moab* is a people who were the incestuous offspring of Lot; they were born out of a desire to save or preserve the seed of Lot after the judgements of Sodom. They will not change, they refuse to be “poured from vessel to vessel” and because of this THERE IS NO CHANGE in their own lives.

“Remember ye not the former things,
neither consider the things of old.
Behold, I will do a new thing…”
ISAIAH 43:18-19

It is a day to forsake the former things for it is the DAY of the New Wineskin; a day to seek and desire to fulfill God’s heart: the full revelation of the “Body of Christ”. It is a day to forsake the format and the structure of the old wineskin that will NOT make room for the new. Let us embrace the power of the life of the Son where the New Wine Skin is birthed by the vital relationships of the people of God, each member beholding the Head, even Christ.

“…unto Him
shall the gathering of the people be”
GENESIS 49:10

How can we continue to meet in the name of some denomination, or in the ways of some great teacher or organization, how long can we gather in the name of anything other than JESUS! The early Church had no other name, they had no other impediment in their coming together for they were drinking of the New Wine for it was poured out into a New Wine Skin. The word testifies that they were in ONE ACCORD PRIOR to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit for the NEW WINE SKIN must precede the pouring forth of the precious HOLY SPIRIT.

In 2 Kings God pleads with His people to give heed to His Word and change their ways and they refused and instead of obeying Him they clung to their former ways…

“Howbeit they did not hearken,
but they did after their former manner”
2KINGS 17:40

Can we not hear, is their not within our very hearts the cry for something real, powerful and NEW? How long will we cling to the former things, how long will we languish in that which is old and leaking? When will we so desire the new that we rise up and forsake that old and impotent way? A man’s desire for a thing must come to the place of such intensity that it produces the arising and the seeking for it.

*NOTE: Moab is a seed who springs out of the mighty deliverance from Judgement   In which Lot’s wife was turned into a pillar of salt, Moab is a type of a people who desire to preserve THEIR way, THEIR position and THEIR relevance in the things of God. They will not change, they refuse to be “poured from vessel to vessel” and because of this THERE IS NO CHANGE in their lives. The taste of the wine that flows from them and the scent of their spirit and their heart remains intact and to such a people there will be NO NEW WINE. Moab’s inheritance and place of abiding in the Old Testament was the Dead Sea! Can we not see the end of such ways?

“Therefore also now,
saith the Lord,
turn ye even to me
with all your heart…”
Joel 2:12

Brian Troxel

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