Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Body of Christ’ Category

[Printable version]

Scripture reading: Psalm 40:7-8

As the days go by, we find God changing the word that comes forth. This is one of the reasons we cannot preach “canned” sermons, because the “can” would be producing the same thing that it produced last year. But we find the word changing and the clarity of it is increasing. Even the same old word is coming more alive. I believe you are finding the same thing: that there is liveliness about the word of God that is coming forth in the body of Christ.

The body of Christ must be alive. The body must minister. God does not have a class of people called ministers. Did you know that? He does not have a class of people called ministers. God has set in the body apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds and teachers. But where is the ministry? The ministry is in the body. This means there is no one who can come and say, “God sent me to minister to you,” unless he is a functioning part of the body. We are only different parts of the body of Christ. The finger is as alive as the toe, but the finger cannot do what the toe does; neither can the toe do what the finger does; but it is just as much alive.

God is directing us to an even more detailed understanding of what the body of Christ really is. He wants us to begin to walk in the body and live in the body. That is, if you cannot live as a body member, you are not of the body. We have too many dead members. Or, let’s put it a little better: members that will not exercise their rights to move and to live and to do what God wants us to do. In other words, God is feeding us more energy now; more life is coming forth now into the body than there was before, because this is the time when we are going to have to rise up and do.

(Excerpt from Led of the Spirit, Foundational Teachings #F077)

Thought for today: This is the time when we are going to have to rise up and do what God wants us to do.

Read Full Post »

[Printable version]

Scripture reading: Obadiah 1:21

We have to understand that we are not going to overcome without the Body of Christ. Without the Body being with us, we have no chance to reach the heights of God. There were many mighty men of God who fell because they didn’t have the Body of Christ behind them.

Some of you do not realize your value before God. You see, you are the mainstay of God’s business. Not the ministers who go forth, you understand. The shaft of the arrow is the thing that drives the arrow and keeps it straight. Amen. The point of the arrow is only the one that pierces, but it is the shaft that does the job. You are the shaft, and God is shooting straight these days. Things are happening amongst us and many are falling. But you know something else, the people will fall, but God has ordained us to save them. Yes. The Ark of the Covenant is a Savior. When the Ark of the Covenant came into the battle line of Israel, Israel began to win. You can imagine how much sin was in those people of Israel, but the Ark of the Covenant made the difference. The seventh church is the Ark of the Covenant, the church that God is training now to save the rest of the church and the world. He said, “But for the elect’s sake, no flesh would be saved” (Matthew 24:22). So you are Saviors, in a sense. God is bringing you up to be Saviors. Your children are falling, all that are around you are falling, but you are ordained to go up there because without being up there, you won’t be able to save them. If someone is drowning, the best way to save him is to throw him a line, stand on firm ground, and haul him in.

So, God is saying to us, don’t worry about the children falling. Don’t worry about the condition of the church you see out there, even the Pentecostal, even the nominal church, because we are the people God has ordained to deliver them! If we get distressed about them and get all hyped up about their condition, we won’t be able to save them. God wants you to keep climbing up. It is when you reach the height that you can speak the Word of deliverance and not before. Amen.

(Excerpt from Keeping in Touch, May 25, 2003)

Thought for today: God wants you to keep climbing up. It is when you reach the height that you can speak the Word of deliverance.

Read Full Post »

[Printable version]

Scripture reading: Ephesians 4:11-13

When I think of God, I cannot think of Him as a man, as a person. All I can think of is a BIG being, filling the whole space, and filling us. But I can think of Jesus as a man. Do you see how God is good for us? He gave us Someone Whom we can relate to. Now, if Jesus is a person, if Jesus is a man, you must approach Him as a person. I’ll never forget what happened when I prayed the first time, asked Jesus to come into my life and felt the quickening. That means that His blood had touched me; it touched my mind and touched my consciousness. Before that, I was not conscious of God, but now I am conscious of His presence.

The next thing that happened to me was that I said, “Jesus, why don’t You come and talk to me?” Now, I am not telling you to say that, because the devil might come and talk to you and you could believe that it was Jesus. That is, however, not supposed to be. The devil is not supposed to be able to talk to you and you believe it is Jesus. Do you know why? The Christ in you will not be happy. Amen. But the relationship between you and Jesus Christ must be such that you know that Jesus is a man, you speak to Him as a resurrected man, and you deal with Him and expect Him to respond to you as a man would respond to you. What kind of doctrine is that? That you would expect Jesus to respond to you as a man would respond to you?

You see, we have made a step backward. Let me tell you why. We were going upward to believe that God has a five-fold ministry in the heavenlies, in the spirit. Jesus Christ is in the five-fold ministry or the left hand, in the natural, among us. But what I have noticed is that we have started not to believe in the five-fold ministry any more. We have started to believe in our abilities to do.

Now, if you have a pastor in your midst, immediately you would have rejected the five-fold ministry, because the five-fold ministry doesn’t have any pastor in it. Those who occupy the place of the shepherd would be too busy shepherding to be able to be fooling around and doing anything else. There is a problem that I see and I don’t know if it is as if you have forgotten, or if you want to be like another church or something, but I don’t see the function of the five-fold ministry. I don’t see the function of the prophet in your midst. As a matter of fact, if the prophet should function, you probably wouldn’t believe it. I don’t see the function of the evangelist. I don’t see anybody evangelizing anything. If the evangelists had the spirit of the evangelist, they would be praying and God would be sending people into your fellowships. Amen. “But why should I leave my church over there with my pastor and come to your gathering with the same function?”

I don’t see the function of the five-fold ministry. You don’t function in the five-fold ministry anymore. I don’t know if you understand what I am talking about. Every ministry of these five-fold has branches in the church among the people. In other words, Christ is working in you. Amen. As Christ is working in you and among you, He will give one a vision; He will give another a dream; He will give somebody something to uplift the brethren. But if I dream that you become a dog and start barking and bite up everybody in the place, what profit is that to everybody? God is telling us to run for our lives, the dog is coming. Don’t you understand? The ministration of the Spirit is to profit withal. If the Spirit of the prophet is in you, you will find that as you begin to function, there will be many more that will be functioning and together it will bring life and not death.

(Excerpt from Keeping in Touch, December 2007, pg. 9-10)

Thought for today: Let us believe in the five-fold ministry that God has in the Earth and not in our abilities to do.

Read Full Post »

[Printable version]

Scripture reading: Ephesians 4:11-16

Let us look at Ephesians 4:12 today. It says, For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. This means that the ministry that God sends to you will make you work for God. In other words, what you are receiving from God is supposed to help you to begin to minister to others. But you are not perfect. It says, Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ (Ephesians 4:13). Now, what this is saying is that we are not all perfect; we all don’t believe the same thing – 1, 2, 3, and going down, but that when we keep fellowshipping together, we will all come to the truth.

14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: 16 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. If you are walking in the Body of Christ, you will begin to grow in love. One sign that tells you that you are really in the Body of Christ is if you are growing in love.

God is saying that the only place you should be at this time is in the Body of Christ. The long bar holding the boards in the Tabernacle of Moses does not represent a person. It represents an apostolic ministry. Do you understand? In other words, God has appointed certain people to teach His people and they are called apostles – those who are trained by God and sent. Another bar represents the prophet ministry. We have the prophet ministry in certain people that have developed in this ministry, but the ministry of the prophet is in you. That is why you have dreams and visions, and you must not interpret your own dreams or visions. But God is placing dreams and visions in the whole Body, so that the Body might be led by the Spirit of God. Now, if you understand that, I will go to the other bars.

There is the evangelist. It is a spirit that is not only in certain individuals, but it is in all of you. There is a desire in you to tell somebody else; there is something in you that is saying, “I must tell somebody else.” That is the spirit of the evangelist. But suppose that spirit was in you and you were a Roman Catholic? You would be misleading people. Do you understand what I am saying? In other words, when I talk about the Catholic system, I am not just talking about the Roman Catholic Church. All the daughters of Rome have been doing worse than Rome. What God is saying to us today is, “Come out from among them” (2 Corinthians 6:17). Some of us have come out of the churches, but we have the churches in us. Some of the evangelists on the television are preaching that the only place to go is back to Rome. Any spirit or any person that is leading people back to Rome is not of God, it is a spirit of the devil. The Bible tells me, “Come out from among them,” and it says, “Flee from Babylon” (Isaiah 48:20). I tell you something, if at this time you don’t flee from that spirit of denominationalism, the plague of division is going to take you. God says that if you don’t flee, you will suffer the consequences that they are going to suffer.

(Excerpt from Keeping in Touch, September 17, 2006, pg. 6-7)

Thought for today: The ministry that God sends to you will make you work for God. In other words, what you are receiving from God is supposed to help you to begin to minister to others.

Read Full Post »

[Printable version]

Scripture reading: 1 Corinthians 11:24-29

The boards in the Tabernacle of Moses have gold covering them and golden rings on them. Now, it is the ring that holds the bar. If the bar is the ministry, then it is the congregation that holds the ministry and not the ministry that holds that congregation. However, the church is bringing in all kinds of psychological ploys to hold their congregation.

I remember when we started a group in Port Saint Lucie, where I lived, a lot of the people broke away from the churches to come and hear the truth. All of a sudden, our congregation was filled with ministers and spies. They came in to see what I was preaching in order to get back their people. Soon they began to tell the brethren all manner of lies about what we were preaching. They have a thing in the church order, a psychological plan called “kicking upstairs.” Let me explain it. This sister came and she accepted that this Word of the Lord was true. When the pastor heard this, he immediately promoted her. He made her leader of the choir. She loved music, so she was taken up with that and we never saw her again. Psychology is strange fire that they bring into the congregation.

Now, how do you know that you are part of the Body of Christ? You must have gold before you can hold a golden bar. In other words, you must have the Spirit of God working with you. You must be hearing God before you will be able to hear the truth from God. So, if you can’t hear God, you can’t be part of the Body of Christ because God says, “I will walk in them, and I will talk in them.” So, if you are not able to hear the voice of God at all, you are not able to listen to the ministry of God.

(Excerpt from Keeping in Touch, September 17, 2006, pg. 6)

Though for today: In order to be part of the Body of Christ, you must be able to hear God.

Read Full Post »

[Printable version]

Scripture reading:  Ephesians 4:11-13

God has put a picture in the Bible of the Body of Christ into the Tabernacle of Moses. Do you know that the Outer Court church is not the Body of Christ? Let me describe a picture to you of the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies as it is recorded in Exodus 26. The structure is made out of twenty boards. The boards on the corner of the end are double. There is one bar going right through the whole side. The bar is held by rings, golden rings. The boards are made of wood and gold. The gold covers the wood, so that the wood does not show at all. Wood means humanity and gold means divinity. So you see, it is God’s idea that our humanity should be covered by His divinity so that we would not have a human organization, but a divine organization. Human beings cannot organize a divine organization, so we have to be organized by God.

Let us read what God says about the five bars. All the bars are held by three golden rings through each board. It is the boards that hold the bars, and the bars keep the boards. These five bars represent five ministries. The long one is the apostles, and the shorter ones represent prophets, evangelists, shepherds and teachers. We are not talking about pastors, because the word pastor is Latin. In Latin, it means that you can keep cows, you can keep hogs, you can keep goats, or you can keep sheep. But in the Greek rendition of the word, you can only keep sheep as a shepherd. So, Jesus said, “I am the good Shepherd” (John 10:11).

Let us look at Ephesians 4:11-12, And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, shepherds and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. It said the ministry is given for the perfecting of the saints. God is saying that He has set a ministry in the world to perfect the saints. Now, if you give the saints wrong doctrines and dogmas that are made by man, instead of perfecting them, it will kill them. So, it depends upon what apostolic teaching you are following – that is what decides whether you are in the Body of Christ or not.

Let us take some of the teachings that have turned away from God. What about communion? When you bless the bread, does it become meat? When you bless the wine, does it become the Blood of Jesus Christ? The answer is NO. So, if you have a doctrine that when a person takes the bread and the wine, it makes him holy, it is a false doctrine. Therefore, the true apostles of God must teach the truth to bring people away from these lying doctrines. Let us consider the doctrine of rapture. If you teach the people that they are going to be raptured from the world and taken away to another place, it is a false teaching. The people need to know that they are going to have to overcome here on earth and don’t feel that they are going to escape the tribulation while all the other people have to go through it. We saw the Chinese church destroyed because they believed they were going to fly away, and Jesus didn’t come and take them away out of their tribulation. The people of God must understand that God wants us to overcome. Therefore, the church must go through the tribulation. Also, the idea that only the ministry is hearing from God and that you only have to listen to what the ministries say, and not hear from God for yourself is indeed a wrong doctrine. There are many, many other doctrines that we would need to go into, but God promises us that He would bring the truth to us in the end time.

(Excerpt from Keeping in Touch, September 17, 2006, pg. 5-6)

Thought for today: Let us be careful what teaching we are following as it determines whether we are a part of the Body of Christ or not.

Read Full Post »

[Printable version]

Scripture reading: Matthew 23:8-11

Jesus called some fishermen and a few learned men. He selected twelve of them and called them the “apostles of the Lamb.” These twelve people were people who God chose from the foundation of the world to become apostles for all time and eternity. Anytime anything would happen to one of these apostles, God would put in another apostle. We find out that when Judas betrayed Jesus, God called Paul and put Paul into the apostolic ministry. The brethren didn’t get the message because they had a ballot, voted and put in a man named Matthias. And from the time that they put in Matthias, we never hear another word about him. But God selected Paul and put him in as an apostle to fill the place of Judas. So, that apostolic thing was closed. You cannot have an apostolic ascension that is like, when the king dies, his son takes over. Therefore, when the church begins to appoint their own apostles, they are going against God’s divine order.

I want to make it scripturally clear. Turn your Bibles to Matthew 23:7-8, And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi. 8 But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. We don’t really call anybody Rabbi in English, but we do call them Master. And what about Doctor? Nowadays, all the preachers are Doctor So and So, and Doctor So and So. It means that these people are saying that they are Doctors of the Word of God. When you are sick, you go to a doctor, sure. And there is no problem about being a Doctor of Philosophy, but a Doctor of Theology is an offense before God. Therefore, you don’t call anybody Master. And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven (Matthew 23:9). Now, I had a father, and you have a father, and I called him father, but that was my natural father. It wasn’t an offense before God. But if I began to call Brother John, “Father John” or “Father Smith,” then you would know that we are way out of God’s order. So, one of the problems is not only of those who are called Father, but also for those who call them father.

Now, what about the Great Father? In other words, it is wrong to call a man Father, spiritually Father So and So. But what about calling him the Great Father? Papa? Pope? That is entirely out of God’s order. So you must not call anybody Father; you must not call anybody in the church, spiritual Father or Pope. So, what about those that do call themselves Father and Pope? It means that they are not hearing from God, and it means that you cannot hear from them.

At this hour, the Body of Christ is being put in order. Everybody must have a head, and Jesus Christ is the Head of the Body of Christ. When we gather together, we gather together to hear Jesus and we recognize Jesus Christ as the Head. We want to hear what Jesus says. If someone gets up and prophesies in the name of any other name besides Jesus, he is a false prophet.

Now, how do you identify a false prophet? Can you figure it out? How would you identify a false prophet? The main identification of a false prophet is that he has a false spirit. He does not speak from the Spirit of God. His spirit is not of God, it is of the devil. His duty is to deceive, to disrupt, and to destroy. What does God say about true prophecy? It is given for exhortation, edification, and comfort (1 Corinthians 14:3). So you have to learn to recognize true prophecy – true prophet, different from false prophet.

When we look at Ephesians 4:11, we see that it says that God has set in the church apostles, prophets… Now, if somebody else sets a ministry in the church, then it is not the Body of Christ. It is the ministry that makes the Body either the Body of Christ or not the Body of Christ. Let us look at the departure, when we began to depart from being the Body of Christ to be different denominations. We departed with the appointment of ministers that were appointed of men. The seven churches of Asia rejected Paul as a minister of God. From the time that they rejected the ministry of Paul, they began to get into false doctrine. Let us make sure that we are not among those who reject the ministry that God has set in the church.

(Excerpt from Keeping in Touch, September 17, 2006, pg. 4-5)

Thought for today: At this hour God is putting the Body of Christ in order. Make sure that you are not among those who reject the ministry that God has set in the church.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »