Letters to the Church – Part Six

Letters to the Church – Part Six

“For I know with an absolute knowledge and stand persuaded in the Lord Jesus that not even one thing is unhallowed in itself except it be to the one who reasons it out to be unhallowed. To that one it is unhallowed. For, if because of food your brother is made to grieve, no longer are you conducting yourself according to love. Stop ruining by your food that one on behalf of whom Christ died. Therefore, stop allowing your good to be spoken of in a reproachful and evil manner; for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the sphere of the Holy Spirit; for the one who in this serves the Christ is well pleasing to God, and because having met the specifications is approved by men”
Romans 14:14-18 (Wuest Translation)

Paul prefaced this plea to the Body of Christ with:

“For, on the one hand, there is he who judges a day above another day. On the other hand, there is he who subjects every day to a scrutiny. Let each one in his own mind be fully assured. The one who has formed a judgment regarding the day, with reference to the Lord he judges it. And the one who eats, with reference to the Lord he eats, for he gives thanks to God. And the one who does not eat, with reference to the Lord does not eat, and he gives thanks to God…”
Romans 14:5-6 (Wuest Translation)

“But as for you, why are you judging your brother? Or, as for you also, why are you treating your brother with contempt? For we all shall stand before the judgment seat of God. For it stands written, As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. Therefore, then, each one of us shall give an account concerning himself to God. Therefore, no longer let us be judging one another. But be judging this rather, not to place a stumbling block before your brother, or a snare in which he may be entrapped”
Romans 14:10-11 (Wuest Translation)

There is within the economy and glory of Christ the liberty and respect for each member to hold within their hearts their own faith concerning food, drink, and days. The secret to this liberty is that they are “serving Christ” in their persuasions.

Paul in Colossians stated:

“Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days”
Colossians 2:16

Let not him who regards a day judge him who regards not a day; let not him who regards not a day judge him who esteems a day over another.

The living fabric of Christ’s Body is more than meat, drink or reference to some day or season. His LIFE is the very sinew and connection of each and every part. The ignorance of who and what the wonder of Christ is becomes apparent when the mundane issues of life become of more importance than the unity of His Spirit in our midst!

Paul goes on to say in his letter to the Colossians that they who judge others in respect to the elemental and menial things are

“…not holding firmly to the Head, from whom all the body, being supplied and knit together through the joints and ligaments, grows with God’s growth. If you died with Christ from the elements of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to ordinances, “Don’t handle, nor taste, nor touch” (all of which perish with use), according to the precepts and doctrines of men?”
Colossians 2:19-22

We violate the very life of Christ who supplies the rich ministrations through which we are knitted together. Those who emphasise the mundane over the Holy will give an answer to Him in the Day of Judgment.

Paul finishes his discourse of these things by stating that the observance of these things will in NO WAY bring victory for a believer over their flesh. There are no spiritual victories to be gained by the foolishness of fleshly ordinances. Our victory comes only by living and abiding within the sphere of Christ Himself.

May God free us from the horror and stain of the Pharisee spirit in the observance of trivial matters while failing to comprehend that “the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned” (1 Timothy 1:5).

“With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all” (Seven Ones – Perfection)
Ephesians 4:2-6

Those who would destroy the bonds of peace and sever the very ligaments of Christ over the rudimentary elements in respect to days, food and drink, know not the heart of He who is the Head of all things.

One cannot read the beauty of Ephesians Chapter 4 and Colossians Chapter 2, with any illumination of the Spirit of God, and not feel the very essence of Christ Himself beckoning us to preserve the Unity of His Spirit and the wonder of the Body of Christ.

“If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind”
Philippians 2:1-2

Fellowship is the natural outflow between those who are in Christ. Where there is no deep and powerful flow of Christ there is darkness and separation from the Life and Wonder of Christ. Beware of something added (or taken away) from the Life Giving essence of Christ alone. Light (not knowledge) is the basis of true fellowship.

“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light,
we have fellowship one with another”
1 John 1:7

Brian Troxel

Kingdom of God Series – Part Six

The Kingdom of God

Chapter Six
(See Chapter Seven Part One)

The One Bread
Unity and True Ministry

“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard,
which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon,
and our hands have handled, of the Word of life”
John 1:1

“That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you,
that ye also may have fellowship with us…”
John 1:3

The simplicity of true and powerful ministry has been lost, to a large degree, in our fast-paced world of data and information. Here we see true ministry described in the simplest of terms: personal relationship with Christ. The ministry of an individual believer is the result of hearing, seeing, and handling Him, the Word of Life! It is not the echoing of something we have heard or read from others (as good as that may be); it is in our own partaking of the Living Christ whereby we share what “we have seen and heard”! It is this personal sharing of Christ that is the basis of true fellowship. There is a union of believers in the knowing of this One Body in Christ! Whenever men and women ascribe to the doctrines/teachings of men there is division and chaos; the discordant and unruly hearts of men seek to draw others to themselves rather than to Christ. The Kingdom of God is revealed in unity and power. It is in partaking of the Bread of Life that we are brought into the realization of Him as the Head of us all; His heart beating and binding us into the cords and bonds of His love.

“For we being many are one bread, and one body:
for we are all partakers of that one bread
1 Corinthians 10:17

This unity is the evidence that we are partakers of the One Bread.  It is the miracle of His Life that makes us the One Bread and the One Body. It is in this wonder at work that the wheat and the tares are revealed, and that day is upon us.

“Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn”
Matthew 13:30

We are living in the Day of the Harvest and even now this great work of God is evident. Isaac and Ishmael cannot co-exist though both of them are the offspring of Faith (Abraham); Isaac is of the womb of Rachel and Ishmael is of the womb of Hagar the Egyptian. One seeks the City of God whose builder and maker is God; the other seeks to build their own ministry/church/city and put their name on it. (See Galatians Chapter 4) Even Peter, on the Mount of Transfiguration, wanted to build “three tabernacles”. It is an inherent need of fallen man to build things unto God and name them after themselves. Peter was rebuked by the Father for such an idea.

“For Israel hath forgotten his Maker,
and buildeth temples…”
Hosea 8:14

It will be become more and more apparent those who are partaking of the One Bread and those who are not. The singularity of partaking of Christ alone is what propels His people into the Unity of His Spirit. Those who are content with the division and sectarianism of our day have not yet touched or felt the wonder of gathering together unto Him. We become what we eat and drink. His flesh is meat indeed and His blood is life. It is from this ministration that all who are His come together.

“Then Jesus said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, except you eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His blood, you do not have life in yourselves. The one partaking of My flesh and drinking of My blood has everlasting life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is truly food, and My blood is truly drink. The one partaking of My flesh and drinking of My blood abides in Me, and I in him
John 6:53-56

The Kingdom of God is Christ. He is the Kingdom. Our entrance into this Life can only be known by partaking and abiding in Him. There is an inherent need to be joined with others who are also abiding in Him. “Deep calleth unto deep”, life unto life. It is the desire of the hand to know the living connection it has to the foot, likewise the eye to the ear. The Kingdom of God is a living, breathing, organism which is NOT of this world. It is heavenly, spiritual and, above all, vitally joined in Christ who is the Head.

“But now, indeed, many are the members, but one body. And the eye is not able to say to the hand, I have no need of you; or again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.”
1 Corinthians 12:20-21

Those who are truly in Christ are NOT ABLE to say to another member “I have no need of you”. If we are partaking of Him, one would have to deny the very life of Christ within to say such a thing. If we are in Him, we know intuitively that we need one another just as the hand needs the foot and the eye needs the ear. It is only the proud and the arrogant who think they are sufficient in themselves to meet the needs of “their” congregation or assembly.

The Kingdom of God is being raised in this day out of the debris of the methods and arrogancy of men and their selfish endeavors (“my flock”, “my church”, “my ministry”), into the wonder of those who live with such selflessness that they esteem others as more worthy than themselves. This is happening as His people partake of and minister the ONE BREAD. The Unity of the Spirit will culminate in the Unity of the Faith. Let us walk carefully before the Lord to minister His word out of a pure heart.

“If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind
Philippians 2:1-2

Brian Troxel