A Short Word on Idols

Little children, guard yourselves from idols. Amen.
(1 John 5:21)

An idol is not always the object of your veneration; it is also the object of all your blame for whatever evil is well within your reach and your authority in Christ to address. Your idol can be that which you lay all responsibility at the feet of in order to excuse yourself of your specific responsibility in what God has revealed to you.

Those whom God’s true call passes by in such complacency are forsaking His flock as members of the One True Shepherd; and after their idolatrous and insolent hearts, there are always raised up for them worthless and self-serving IDOL shepherds, which lead them further astray as a judgement; whose arms work corruption, being blind to the Father’s will.

For, lo, I will raise up a shepherd in the land, which shall not visit those that be cut off, neither shall seek the young one, nor heal that that is broken, nor feed that that standeth still: but he shall eat the flesh of the fat, and tear their claws in pieces.
Woe to the idol shepherd that leaveth the flock! The sword shall be upon his arm, and upon his right eye: his arm shall be clean dried up, and his right eye shall be utterly darkened.
(Zechariah 11:17, KJV)

God’s Law – Part 4: The Law of Love

I run in the path of Your commandments, for You have set my heart free.
Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes. I will keep them to the end.
(Psalm 119:32-33)

…now the end of the commandment is love
out of a pure heart and a good conscience,
and faith not pretended…
(1 Timothy 1:5)

Love (agape – the highest form of love, unique to God) is the true expression of God’s Law being fulfilled in us by the Spirit; because that love is the very substance of the whole of His character and nature.

God IS light, God IS love – both are equally true. A concept of truth with no expression of love is devoid of God’s Life and is therefore untrue. A form of love with no bearing in truth is devoid of God’s Light and is therefore unloving. For the light of God defines His love, and His love defines His light. Grace and Truth are so married in Christ Jesus, love and light are so married in God, that the apostle John could write unequivocally…

And by this we know that we have known Him, if we keep His commands. The one saying, “I have known Him,” and not keeping His commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that one. But whoever keeps His word, truly in this one the love of God has been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him. The one claiming to rest in Him ought himself to walk as that One walked.

Brothers, I do not write a new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you heard from the beginning. Again I write a new commandment to you which is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true Light already shines.

The one claiming to be in the Light, and hating his brother, is in the darkness until now. The one loving his brother rests in the Light, and no offense is in him. But the one hating his brother is in the darkness, and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
(1 John 2:3-11)

The whole of God’s Eternal Law is summed up as the Royal Law of His Love (James 2). And that same Law is called both “new” and “old” here by John because it is the very same Word which was from the beginning, only in differing revelations at different times. The revelation of God’s Law, the very Word of Christ, was through Moses as a schoolmaster bringing those who could see to the end of the flesh, in the hope of a coming Redeemer who would dwell within them to fulfill it; Who, having at last been revealed to His saints, and now being revealed in them, causes them to become the very righteousness of God in Him! For “God, having in the past spoken to the fathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, has at the end of these days spoken to us by His Son…” (Heb 1:1-2)

And by that Son, He spoke saying,
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
(John 13:34-35)

It is one thing to love our neighbor as ourselves, it is another to love even as Christ loved us; “who did not sin, nor was guile found in His mouth; who, having been reviled, did not revile in return; suffering, He did not threaten, but gave Himself over to Him who judges righteously; who Himself bore in His body our sins onto the tree; that dying to sins, we might live to righteousness; of whom, by His wound, you were healed.” (1Peter 2:22-23) – And this command is specifically given to be carried out among the brethren first. The pattern of order is, “Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and (then) to the uttermost parts of the earth.” For if we do not love our brother whom we see, how is it possibly true that we love God whom we do not see? Those living in the darkness of this world do not truly come to the Light by seeing the hypocrisy of His people, but rather by beholding HIM as He is through His people. Our calling as His own is to be filled with all His fullness, so that even as He is, so also are we in this world. “For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly awaits the revelation of the sons of God.” (Rom 8:19For in the liberty of the Spirit, we may surrender to the obedience of the very faith of Christ Jesus Himself, so that the will of the Father might be fulfilled in us also.

For, brothers, you were called to freedom. Only do not use the freedom for an opening to the flesh. But through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word, in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, be careful that you are not consumed by one another.
But I say, Walk in the Spirit, and you will not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another; lest whatever you may will, these things you do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law
(that is, to fulfill it by the flesh).
(Galatians 5:13-18)

The true love of God is the pure expression of His Light and Life through those who have died to the flesh and live in the resurrection life of the Spirit. The flesh desires to have its own way, the flesh desires to have the last say; the flesh hungers for gossip and seeks to slander whatever opposes its own agendas. The reason that love is patient, kind, and not envious; the reason that love is neither vain, nor proud, nor indecently behaved; the reason that love does not pursue its own things, is not easily provoked, and thinks no evil of another, is because the one who truly loves in this way has died and is living free from his own selfish ambition or the agendas of man. He does not try to outwardly display these qualities to give credence to something or to grow what he perceives to be a “movement;” but rather he is inwardly being transformed as an individual by these qualities of Christ through the Spirit, becoming a man free from the will and decree of anyone but the Father.

For the love of God is holy, and holiness is perfected in the fear of God; but the fear of man lays a snare. “The secret (the disclosure, the intimate friendship) of the Lord is with those who fear Him, and He will show them His covenant.” (Ps 25:14) God indeed so loved the world that He sent His Son for them all; but those who believe step into the covenant of His love, which man can still break. A man can talk about the love of God all day long; but he will only truly experience and operate in its true substance to the degree that he fears the Lord. For just as the perfect love of God casts out earthly fear, so also the perfect fear of the Lord purges out earthly love, making way for that which is truly of God. And the man who presently walks in the purity of the holy love of God discerns clearly between the ministrations of flesh and the ministrations of the Spirit; between the mind of the Devil and the mind of Christ. But those who break covenant to walk after the flesh again are warned…

Now the works of the flesh are clearly revealed, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lustfulness, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, fightings, jealousies, angers, rivalries, divisions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, wild parties, and things like these; of which I tell you beforehand, as I also said before, that the ones practicing such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
(Galatians 5:19-21)

The more “subtle” and internal works of the flesh are in God’s eyes equally as destructive as the more “obvious” ones; for they are all the bad fruit of HIM not being the only ruler in His temple. To walk in any form of darkness is to neglect and damage our brethren in ways that we and they may not even percieve, since we all are members one of another. The supply of the Life of the Head is transferred through the joints of the body; which means that the measure to which I may walk in darkness and corruption is the measure to which I withhold the greater expression of Christ’s light and life being released in His body.

Rivalries, divisions, envies and the like have no more place in the body than sexual immorality. “The one hating his brother is in the darkness, and walks in the darkness…” For lawlessness is to not fulfill the Law, which is God’s Love; and every form of sin violates that Law because it damages or hinders the body of Christ being built up. Therefore anything contrary to the body being built up in love is lawlessness. “Everyone practicing sin also practices lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.” But the humility of true faith working through love leaves no room for spiritual pride, and it is the healing balm of a body cut in pieces through lawlessness. Faith working through love fulfills the Law, just as Moses offered to be blotted out from the book of life rather than to see God destroy His rebellious people and start over again through Moses. In this, the royal Law of love was being fulfilled in Moses’ heart, and God heeded his petition; and Moses was spoken of as God’s friend.

Greater love than this has no one,
that anyone should lay down his soul for his friends.
You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.
I no longer call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his lord does.
But I called you friends, because all things
which I heard from My Father I made known to you.
(John 15:13-15)

Those of whom Jesus says, “I never knew you” are the same whom He calls “lawless.”
Therefore it is when we walk in the Light that we have true fellowship with Him, and with one another; for only there do we also remain under the fresh flow of the blood of Christ (1Jn 1:7), by whose stripes we are all healed. It was for not discerning themselves and thereby partaking of the fellowship of the body of Christ in an unworthy manner that Paul said to the divided church in Corinth, “For this reason many among you are weak and feeble, and many sleep. For if we discerned ourselves, we would not be judged.” (1Cor 11:30-31) The healthier HIS body, the less symptoms of its sickness need be present in our own. Corinth was a local body which had become factious through the idolizing of men as shepherds and the quarreling over of mere teachings at the expense of knowing Christ Jesus in His humiliation, in whose heart and mind we are meant relate to one another (Php 2).  And by our knowing of Him in keeping His Word, He also knows us. Love is called by the apostle Paul the “greatest” among faith, hope, and love; because such love is the very outworking of true faith and hope!

In love we endure many roadblocks, letdowns, and uncertainties on our path, seeking to live honorably, uprightly and pleasing to God in a perverse age; not being overcome by disappointment, for our consolation and our certainty is in God. Though reviled, those who are being perfected in love do not revile back; since they are not self-serving at heart, but truly desire what is spiritually best for those around them. In love we come to realize our own responsibility for the state of our brother in Christ and seek his edification. In love we discern the true need of the hour, becoming a vessel of God’s intercession, by whose power we see through the eyes of Jesus, know the will of the Father and “feel” with His heart . In love we lay our lives out on the line for the sake of the brethren, forgetting what lies behind. In love we rejoice to take upon ourselves the measure of the sufferings of Christ that are lacking in His body. By walking in this love we walk in the light as He is in the light, where true fellowship occurs and the blood of Jesus flows freely for the cleansing of His bride.

“Love always trusts” – and it especially trusts that GOD can work all things to the good of those who love Him as we submit joyfully to He who works to accomplish all that He intends for His faithful. The love of God which bears, believes hopes, endures, and rejoices in the truth is that by which God’s house is able to maintain true unity and peace, each member being reconciled to one another as this love covers a multitude of sinsFor the actions of love are the impartation of the blood of Jesus among the brethren; as His blood speaks of peace with God and reconciliation, not as the blood of Abel which cried out from the ground for vengeance. For by walking in this love, we walk in the light, where “we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of His Son Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin.”

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God.
And everyone who loves Him who begets also loves the one who is begotten of Him.
By this we know that we love the children of God:
when we love God and keep His commandments.
For this IS the love of God, that we keep His commandments;
and His commandments are not heavy.
(1 John 5:1-3)

The love of God IS to keep His commandments, and this is not heavy because the command is one of promise: that for this impossible thing to be seen in the earth, we have been given all that is required by the Holy Spirit to walk in this divine nature, if only we will obey in faith, which is where His power is discovered. Those who so keep themselves in the love of God (Jude 1:21) will not grow cold or weary in doing good even when iniquity abounds; when all around there is betrayal, offence, animosity, and all kinds of spiritual falsehood leading many astray. We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against a spiritual enemy which rules over them in this world; and by faith working through love, we have hope in this warfare, because everything having been born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory overcoming the world: our faith.” (1 John 5:4)

God reveals to us the impossibility of the hour in order to show us what is possible by faith, and that faith working through love. Let us therefore step obediently with boldness and humility into this realm of God’s Life where only HIS mighty hand can bring forth that which He has required. For it is all of the grace of the Spirit of God.

But the fruit of the Spirit is: love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control. Against such things there is not a law.
But the ones belonging to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
Let us not become glory seeking ones, provoking one another, envying one another
(Galatians 5:22-26)

Those who bind themselves and their expression of His Life to an organization or limit it under the authority of any “shepherd” below Christ have bound themselves to a ministration of man and flesh, even to the curse of the law of the old letter once again; and therefore cannot move in the true substance of God’s love by the Spirit. So the witness of the Spirit departs and the lampstand is removed from a city, for the Lord is provoked to righteous jealously by the unrighteous jealousy of men and their agendas. The “first love” from which the church of Ephesus departed was Christ Himself, whom they had come to know only in an empty religious form rather than in the very substance of His person present within and among them; making Him no longer the one Lord over all and in all and through all. Provocations and envies abound in such environments by nature; and amidst the scuffle for the top of the ladder, the truth itself is lost and God’s love becomes adulterated and conflated with carnal human sentiments. Where men are gloried in, the love of God cannot operate to any effect which takes glory away from them. Therefore Jesus said to the religious leaders of His day,  “I do not receive glory from men; but I have known you, that you do not have the love of God in yourselves.” (John 5:41-42)

This is why today, a man in bondage to darkness who seeks the Lord for deliverance is not confronted with the need for repentance to break the place of its grip; but rather is convinced that all is well and he need not concern himself much with submitting to God because he is ultimately “under grace”: and this is done all in the name of “love” – but such is not the love or grace of Christ, it is a damning lie! “For the saving grace of God has appeared to all men, instructing us that having denied ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live discreetly and righteously and godly in the present age…” (Titus 2:11-12) The grace which is in Christ Jesus is that which strengthens us to overcome the world, the flesh and the devil. Jesus cast out demons in perfect love, He zealously drove out the world’s commerce from God’s temple in perfect love, and He rebuked the religious hirelings of His day in perfect love; for He loved not in pretense for selfish gain, but in the sincerity of all truth, as He is the Truth.

…Love does not rejoice in unrighteousness,
but rejoices in the truth.
(1 Corinthians 13:6)

The reason that love quietly covers all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things, is not because it is blind; but because it is free to walk in the exposure of God’s light unashamed and unaffected by other men’s deeds of darkness! The man who loves even as Christ loved him not only knows that vengeance is the Lord’s; but even knows that through walking in the meekness of love, he in fact intercedes on behalf of those currently opposing him. For in love we were predestined to be conformed to the image of the Son; so that by walking in that same love, we also may bear on our own bodies the marks of Christ.

The Lord’s servant must not quarrel, but be gentle towards all, able to teach, patient, in gentleness correcting those who oppose him: perhaps God may give them repentance leading to a full knowledge of the truth, and they may recover themselves out of the devil’s snare, having been taken captive by him to his will.
(2 Timothy 2:24-26)

This is the walk of the mature man, the one growing into all the fullness of God who is love. For having been loved by God, and thereby now loving his brethren through God; he discovers that he is truly enveloped not merely in a love for God, but rather in the love OF God. For that love is IN Christ Jesus, in Whom we must remain abiding by the rule of His Spirit, that He also may remain abiding in us.

“If you keep My commandments you will continue in My love, as I have kept My Father’s commandments and continue in His love.”
(John 15:10)

And of abiding in this place it says,
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine,
or nakedness, or danger, or sword?  Even as it has been written,
“For Your sake we are killed all the day;
we are counted as sheep of slaughter.”
But in all these things we more than conquer through Him loving us.
For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers,
nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth,
nor any other creature will be able to separate us
from the love of God IN Christ Jesus, our Lord.

(Romans 8:35-39)

“These days, shallow and feeble resolve abound;
and true devotion, and passion and fervor are seldom found.
But there are those who often feel they’re all alone,
those whose identities are known
By the marks of the crucified Son…

Praying, caring, loving, sharing
– these are the marks of the cross.
Giving, bearing, feeling, daring
To lay down your life on the line,
Forgetting what you leave behind;
And willing to suffer the loss
Of the marks of the cross.

These days, the search for detachment and solitude
leads to retreating to fortresses no one would dare intrude.
Then there are those whose restless burdens start to show,
those who unmistakably must know
There’s no crown ’til we suffer the cross…

Praying, caring, loving, sharing
– these are the marks of the cross.
Giving, bearing, feeling, daring
To lay down your life on the line,
Forgetting what you leave behind;
And willing to suffer the loss
Of the marks of the cross.


All our identity rests in the knowledge of who we’re created to be.
We are His workmanship, made in His image for all of creation to see
The marks of His pain and His glory…
– “Marks of the Cross,” written by Bob Hartman & Ronald C Cates

– Brendan

The Righteous Man Perishes

But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of His Son Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin.
(1 John 1:7)

It is because many still walk in darkness that fellowship languishes and the blood of Jesus has seemingly become practically of none effect in the body at large. For with true fellowship in the Father and the Son comes the mending of the body; and by the blood of Jesus in His stripes are its members healed, and death largely kept at bay in their mortal bodies. It is because our soul does not prosper that our mortal bodies are likewise subject to far more corruption than ought to be present in our midst. He who walks in darkness walks in sin, and the wages of sin is death. This is obviously first a spiritual reality; but that which is at work in the spirit becomes inevitably manifest in the natural. If I do not walk in the light, then I do not have true fellowship with my brother, and I keep at bay the effects of the blood of Jesus in His body at large. For to walk in darkness among the brethren is to bring that darkness into the very body of which we partake, spreading corruption and death; and for this reason are we so judged…

For he eating and drinking unworthily eats and drinks judgment to himself,
not discerning the body of the Lord.

For this reason many among you are weak and feeble, and many sleep (have died).
For if we discerned ourselves, we would not be judged.
But being judged, we are corrected by the Lord,
that we not be condemned with the world.
(1 Corinthians 11:29-32)

Paul here is speaking beyond the mere physical representation of the last supper as most have come to know it. Yes, it is certainly in context of discussing the Corinthians’ gathering for a fellowship meal (among other things); but it is ultimately the very body of Christ, of which we are all members, that is being referred to, as well as the application of Christ’s blood (or lack thereof) based upon whether or not we walk in the light. In Corinth, their sin also included the factions and divisions which the people made between themselves, becoming autonomous under the names of men, supplanting Christ the only Head. So it is also today, the love of Christ among the brethren having all but grown cold. Therefore many among us in our own day are not being healed and are dying untimely because many others are walking in such darkness. For the judgement which a man eats and drinks upon himself” is not necessarily of his own mortal body perishing; but is often rather of now bearing the responsibility for another member departing who themselves might have walked in the light. For it is often those whose walks are more blameless that are taken from among us, making this judgement all the more severe and its warning all the clearer. The more we do not take heed to this warning sign and repent, the worse it will become.

Now it has often been said in response to such things that this cannot be so because we are not under law but under grace. But truly the Word contends with you if this is your assumption. For the scripture says,

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are IN Christ Jesus,
who walk NOT after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
(Romans 8:1)

The place where the condemnation of the Law does not apply is “IN Christ Jesus”. But while a man walks in darkness, he abides not in Christ. For we must always be abiding in Him, which is to walk in the light as He is in the light! But “The one hating his brother is in the darkness, and walks in the darkness…” For lawlessness is to not fulfill God’s Law, which is His love. “Everyone practicing sin also practices lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.” The humility of true faith working through love leaves no room for spiritual pride and is the healing balm of a body that has been cut in pieces through lawlessness. And this is only possible in walking not after the flesh but after the Spirit. For it is also written, “But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.” (Gal 5:18)
This also means that when one is not walking after the Spirit, one is actually walking back under the condemnation of the Law and needs to repent and return to walking in the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. And the curses of the Law are upon all those who are under it, for it cannot be kept in the flesh. As it says of them, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in ALL the things having been written in the book of the Law, to do them.”

And among its many curses are these:
Cursed shall you be when you come in, and cursed shall you be when you go out.
The LORD will send on you curses, confusion, and frustration in all that you undertake to do, until you are destroyed and perish quickly on account of the evil of your deeds, because you have forsaken me.
The LORD will make the pestilence stick to you until he has consumed you off the land that you are entering to take possession of it.
The LORD will strike you with wasting disease and with fever, inflammation
and fiery heat, and with drought and with blight and with mildew.
They shall pursue you until you perish.
And the heavens over your head shall be bronze,
and the earth under you shall be iron.
The LORD will make the rain of your land powder.
From heaven dust shall come down on you until you are destroyed.
The LORD will cause you to be defeated before your enemies.
You shall go out one way against them and flee seven ways before them.
And you shall be a horror to all the kingdoms of the earth.
And your dead body shall be food for all birds of the air and for the beasts of the earth, and there shall be no one to frighten them away.
The LORD will strike you with the boils of Egypt,
and with tumors and scabs and itch, of which you cannot be healed.
(Deuteronomy 28:19-27)

Let us test and examine our ways, and let us return to the Lord!
(Lamentations 3:40)

…For if we discerned ourselves, we would not be judged…

The righteous man perishes, and no one lays it to heart; devout men are taken away, while no one understands. For the righteous man is taken away from calamity;
he enters into peace; they rest in their beds who walk in their uprightness.
But you, draw near, sons of the sorceress, offspring of the adulterer and the loose woman. Whom are you mocking? Against whom do you open your mouth wide and stick out your tongue? Are you not children of transgression, the offspring of deceit, you who burn with lust among the oaks, under every green tree, who slaughter your children in the valleys, under the clefts of the rocks?
(Isaiah 57:1-5)

– Brendan

Joshua 7: It Repented The Lord

And the sons of Israel committed a sin in the cursed thing. And Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah took the cursed thing. And the anger of Jehovah glowed against the sons of Israel.
(Joshua 7:1)

The Lord does not show partiality in His judgement, as though He would blindly pass over ongoing rebellion among His own people. His wrath is kindled against all the sons of disobedience – especially those who trouble His own house from within. It is always assumed in our midst that God is on our side; and it is seldom questioned as to whether or not we are on HIS side. Such is the mindset that allows a people to begin falling away – if they haven’t already fallen greatly. This is the great blind assumption of all spiritual pride, declaring of its self-supposed heavenly estate, “I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing.” Even Joshua himself had begun to assume the welfare of his fellow brothers when He sincerely questioned God as to why they were suffering defeat on the field of battle; but the Lord corrected him:

“Get up! Why do you fall on your face this way? Israel has sinned, and they also have transgressed My covenant which I commanded them, and have also taken of the cursed things, and have also stolen, and also deceived, and also put it among their stuff. And the sons of Israel have not been able to stand before their enemies; they have turned the back before their enemies because they have become cursed. I will not be with you again if you do not destroy the cursed things from among you.”
(Joshua 7:10-12)

We ourselves occupy a day in which sin is tolerated in the camp, God is not sought sincerely about it, and the wretched state of His house is excused as being due to uncontrollable and external circumstances. Faithless and perverse generation! How much longer shall the Spirit of Christ bear with us? Those who trust not in His power so as to obey Him and tear down the altars of their every idol cannot expect to be graced with His presence. And today He has already forsaken the gathering place only to be found by those who will dwell in the secret place, which often brings isolation; but the fellowship of God is there. The grievous “church” of man is the outer court of our day, and is now fully ruled and trampled underfoot by the Godless. And regarding such a state of affairs, in which the hope of Eden returning seems all but lost, the scripture says,

And it repented the Lord that He had made man on the earth,
and it grieved Him at His heart.
(Genesis 6:6 KJV)

This astonishing description of God’s heart can be applied not only to fallen mankind as a whole, but even more potently to a backslidden people who were at one time His very sons and in step with the Spirit. Upon these words hang for all of us the balances of judgement and mercy, of redemption and woe. The holy eyes of the Lord cannot look upon the fruit of man’s corrupting ways without His wrath being kindled and His heart pained with exceeding sorrow.

The love of God is pure, therefore He agonizes over our sins because He cannot abide their stench. It “repented” God that He had made man because He is holy and must take vengeance upon the wicked, for He hates all of their evil deeds; therefore it also “grieved Him at His heart” because He is merciful and takes no delight in the punishment of any. It pleased the Lord to crush the Suffering Servant (Isa 53) because that Servant became sin, in order to put sin itself to death with Himself and rise without it for those who would believe into Him, that they might partake of that same newness of Life. Only the One not accursed could take all of the curse upon Himself for all men; but remedies begotten of the sentiments of human pity are powerless to quench its eternal rot. Only the burning of God’s fire in our hearts will remove the dross to keep the gold pure: and dross can be whole persons or even peoples. For He beholds with holy eyes the horror of it all in great anguish and fervent scorn.

“And it repented the Lord…”

All of heaven itself stands aghast at the spectacle of our spiritual famine; yet men are content to continue praying for earthly good with no recognition of their dire condition in God’s eyes, taking no thought that in doing so they only further provoke His wrath. His Ark awaits to lift them above the flood of His fury, yet nearly all stand in mockery; and though claiming to honor Him, refuse to enter in. Most of those who are said to be born-again bear no fruit in keeping with repentance; and most of those who are supposedly Spirit-lead remain as worldly as they ever were. But those who truly see through the eyes of holiness take no delight in the futile matters of this passing earth, and they despair of hope in all but God Himself. These are the only ones possessing anything of worth, for they realize that the Lord Himself is all they truly have. Those who live from such a place of freedom and peace in the Lord Himself will no longer have need to confess, “I saw, I lusted, and I took…” (v 21) for they have allowed the Lord to take them as HIS own possession.

All of creation groans for the unveiling of God’s mystery in His offspring through Christ in them, and the heavens declare His glory even through the dull and miserable tones of the curse; but the exposing Light of Christ is so repulsive to those who continue engaging in the works of the devil, that to satisfy the insatiable appetite of hell is more desirable for them than to dwell in the piercing presence of the Holy One. It is no wonder that nothing short of the travail of the very soul of the Son of God Himself shall alone bear fruit unto God from among men, those of whom His Spirit declares “No one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does any good, not even one.” The agony of our Lord Jesus just before His crucifixion can never be weighed for the dread of drinking the bottomless cup of the eternal wrath of God, being plunged into the fiery baptism of the furnace of that righteous indignation, where their worm does not die, and the fire is not put out.” Yet who in our midst is found agonizing in the Spirit with Him, seeing that there remains only a small remnant of the faithful? If we do not allow the fire to purge us today, what assurance do we have that hell will be satisfied with our absence from it on the day of judgement? TODAY is the day of salvation for every man, especially for those of His own house.

It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is Thy faithfulness.
(Lamentations 3:22-23)

Our trifling day lacks any real sense of the weightiness and urgency of the Lord’s mercy. A true revelation of His longsuffering in light of our stubbornness and rebellion should implant a lasting fear of Him in us which burns out all desire or draw to remain in any measure of idolatry. Those who have not been marked by the near despair of God’s own heart over their rebellious ways have not touched the cross; and those who refuse to continue carrying the burden of the Lord’s heart for today have strayed from it. These are the troublers of the true Israel of God, who grieve and lie to the Holy Spirit as did Ananias and Saphira; and these He will reveal and expel from the true camp of His people as the Day of redemption draws nearer and the faithful remain true to Him.

And Joshua rose early in the morning, and brought Israel near by its tribes. And the tribe of Judah was taken. And he brought the family of Judah near; and he took the family of the Zarhites. And he brought near the family of the Zarhites by men, and Zabdi was taken. And he brought near his household by men, and Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, was taken.
And Joshua said to Achan, “My son, I beg you, give glory to Jehovah, the God of Israel, and give thanks to Him, and please tell me what you have done. Do not hide it from me.”
And Achan answered Joshua, and said, “Truly I have sinned against Jehovah, the God of Israel, and this I have done: when I saw among the spoil a goodly robe of Shinar, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold, one of fifty shekels in weight, then I lusted after them, and took them. And behold, they are hidden in the earth, in the middle of my tent, and the silver under it.”
(Joshua 7:16-21)

The futility of all things outside of God Himself must be realized should we make an offering of obedience truly pleasing to Him in this dark day, lest we perish by His own hand untimely for failing to redeem what little time is left. Waiting for a future hour of necessity to consecrate ourselves only reveals a failure to recognize that the hour of necessity is already passing. The hand of the Lord which prevents great evil from entering into His fold is quickly lifting because of their hidden idolatry and spiritual pride. Many have fallen away and many more will continue to drift. The wheat and the tares are also becoming manifest. Today, and today only, is the last day for being made ready to be broken and poured out unto death. The Lord will hear the cry of contrite in heart who tremble at His word, for them He is able to answer with mercy.

Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the Lord! Let us lift our hearts and hands to God in heaven: “We have transgressed and rebelled, and You have not forgiven. You have wrapped Yourself with anger and pursued us, killing without pity; You have wrapped Yourself with a cloud so that no prayer can pass through.”
(Lamentations 3:40-44)

May we no longer tolerate in the temple of God that which troubles the holy progress of the body of Christ: may it no longer repent the Lord that we are called His children.

And Joshua said, “How you have troubled us! Jehovah shall trouble you today!”
And all Israel threw stones at him, and they burned them with fire,
and they stoned them with stones.
And they raised over him a great heap of stones to this day.
And Jehovah turned back from the heat of His anger. On this account, the name of that place is The Valley of Grief until this day.
(Joshua 7:25-26)

– Brendan

New Living Stones

Something I was compelled to write down almost a year ago and sent to a few people at the time. It came to me with great clarity as I read the first few chapters of 1st Samuel.

NEW LIVING STONES
March 23, 2016

May the Lord be pleased gather unto one accord those whom HE requires to cry out for the restoration & building up of His bride before the end; for He desires it, and He will accomplish it by His mighty hand.
Amen.

As you come to Him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
(1 Peter 2:4-5)

God has taken the kingdom utterly away from those whom in our day and in generations past have not borne the fruits thereof; and He desires once again to raise up from among the dead stones of the world a new children for Abraham, a people that will fear the Lord.
The day descends upon us in which the rocks of the earth will at last cry out: for those who were once invited to the banquet have held their peace so as to please men and thereby forsaken their invitation. The marriage supper of the Lamb will be attended by many who came at the last hour through the cry of the faithful servants who heeded their Master’s call to replace His invited guests.

The Lord will accomplish it: new living stones will be hewn from the earth, not shaped by the tools of men, and be placed by God who builds the living temple that is made without hands. So let the righteous, who hear His voice this day, together cry out for His anointing upon the remnant of His inheritance: that we may, by the power of His Spirit, become that functioning body which is thus added to and enabled to walk fully under HIS command in the coming hour of trial! The harvest is plentiful and the labourers few; but the hand of the Lord is mighty.

Feed your people with your rod, the flock of your inheritance; which dwell solitarily in the wood, in the midst of Carmel: let them feed in Bashan and Gilead, as in the days of old. As in the days of your coming out of the land of Egypt I will show you marvelous things. The nations shall see and be confounded at all their might: they shall lay their hand upon their mouth, their ears shall be deaf.
(Micah 7:14-16)

So let the righteous rejoice in hope even amidst their weeping, for “the Stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner; this is the LORD’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes”!
But let all who hear His call also take heed to the exhortation and warning: “And whoever shall fall upon this stone will be broken: but upon whomever IT shall fall, it will grind him into powder.”
The broken will inherit the kingdom, but the insolent will be cut off.

A WORD AGAINST THE INSOLENT:

“Therefore the Lord, the God of Israel, declares: ‘I promised that your house and the house of your father (the house of Eli & his ancestors), should go in and out before me forever,’ but now the Lord declares: ‘Far be it from me, for those who honor me I will honor, and those who despise me shall be lightly esteemed. Behold, the days are coming when I will cut off your strength and the strength of your father’s house, so that there will not be an elder in your house. Then in distress you will look with envious eye on all the prosperity that shall be bestowed on Israel, and there shall not be an elder in your house forever. The only one of you whom I shall not cut off from my altar shall be spared only to weep his eyes out and to grieve his heart, and all the descendants of your house shall die by the sword of men.'” (1 Samuel 2:30-33)
Then the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Behold, I am about to do a thing in Israel at which the two ears of everyone who hears it will tingle. On that day I will fulfill against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end. And I declare to him that I am about to punish his house forever, for the iniquity that he knew, because his sons were blaspheming God, and he did not restrain them.
Therefore I swear to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall NOT be atoned for by sacrifice or offering FOREVER.'”
(1 Samuel 3:11-14)

A WORD FOR THE BROKEN:

“And Eli said to her, ‘How long will you go on being drunk? Put your wine away from you.’ But Hannah answered, ‘No, my lord, I am a woman troubled in spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, BUT I HAVE BEEN POURING OUT MY SOUL BEFORE THE LORD. Do not regard your servant as a worthless woman, for all along I have been speaking out of my great anxiety and vexation.'” (1 Samuel 1:14-16)
“And in due time Hannah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Samuel, for she said, “I have asked for him from the LORD.” (1 Samuel 1:20)
“…And I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who shall do according to what is in my heart and in my mind. And I will build him a sure house, and he shall go in and out before my Anointed forever…” (1 Samuel 2:35)
“And Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground.” (1 Samuel 3:19)

At this hour, let us consider the beginnings of the days of Samuel, which are akin to the birth of the true church; and let us not cease in our prayer of brokenness and expectancy, being lead only by the LORD in all things pertaining to this call.

“The power of the specific prayer uttered in Acts 1 & 2 produced Pentecost. As the cross was the work accomplished by the Son of God, so Pentecost was the work accomplished through the prayer of God’s children. How was it done? By praying with one accord.”
– Watchman Nee

We thank You Father, for the great persecution into which we must now run headlong, for the fiery trial that shall purge and refine the children of Your house unto the presentation of a bride spotless and without blemish before the One who redeemed her from out of this present evil world!

Cry out to Him.

Children of Light in the Lord

The souls who love what glory the end shall reveal may rest confident under the shadow of threat, though former companions have fled. Their peace is rooted beyond today; and so it must be, for today the night is dark.

These are the children, the lights of the Father, whom this present darkness cannot overtake, traversing the road of sorrows into the dawn of a new day.

Discretion preserves them, understanding keeps them. The voice of their steps goes unheeded, except by the humble; and the keeping of their company denied, except by their kin in spirit.

Yet despair is not their song, nor is the dirge of this tired world echoed upon their tongues.

Through darkened glass their eyes behold what final triumph lies beyond the veil; for of that victory they have not only heard, but even already tasted, and the wondrous mystery of the ages has been made known to them.

In death, they have gained all; in life, their hope is manifest: Good tidings to the meek, wholeness to the broken, liberty to the captives, freedom to the bound. Sight for the blind, hearing for the deaf, speech for the mute, life for the dead.

From the throne of their King they carry one decree: that the hour and the time belong to Him, and the vengeance also. For His hand is ever at the ready, unto the swift ending of this age; but in the twilight of time, the hour is stayed for the sake of those in whom He shall reveal His delight.

To the mourning, He is comfort; to the lowly in ashes, He is the robe of splendor; to those who travail, the oil of joy; to the heavy in spirit, the garment of praise.

From His storehouse He is ready to pour forth deep waters, and fire to purge the dross.

Let the five be known from the ten, and let the watchful not look back when called from dusk into the brightness of the morning. For the eyes which see from heaven cannot remain shrouded in the grey clouds of earth, any more than the shadow can overcome that which casts its temporary form.

“For you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), discerning what is pleasing to the Lord.”
(Ephesians 5:8-10)

– Brendan

Fellowship of the Mystery

Those who have allowed God to lay His burdens on their own heart for His people in this hour are found crying out, “I will not give sleep to my eyes or slumber to my eyelids, until I find a place for the Lord, a dwelling place for the Mighty One of Jacob.” (Psalm 132:4-5)

To find such a dwelling place on earth is to find the body of Christ knowing in actual experience “the fellowship of the mystery,” which is He dwelling and freely working in them. Yet few have tasted of this, since fewer still have truly known the Word, being lead astray to embrace another. For each word has a shepherd, and so there are many christs: many teachers and leaders, many so-called fathers and shepherds with each their own word, taking the scriptures and subjecting them to their own private interpretation or that of their fathers who came before them: idolatrous and self-serving false shepherds, those murderers and slanderers of the true apostles and prophets, that brood of vipers lead astray by the spirit of antichrist.

Now “antichrist” most simply means that which replaces the true Christ. And He is the Living Word which these ones have sought to conform to their own image for the swaying and drawing of all men unto themselves, even supposing that they still serve Him; having separated His Lordship from His gospel, being set up wittingly or unwittingly by Satan as the gateways by which men suppose they must enter the kingdom of heaven. Yet Jesus HIMSELF is the Door, the Shepherd, the Teacher, and the Way; and those who claim authority in keeping men from following EXCLUSIVELY HIM are those whom He rebuked saying, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in.” (Matthew 23:13)

For we are to have His word abiding in us, and we are to abide in His word. Anything which hinders this is of evil. Men have perverted the word and made it their own truth, when truly the Spirit is the Truth; and therefore those who draw away the sheep from the One True Shepherd are not walking in the Spirit of Truth, but are thieves and robbers. To know the Word of God is to be a stranger to the word of men; to follow the Good Shepherd is to separate from the shepherds of men, who even think themselves to be serving the truth.

“And the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us, and we beheld HIS glory, glory as of the Unique One from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

The Word of Life which we are to hear, see, behold, and touch is that which comes forth from the Father: which firstly is the Son, in whom was the Spirit (John 16:28); and secondly the Spirit Himself, “the One witnessing, because the Spirit is the truth.” Jesus HIMSELF is the Word of God, full of grace and truth, and it is the Spirit of God, not the mind of man, which testifies truly of Him. His grace is meaningless if it is not the very expression of truth, and His truth has no full expression apart from the substance of His grace. Therefore, “the Word became flesh…” It is HE to whom we must bow and submit, not the wisdom of men who desire to be teachers yet know not the One of whom they speak.

“For the Word of God is living, and powerfully working, and sharper than every two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of both soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge of the thoughts and intentions of the heart; and there is no creature unrevealed before HIM; but all things are naked and laid open to HIS eyes, with whom is our account.”
(Hebrews 4:2-13)

In the Revelation we see that the One whose Name is the Word of God has a sword proceeding from His mouth. And notice that the writer of Hebrews, who would know the distinction between Jesus Himself and that which proceeds from His mouth, yet describes the Word as being Jesus HIMSELF! For those words proceeding from the mouth of the Word Himself are the expression of the “sword of the SPIRIT, which is the word of God.” For since Jesus Himself is the Word of God in all fullness, we cannot truly be renewed and conformed by what proceeds from His mouth without knowing Him by the Spirit who testifies of Him. Jesus Himself spoke of the scriptures as being a vain pursuit if the knowing of HIM is not being accomplished through their testimony. “You search the scriptures in vain, thinking that in them you have life; but you fail to come to ME that you might have life, of whom they testify.”

The scriptures testify of the Living Christ Himself, who even still speaks; and to the mature He speaks of God’s mystery “not in words taught in human wisdom, but in words taught of the Holy Spirit, comparing spiritual things with spiritual things.”

Despite the testimony of the scriptures even to themselves as being the written expression of the sword of the Spirit, and being indeed profitable for the man of God to be furnished for every good work, many have yet sought vast knowledge as to their mysteries apart from that Spirit of Christ, and have only discovered a sword that is not of the Spirit, but rather is earthly, sensual, and demonic. They have sought the councils of man’s wisdom rather than the secret and hidden wisdom of God which is kept from the wise and prudent of this age and revealed instead to the little children, His saints. Let the one who seeks to enter into the kingdom of God through knowledge instead become as a little child in obedient faith; and let the one who thinks themselves to be wise in this age become a fool that he may become wise, trusting only the One Shepherd, who has revealed Himself by His Spirit rather than by the endless councils and vain disputes of men.

“The words of the wise are like goads, and like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings; they are given by ONE SHEPHERD. My son, beware of anything beyond these. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh. The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.”
(Ecclesiastes 12:11-14)

Peter wrote of the prophetic word (and truly the testimony of JESUS is the Spirit of prophecy),
“And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns
and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all,
that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation.
For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man,
but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”

(2 Peter 1:19-21)

The word is given witness through the Spirit of God, and can only be grasped by the unction of that same Spirit! For to the ones overcoming and keeping His works to the end, Jesus gives to them this morning star. The end to which we heed the testimony of the scriptures is that we ourselves would become a living epistle by that same Spirit working in us; by whom men of God spoke so that we might not only know His testimony, but even become it! For the Lord Himself IS the teaching.

“And my word and my preaching was not in enticing words of human wisdom, but in proof of the Spirit and of power, that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. But we speak wisdom among the perfect, but not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, those being brought to nothing. But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, having been hidden, which God predetermined before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age has known. For if they had known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory; according as it has been written, ‘Eye has not seen, and ear has not heard,’ nor has it risen up into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for those that love Him.

But God revealed them to us by His Spirit, for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. For who among men knows the things of a man, except the spirit of a man within him? So also no one has known the things of God except the Spirit of God. But we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit from God, so that we might know the things that are freely given to us by God: which things we also speak, not in words taught in human wisdom, but in words taught of the Holy Spirit, comparing spiritual things with spiritual things.

But a natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he is not able to know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But the spiritual one discerns all things, but he is discerned by no one. For ‘who has known the mind of the Lord?’ ‘Who will teach Him?’
But we have the mind of Christ.”
(1 Corinthians 2:4-16)

The “mystery” of which Paul above speaks, he describes elsewhere as being “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” THIS is what the rulers of the darkness of this world, the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places did not know; “for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” They did not want that the Lord would suddenly come into His temple, and so attempted to prevent it as far as they understood it; but now He has come, and it is being fulfilled, for those who are in Christ and full of the Spirit ARE the Lord’s temple! And they all, “as living stones are being built a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” For HE is become the Head of the corner, having through death unto resurrection put to open shame the heavenly sons of God which sought their own glory and fell; so that in Him, we through His death unto walking in the newness of His life might overcome all the power of the enemy, by the indwelling life of the Son of God, who “came forth to undo the works of the devil.”

How fitting it is then, that these principalities and powers would seek to deceive the elect into supposing that they must put themselves under the teaching of the doctrines and traditions of men rather than the revelation of the Word of God though the Spirit! For it is the fellowship of the mystery (that is, Christ in you) in which the body of Christ builds itself up in love (Eph 3),“even to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;” through which body our Lord seeks to make known to those principalities and powers the manifold wisdom of God (even as Christ preached to the spirits of the fallen ones who are kept imprisoned in everlasting chains until judgement), as well as teaching wisdom to the holy angels which did not fall, who have longed to look into things pertaining to this very mystery. For we as the sons of God, being brought to glory, shall be their judges by God’s decree, since many sons had fallen. It is this position of authority which the rulers of darkness would keep us from inheriting, in that habitation which they themselves did not keep.

Therefore, beware of anything which in its functioning happens to replace HIS ministration, for by definition it proceeds from the spirit of antichrist, witting or unwitting. This is the agenda of “the prince of the power of the air, the spirit now at work in the sons of disobedience.” For all were meant to be sons, but fell; and even many who were being reconciled from among men have not continued to abide in the Lord’s hands.

So let us be wise according to God, soberly judging and acting according to the Spirit, not in the flesh by the fading wisdom of this world that is entirely under the rulership of darkness. For by His power being allowed to work effectively in us, we ought to be of such a walk in the Spirit of revelation and wisdom in the knowing of HIM, that the scriptures are no longer hindered by a need to conform them to preconceived doctrines; but rather become the confirmation and explanation of the revelation of HIM: wisdom for those obedient to the Shepherd’s voice, those in whom the Word of Life is already being manifest and the righteousness of God revealed.

“Then what you heard from the beginning, let it abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you will abide both in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise which He promised us: everlasting life. I wrote these things to you concerning the ones leading you astray. And the anointing (Holy Spirit) which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need that any man teach you. But as His anointing (Holy Spirit) teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie; as HE taught you, abide in HIM.”
(1 John 2:24-27)

The Pharisees sought to challenge Jesus by saying that He witnessed of Himself, failing to discern that He indeed had the witness IN Himself, as do all who are born of Him and walking in the anointing of His Spirit who teaches and leads us in all things.

For He said, “I am the Light of the world. The one following Me will in no way walk in the darkness, but will HAVE the light of life.” And if we are meant to know (in actual experience) the fellowship of the mystery, then we each must walk in that light which He has given to us by that Spirit of Life. To walk in the Spirit is first to commune with God in His temple, “and know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost?” For the true worshipers worship God not in temples made with hands; but in Spirit and in truth. This vessel must be surrendered to the purging and breaking of His loving discipline that it might be conformed to the image of the Son of God, “who is the express image of His essence.” So to walk in the Spirit and commune with God in His temple is to walk in that light of life, which those who follow Him and abide in Him truly have. And here are the benefits of this walk: that “we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of His Son Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin.” It is in this light where true spiritual fellowship occurs between those who are abiding in said light, and it is here where we have continual access to the application of His cleansing blood!

“For there are three bearing witness in Heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. And there are three who bear witness on the earth:
The Spirit, and the water, and the blood; and the three are TO the One.
If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater;
because THIS is the witness of God which He has witnessed about His Son.

The one believing in the Son of God has the witness in himself.
The one not believing God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the witness which God has witnessed concerning His Son.
And this is the witness: that God gave us everlasting life, and this life is in His Son.”

(1 John 5:7-11)

The witness of the three on earth testify to the One who is in heaven; and if the three on earth are not seen, how can the Father in heaven be seen, of whom both things in heaven and on earth testify? It is those who have the witness in themselves who are a testimony of HIM; since to have the light of life is to be a living testimony of His indwelling reality. For everlasting life does not merely refer to living on for eternity after death; but rather more fully that we have His Life abiding in us – which Life is everlasting not only in terms of time, but more to the point that it is infinite in the abundance of its spiritual substance, being “the life which God has within Himself,” the very animating power of the Son and those found obedient by faith in Him.

Nicodemus the Pharisee remarked upon Jesus’ works as bearing witness to His being sent by God, to which our Lord immediately replied that without the regeneration of water and the Spirit one can neither see nor enter the kingdom of God. And being responded to faithlessly, He also said to Nicodemus, “That which we know, we speak; and that which we have seen, we testify. And you do not receive our testimony. If I tell you earthly things, and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?” For the three on earth bear witness to the Three in heaven which are one; as it says of the three bearing witness on earth, “and these three are TO the One.”

For the true works of Jesus are only authentically possible through those born from above; therefore Jesus also described the ones regenerated and believing as coming to the Light, which bears witness as to whether their works are wrought in God. For those who walk in that light, having been born of Him by the Spirit of Life, have access by faith to His blood which cleanses them from all sin. And so the three on earth may bear witness of the One in heaven through those believing, because again, “the one believing in the Son of God HAS THE WITNESS IN HIMSELF.”

Walking in the light is not a phrase describing fellowship under the accountability of other men; it is rather a state of abiding in accountability toward the Father and the Son, with whom is the fellowship among those who so walk. True and ever-deepening fellowship in the body is is found in those who by HIS power are becoming mighty in the inward man by His Spirit, so that “through faith, Christ may dwell in your hearts, having been rooted and founded in love, that you may be given strength to grasp, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and depth and height, and to know the surpassing knowledge and love of Christ, that you may be filled to all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:16-19)

Fellowship is a state of being in the body wherein each member, abiding in the secret place of the Most High, are thereby made ministers one to another of the surpassing knowledge and love of Christ! It is in such a state of being that harmonious functionality in the body occurs, because each individual part is following after the One Shepherd in the Father’s perfect will by the One Spirit; having died and been raised in Christ as through water, cleansed by His blood, so that we might approach God’s throne of grace with confidence and offer ourselves a living sacrifice – even our bodies – holy and acceptable to Him. For “truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son, Jesus Christ.” Gatherings which try to invoke mere human kinship or doctrinal agreement among a few will do nothing to purify the bride; but ever-deepening communion with God and obedience in the Spirit exclusively to HIM by each individual is where HIS fellowship can manifest as HE gathers them.

And we each, as members of that body, are called with a holy calling, given gifts and function in the Holy Spirit, having in this calling a great hope: to be a member of HIS inheritance in the saints (Eph 1:17-20). For He provides power and strength for those obedient by faith, so that this fellowship in Christ, the Head of the body, may be cultivated as we grow up into HIM. The eye cannot of its own accord say to the feet, “walk,” nor can the hand of its own accord say to the eyes, “see,” nor can the feet of their own accord say to the tongue, “speak;” but Christ the Head must be allowed to rule all, being IN all: so that every member is continually in the light – which light the body would then be full of – that each one’s works is seen as to whether or not it has been wrought in God. For it is the carnal who say “I am of Paul, I am of Apollos, I am of Peter, I am of Christ,” taking the names even of Godly men – and even of the Lord Jesus – in order to separate themselves above one another, bringing fleshly division and therefore darkness into the body. Such is the corrupt fruit of abiding in a teaching of man over the one true Teacher, who Himself IS the teaching; or of holding to the scriptures apart from the life-giving Spirit of the One who alone can open the eyes and ears of all men to the wondrous revelation of His Grace and Truth. The Lord will not be in the fullest charge over all until all allow Him to be the only one in charge over each.

The prayer of Jesus to the Father “that they may be one, even as you and I are One” is only fulfilled in those who will so abide in and be one with HIM, unto the knowing of the fellowship of the mystery which then springs from He abiding in them, overflowing from one member to another. The temple which HE is building is constructed of LIVING stones: which themselves are each a temple being filled with the presence of God, the light in which they obediently walk, where true fellowship can occur and the glory of the Lord be revealed.

“Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!
It is like the precious oil on the head, running down on the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down on the collar of his robes!”
(Psalm 133:1-2)

It is only fitting that brothers dwelling in unity should be pictured as the anointing of a priest (Aaron); since our first and primary ministry as a royal priesthood under the Anointed One is unto the Father. It is from a position of ministering first unto the Lord that His ministry flows through us to others, so that the whole body is able to be built up in love and sanctified completely. Our failure and refusal to walk in this is the result of our stubborn and unrepentant bowing to a sinister spiritual agenda; one that is carried out through our submission to the religious systems of this world and a desire to see our own little kingdoms prosper on earth, when truly Jesus’ kingdom is simply not of this world.

“But the priests, the Levites, the sons of Zadok, that kept the charge of MY sanctuary when the children of Israel went astray from me, they shall come near to Me to minister unto ME, and they shall stand before Me to offer unto Me the fat and the blood,” saith the Lord God: “They shall enter into my sanctuary, and they shall come near to MY table, to minister unto ME, and they shall keep my charge.”
(Ezekiel 44:15-16)

“Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come,” saith the Lord of hosts. But who may abide the day of His coming? And who shall stand when He appeareth? For He is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: And He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the Lord, as in the days of old, and as in former years.
(Malachi 3:1-4)

The temple of the new covenant, which we are, is mercilessly being fought over; and it will either be the obedient dwelling place of the Living God by the inner working of the mystery of Christ through His Spirit unto His revealing, or it will be the disobedient temple of idolatry by the working of the mystery of iniquity through the spirit of antichrist unto his revealing. It will either be a vessel of living sacrifice where the presence of God resides unto everlasting life, or vessel of self-glorification where sacrifice ceases and abomination is set up unto desolation.

There is a mystery at work in every man; but of what spirit is it?
Therefore let every one make certain of what spirit they are, for of that spirit they will both reap and sow.

“For the mystery of lawlessness already is working, only he is holding back now, until it comes out of the midst. And then the Lawless One will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume by the spirit of His mouth, and will bring to nought by the brightness of His presence.”
(2 Thessalonians 2:7-8)

“…And he (the lawless one) will defile by flatteries those who do evil against the covenant. But the people who KNOW their God will be strong and will do.”
(Daniel 11:32)

– Brendan