Readiness & Fruitfuness

And seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf,
He went to see if He could find anything on it.
When He came to it, He found nothing but leaves,
for it was not the season for figs.
And He said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.”
And his disciples heard it.
…As they passed by in the morning,
they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots.
(Mark 11:13-14, 20)

The season of the world does not determine the fruit of the Spirit.
True fruit borne unto God is that which HIS call and HIS Life at work within us produces. The working out of our salvation with fear and trembling is the yielding to HE who works within us to will and yo do according to HIS good pleasure. The fruit which God recognizes and is pleased to savor is the fruit of HIS Spirit. It is in view of His abundant mercy that we offer ourselves living sacrifices upon the altar of our death, that HIS Life might be manifested in us, who by faith and patience inherit the promise of the word of Life which renews our mind and restores our soul day by day.

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season…
(Psalm 1:1-3)

The Living God is not interested in what human metrics or men’s traditions regard as fruitful or useful; but rather the hidden man of the heart, which bursts forth in springs of Living Water from beyond what that vessel itself could ever provide. Our ability to bear fruit depends not upon busying ourselves with what men commonly perceive as “spiritual oriented activities;” but depends upon the readiness of a heart that is single towards God and His manifold purposes.

I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus,
who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom:
preach the word; be READY in season and out of season…
(2 Timothy 4:1-2)

The fig tree which Jesus cursed was required by Him to be ready even out of season in order for it to bear fruit in HIS season. The seasons of the Lord’s trees are determined by the calling of the Lord Himself. They do not conform to the patterns of this world’s seasons; for they wait upon the Shepherds voice alone, being driven by the wind of His Spirit, which “blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (Jn 3:8) Trees that only bear fruit in accordance to the wisdom of this age are not bearing God’s fruit. True Life begins in and is sustained by the Word of Life. True fruit is borne only by the means of the Fruit Bearer Himself, whose kingdom is not of this world but is rather found within those in whom His Spirit finds a conduit to flow.

As men go to and fro throughout the earth, looking to bolster “my ministry,” “my calling,” “my inheritance”… meanwhile, the eyes of the LORD go to and fro throughout the whole earth looking to strengthen the heart that is pure before HIM, so that HE might minister through those to whom He has first ministered.

“…that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the full knowledge of Him, the eyes of your mind having been enlightened, for you to know what is the hope of HIS calling, and what the riches of the glory of HIS inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of HIS power toward us, the ones believing according to the working of HIS mighty strength…”
(Ephesians 1:17-19)

The key to fruitfulness in season is readiness both in and out of season; and what we are ready for is determined by what our hearts are set to meditate upon. “Readiness” is the descriptor of the gospel of peace being manifest in our footsteps (Eph 6:15) – therefore our peace with God in His gospel must be our innermost meditation should our steps become truly stable and ready to bear His fruit in season. We do not wait for the Lord, for He is here! But now that He is indeed come to us, we wait upon Him, even as one waits the table of a king who loves them. We as a royal priesthood minister unto Him as He ministers unto us; for a sweet savor before His throne is the object of true ministry. To wait upon the Lord is most simply to be in constant communion with Him – this is why those who wait upon the Lord are renewed in strength. It is by abiding faith in His power that we as the branches of His vine bear fruit.

– Brendan

Joshua 8 – Part 2: The Word, Our Divider

Then Joshua built an altar to Jehovah, the God of Israel, in Mount Ebal, as Moses, the servant of Jehovah, commanded the sons of Israel, as it is written in the book of the law of Moses; an altar of whole stones, on which had been wielded no iron. And they offered upon it burnt offerings to Jehovah, and offered peace offerings.
(Joshua 8:30-31)

“…in Mount Ebal…”
Mount Ebal is where the blessings of abiding in Gods Word and the curses of straying from Him were pronounced upon and agreed to by the former generation under Moses (Deut 27-28). Its name means the place of cursing, and this is well; for that generation cursed themselves by binding themselves to the Word of the Lord and then breaking covenant through disobedience. Let this be a warning to every generation who has seen their forefathers go astray, and let them not follow after them in despising the authority of every word that proceeds from the mouth of God! For even now He has lifted His Spirit from off His rebellious children and goes to and fro throughout the whole earth, seeking those whose hearts will be pure before Him. He came unto HIS OWN, but His own DID NOT receive Him! Therefore, into the highways and byways, which are according to HIS wisdom, will be shouted the call of God for those who will receive only HIM, who will serve the Lord with fear and rejoice with trembling.

“…an altar of whole stones, on which had been wielded no iron.”
The tinkerings of man’s wisdom and man’s agendas find no place in the altar of the Lord which is made of His people. The house and the city of the Lord is neither built nor served by human hands; for it is an abode from heaven, made of new creatures in Christ, born of the Spirit of the Living God. Those whose hearts remain enamored with the things of this present world remain a part of the world, and will partake of its curses accordingly. This is not a matter of God being unjustly mean-spirited; it is a matter of nature. For He is Light, and in Him is NO darkness. None! The nature of this rebellious world is such that God’s holy Name is exalted in that which no longer conforms to the pattern of this world. We are transformed by the renewing of our minds through the washing of the Word of Life, which was spoken to the fathers by the prophets, but now is revealed in His SON.

For that Word of God is the Light of men, of whom David says,

“I will thank You with my whole heart;
I will sing praise to YOU before the gods.
I will worship toward YOUR holy temple,
and give thanks to Your Name for Your mercy and for Your truth;
for You have magnified Your WORD above all Your Name.”
(Psalm 138:1-2)

For His Name will be exalted throughout all the ages in that Word which proceeded from the Father from the beginning: the One hidden from the “wisdom” of this world, the Mystery of Godliness of whom the righteous and holy partake (which is Christ in them); for they make their calling and election in Him sure unto the very end. These are they who bow to none but the King of kings and Lord of lords; whose souls have been purged of the dross of this world, that their spirit may have fellowship with His.

For this reason the scripture also says,
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 4:12-13)

It was necessary that God would reiterate His words to the new generation so that they might be held to account going forward into the land; so that the plucking out of tares might occur in righteousness without hypocrisy even before men. The tendency of those still walking after the flesh rather than the Spirit is to become puffed up in the limited revelation that they have without it bearing weight upon their actually walk going forward. There is and unspoken notion that they have seen it all or that they have arrived to something beyond all others. But those in whom HE has arrived, these walk daily under the knife of His care and discipline, holding fast in the fear of Him, which He treasures and makes into a fountain of life. A man can only rightly divide the Word of truth to the extent that he has allowed that same Word to divide him. And he must not stop at mere conviction, but even enter into being fully transformed by it; for many have a false security in merely feeling the conviction of the Lord without letting Him take His Sword to their very life, and especially to its most hidden places that every work of the devil in them might be undone.

Let every man take heed to and OBEY what is written and truly spoken of the Lord; lest the light in them become great darkness, and His Spirit be offended and driven away, and He leave them accursed, since they abide not IN HIM.

For as many promises as are of God,
IN HIM they are “yes,” and IN HIM are “Amen,”
for glory to God through us.
(2 Corinthians 1:20)

A covenant is only sustained by the reciprocation of both parties, as in any true and living relationship. As His day draws near, that which men have long looked to as the evidence of their relationship with God, outside of the Spirit’s inward witness to their obedience, will be shaken and is even now beginning to be shaken…

But seeing many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “Offspring of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
Therefore, bring forth fruits worthy of repentance.
And do not think to say within yourselves, ‘We have a father, Abraham.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones.
But already the axe is even laid at the root of the trees; therefore, any tree not bringing forth good fruit is cut down and is thrown into fire.
I indeed baptize you in water to repentance; but He who is coming after me is stronger than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you in the Holy Spirit and fire, whose fan is in His hand, and He will cleanse His floor and will gather His wheat into the barn. But He will burn up the chaff with fire that cannot be put out.”
(Matthew 3:7-12)

The true entering in to the promises of God in the newness of the Spirit requires the exiting from the old letter of the accursed land of man’s thinking. The word through human filters is not the Word. The two cannot abide together.

Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth.
I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.
I came to dissever a man from his father, and a daughter from her mother,
and a bride from her mother-in-law.
And a man’s enemies shall be those of his own house.
(Matthew 10:34)

So the Word was again delivered to God’s children, even those who had made it into the land; and there it would continue to divide the wheat from the chaff as some continued in the faith of Him and others disobeyed.

 

And he wrote there on the stones the copy of the law of Moses
which he had written in the presence of the sons of Israel.
And all Israel, and its elders, and authorities, and its judges were standing on this side, the alien as well as the homeborn, and on that of the ark, before the priests, the Levites, who bore the ark of the covenant of Jehovah, half of them in front of Mount Gerizim, and half of them in front of Mount Ebal, as Moses the servant of Jehovah had commanded at the first, that they should bless the people of Israel.
And afterward he read all the words of the law, the blessing and the curse, according to all that was written in the book of the law. There was not a word of all that Moses commanded which Joshua did not read before all the assembly of Israel, and the women, and the little ones, and the aliens that walked among them.
(Joshua 8:32-35)

 

– Brendan

God’s Law – Part 1: The Law of Light

And this is the message which we have heard from Him, and we announce to you:
GOD IS LIGHT and no darkness is in Him, none!
If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and we walk in darkness,
we lie and are not practicing the truth. 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 1:5-7)

As the Word was from the beginning, so He remains today and forever. The same law of God which was with Him from the beginning and throughout all ages until now, stands immovable still. For even before there were any ordinances written on stone because of the people’s transgressions, even then, the Lord said to Moses, “How long will you refuse to keep my commandments and my laws?” For the law and the commandment of God is most simply expressed as this: His heart.
And this we know: that in His heart is no darkness or deceit! In His heart there is no variance or shadow of turning! For the law of God was, is, and will forever be the same unchanging law of His very character and nature, even the Word Himself.

Is it not right then, that the Law of that Word should be fulfilled in His own creatures? For it is indeed that same eternal Law of the Word made flesh which shines forth HIS Light unchanging throughout all ages, He being the only “True Light, which enlightens every man…” And He, that True Light which came into the world, is not the abolishment, but rather the very fulfillment of His Law’s requirement within all and through all who are being conformed to the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person: for it has pierced them through unto death, dying to the darkness which they once had been, becoming the transparent lamps of HIS arising and shining forth.

…then God said, “Let light be!” And there was light.
And God saw the light, that it was good,
and God separated between the light and darkness.
(Genesis 1:3-4)

The desired work of God in His new creatures is one of dividing light from darkness. There is no obscurity in Him. The Light is good – the the Law is good; but until there is an actual separation of light from darkness made within the creature, it hates the Light – it cannot abide in the Law of Light! For the Light comes that the darkness might be cast away. The heart of every creature walking in darkness is “deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked;” but glory be to God, that the One who tries the hearts and reins of men in the exposure of His Light is the same One who causes the old creature to utterly pass away along with the shadows by HIS dawning in our hearts; that Truth may find His dwelling in the innermost parts of our being!

For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness,
hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God
in the face of Jesus Christ.
(2 Corinthians 4:6)

And of that deliverance from every power of darkness into His marvelous Light, they sing to Him, “You will light my lamp; Jehovah my God will make my darkness light.” For the Light of men, the “Angel of the Lord,” while leading His people out from the bondage of Egypt, divided between the two: being for the enemy a dark cloud, but for His people a light (Ex 14:19-20). To darkness, all is darkness. Whatever Light we cannot see corresponds to whatever darkness we still walk in.

David sang of his own deliverance from the enemy, describing God as having “made darkness His covering, His pavilion all around Him, darkness of waters, thick clouds of the skies. Out of the brightness before Him, His dark clouds passed through, hailstones and coals of fire.” (Ps 18) This is the Lord’s appearance to His enemies. And wherever we ourselves might walk in darkness, our own minds are as an enemy toward the searching and piercing light of God. For God separated the light from the darkness: so that the darkness can neither discern nor mix with the Light. But Christ illuminates all things for those abiding in He the Word. Therefore the Psalmist says, “IN Thy Light shall we see light.” (Ps 36:9) For Christ came as Light into the world that we may abide no longer in darkness. But for those who stubbornly remain in darkness, and darkness growing in them, to them “the day of the Lord is darkness, and not light.” (Amos 5:18)

For Daniel says of Him, “He reveals the deep and secret things; He knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with Him.” Therefore no escape is found for the rebellious, though they cover themselves in darkness, though they make the night to be as light around them, of whose exposure before God David also says, “Even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.”

Those who walk in darkness are alienated from the mindset of God by the works of evil and every foul spirit. This is threatened by the Light, and therefore they cannot abide it; so that unless the Father of lights draws them, they cannot come into its fellowship. Yet it is still His Light itself by which they are drawn, therefore it says to His children, those lights of the world in whom He already abides, “So let your light shine before men, that they may see…” For His drawing becomes sure upon all that are humbled by its piercing affliction, into whose darkness “the Light has shined… and the darkness has not overtaken it.”

With the merciful, You reveal Yourself as merciful;
with an upright man, You reveal yourself as upright;
with the pure, You reveal Yourself as pure;
and with the crooked, You appear perverse;
for You will save an afflicted people, but will bring down haughty eyes.
(Psalm 18:25-27)

The Light must be allowed do its afflicting work of opening the eyes of those in darkness, so that sin might be seen to be exceedingly sinful. And the crucible of their being drawn and separated to Him cannot be perceived by those without Light; for even the powers of darkness are not beyond His grasp to wield against their own intentions. He even causes His Light to shine out of the darkness – even from its very midst! For He is the One “forming light, and creating darkness; making peace, and creating evil.” (Isa 45:7) Therefore, the words of their repentance through His chastisement are these: “I am the man that has seen affliction by the rod of His wrath. HE has led me and caused me to walk in darkness, and not in light.” (Lam 3:1-2)

For He makes darkness His slave, and the shadows He bends to His own will. Yet we who have already walked in the light ought never to presume upon this grace, since to those straying from whatever Light they presently have, He warns, “Give glory to the Lord your God, before He cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains; and, while ye look for light, He turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness.” (Jer 13:16)

To those remaining in darkness, and darkness remaining in them, God’s Law of Light has only the ministry of condemnation. For unless a man is full of Light, the Light condems him. And just as the Law’s former revelation could not transform men by the fading glory of ordinances, but only expose them in its requirements; likewise that same Light of the Lord’s conviction regarding sin, righteousness, and judgement was the school master humbling us into the more exceedingly glorious new covenant in Christ Jesus, who is the only true fulfillment of the whole Law of God’s heart for reconciliation. For this is “the mystery having been hidden from the ages… but now revealed to His saints… Who is CHRIST IN YOU, the hope of glory.” For it has always been the very same Law, the very same Word, the very same Gospel: yes, even “that which was from the beginning;” for the substance has always been Jesus Christ! And He who was revealed TO Saul of Tarsus, that same One was revealed IN a transformed Paul (Gal 1:16). It is the revealing of this mystery which all the prophets looked forward to, and of which Peter finally said, “and we have the more established prophetic word, in which you do well to take heed, as to a lamp shining in a murky place, until day dawns and the Day-star rises in your hearts…” (2 Pet 1:19)

For the condemnation of the Law (which is of God’s Light) still remains upon all not walking IN the Light BY the Light, with whom His true children have been made one. “For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of Light” (Eph 5:8) The former revelation of God’s Law made Moses’ veiled face shine with only a fading radiance of what was upon him: the latter revelation of it now shines forth unveiled, bringing us from glory to glory by Christ’s work within us, becoming the very luminaries of HIS light shining in a dark place. “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 Cor 2:15-16)

The spiritual man has been exposed and transformed by the Light, becoming a transparent conduit through which proceeds the Light of Christ; but until they also become light in the Lord, those who are darkness cannot perceive the true Substance (Christ) of the spiritual man, Whose countenance beams forth from him.

But all things being exposed by the light are clearly revealed,
for everything having been revealed IS light.
Because of this, He says,
“Arise, sleeping ones and stand up out of the dead ones,
and Christ will shine on you.”
(Ephesians 5:13-14)

For the Light in which God dwells is unapproachable except by His own Light. Therefore, within whomever the Law of God is not being fulfilled unto righteousness, they are under the Law’s curse; and in blindly judging that Law of Light amidst their lawless deeds, they are made manifest and judged by it.

And this is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world,
and men loved the darkness more than the Light, for their works were evil.
For everyone practicing wickedness hates the Light,
and does not come to the Light, that his works may not be exposed.
(John 3:19-20)

Every man will be judged, each according to his works; yet our works are judged not by the spectacle of their appearance, but by the substance of their source. We will be judged according to our own conformity to the Light of Christ who dwells in us, not merely according to the light of those among whom we shone. It is HIS quality reflected in us by which we are measured. For every light of the Father is simply meant to show forth the pure Light of Christ – the reaction of surrounding darkness is not our responsibility so long as we are walking with singleness of eye toward HIM, by which our whole body will be full of His light. David lived hidden under the shadow of the Almighty’s wing, even dwelling in a cave away from most of his people for a season: not because he was of darkness; but rather to keep the evil one confounded while God proved the true substance of his heart in secret before his time to rule had come. And his proven character naturally exposed the wickedness of Saul’s heart, though David never reviled him, but even had mercy upon his life (1 Sam 24).

But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of
them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ,
who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord;
and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.
(2 Corinthians 4:3-5)

At times, the Light shining forth from us will provoke Light to spring forth in men; at other times, it will cause them to descend deeper into darkness. We may be a beacon of hope in the midst of darkness – we may also be a silent reckoning upon darkness and for those remaining in it. Both are the work of the Light. And there are also those who appear to have already rejected the Light beyond all turning back, whom God will first bring through the deepest darkness before they truly enter the Light; just as Solomon “kept his wisdom with him” even amidst all his revelings, who later returned and at last penned, “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.” (Ecc 12:13-14)

But even regarding this, if we are indeed light in the Lord, then we still ought to strive toward such a degree of brightness in our kingly duty as did David: which is to search out and reveal those matters that are the glory of God to conceal (Prov 25:2); and David was called a prophet of God, though he did not know it. Likewise, as we ourselves are thereby conformed to His likeness in the secret place, growing in the revelation of knowing HIM, we also will naturally fulfill what He commanded saying, “What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light. And what you hear in the ear, proclaim on the housetops.” (Mt 10:27) Yet we do not speak before mere men, and we do not proclaim to mere men; but God. The doing comes from the being wrought of HIS inner working. We ourselves must always be lain before the scrutiny of the Lord’s light, lest we begin to deceive ourselves even as the Devil did, who now masquerades as an angel of light.

The light of the body is the eye: if therefore your eye is single, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is evil, your whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
(Matthew 6:22-23)

Therefore, as lights shining in a dark place, our effectiveness is not in what we think we are doing for God, but rather in being conformed to His image; for Jesus did not say “shine your light,” but He said, “LET your light shine…” HE is that light! The precision with which HE can use us will be in proprotion to our conformity to HIS Light within our every facet. Our personal singleness of eye towards HIM determines the brightness of the Light naturally proceeding from us. The more we see Him as He is, the more we shall be like Him! Anything born of ourselves apart from Him is tainted with darkness; therefore it is written, “But the one doing the truth comes to the Light, that his works may be revealed, that they exist, having been worked in God.” (John 3:21)

Praise be to God! He has brought the blind by a way that they did not know, to lead us in paths which we could not conceive of; and made darkness into light before us, and the crooked ways straight! Therefore let us now likewise draw ourselves out to the hungry in spirit, and satisfy the afflicted soul; that our light arise from the obscurity of these times, and our own darkness turn to noonday; that we may no longer grope for the wall like the blind, nor stumble at midday as though it were night. For if we walk in the Light of the Day we may say to our accuser, “Rejoice not against me, my enemy; for though I fall, I shall arise. For if sit in darkness, the Lord is a light to me. I will bear the fury of the Lord because I have sinned against Him, until He pleads my cause and brings forth justice for me. He will bring me out to the light; I shall see His righteousness.” (Micah 7:8-9)

This is a day for His true children to walk by nothing except the Light of Christ within their hearts. For He is doing a work to bring His people into HIS fullness; but we must be purged from within of every hint of darkness. It is He dwelling fully in His people, and His people fully in Him, of which the scripture says, “And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark: but it shall be one day which shall be known to the Lord, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light.” (Zech 14:6-7)

The night is far gone, and the day has drawn near; then let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the weapons of the light. Let us walk becomingly, as in the day, not in carousings and drunkennesses, not in co-habitation and lustful acts, not in fighting and envy.
(Romans 13:12-13)

This is the fruit of the Law of Light being fulfilled in God’s children, this is the very Life which God has within Himself, and also the Son; so that all who remain in Him may have that Life in overflowing abundance, unto liberty from bondage for fulfilling the Law of God’s holy love. For His fullness unveiled is that coming Day of which He says, “the work of each will be revealed, for the Day will make it known…” (1 Cor 3:13) The result of inner darkness is outer darkness (Mt 8:12, 22:13, 25:30). But if we walk in that Day today, we may have confidence before Him.

Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying,
“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.”
(John 8:12)

– Brendan

Joshua 5: No Reproach Before Heaven

At that time Jehovah said to Joshua, “Make for yourself flint knives, and again circumcise the sons of Israel, the second time.” And Joshua made flint knives for himself, and circumcised the sons of Israel at the hill of the foreskins…
…And it happened, when all the nation had finished being circumcised, they remained in their places in the camp until they revived.
And Jehovah said to Joshua, “Today I have rolled the reproach of Egypt off of you.”
And he called the name of that place Gilgal to this day.

(Joshua 5:2-9)

The fruit of the promised land will not be partaken of by the double-minded; nor its cities conquered by an army whose trumpet makes an uncertain sound. Yet these are the hindrances which the reproach of Egypt produces.
The devil would have us still be ashamed and ever-conscious of the cities we once built for Pharaoh, convinced that his kingdom still holds the right to our bondage. 
“For you ran away like a foolish and unknowing child,” he calls, “Don’t you owe Pharaoh for all that he fed you and the shelter which he provided you? You ought to at least still live as one fearing him!”
Double-mindedness and uncertainty of heart produce compromise and cowardice.
“The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is safe.” (Prov 29:25)

But in this passage we see victory over this achieved simply by allowing God to take His knife to our hearts, cutting away the veil which He has opened so that we may joyfully walk before God in a good conscience in the light. The Lord intends that His people would be so circumcised in heart, so that being of a single-minded and sincere faith before Him, they might be able to mind the things of the Spirit rather than the things of the flesh; and therefore walk unwavering in the freedom of obeying His word unashamed. He even went so far as to say to the stubborn ones, “Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart…” (Deut 10:16)

“And he called the name of that place Gilgal to this day.”
It is only fitting that the location at which they were circumcised was the location where the twelve stones of memorial had been placed (Joshua 4); where we meditate in thanksgiving upon His wondrous works in times past, and may be spurred to the obedience of faith in the hope of His promise. When David’s brothers sought to hinder him from facing Goliath, he recalled to memory the power which God had given him through faith to overcome the lion and the bear. And the same David sang, “Through God we SHALL do valiantly: for HE it is that shall tread down our enemies.” These are not the actions or words of a man ashamed before his God, nor of one wavering in faith due to circumstances; but of one who knows and trusts in the Lord whom he confessed before all men.

Those who are circumcised in heart have nothing left to lose before man, since they count all things loss for the sake of knowing God. Those who seek to follow Him very far must allow Him to take away the reproach of Egypt which covered them so that they may with a clean conscience partake of the blessing of the land of rest, being prepared in confidence to fight the good fight of faith unto every victory. The true sacrifice which pleases the Lord is the one offered in an undefiled conscience; and the obedience that will stand in the day of judgement is that which flows from a heart beating unashamedly with the Father’s pure and holy love: jealous for HIS glory and rich in mercy. But the heart and mind clinging to the reproach of Egypt are working against faith and therefore cannot please God. The works of faith reveal the Light; but the works not proceeding from faith keep men in darkness.
Despite his personal failures, David remained a man after God’s own heart because He always returned to abide humbly before God, obtaining such a good report from Him because he lived in 
“the end of the commandment,” which is “love out of a pure heart and a good conscience, and faith not pretended.” (1Tim 1:5)

So let us humble ourselves under the double-edged sword of His word that we may be made to clearly hear the voice of our Shepherd and be filled with the heart of the Father for keeping in step with His Spirit. To so walk in the Spirit, without the reproach of the former things having to limit the depth and nearness of our communion with Him, is the cultivating of that rest in which He desires us to abide.

For having passed through the veil of His flesh by crossing the Jordan, we may now “draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, our hearts having been sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our body having been washed in pure water…” In contrast, the uncircumcised heart, trapped in minding the flesh and living in the flesh, is a heart easily given to shrinking back; like the servant who faithlessly buried his talent in the ground, failing the Master who gave him all that was required to fulfill the calling.

“But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed,
but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.”
(
Hebrews 10:39)

And the sons of Israel camped in Gilgal, and prepared the Passover on the fourteenth day of the month, at evening, in the plains of Jericho.
And they ate the old grain of the land on the morrow of the Passover, unleavened bread and roasted grain, in this same day.
And the manna ceased on the next day after they ate of the old grain of the land.
And there was no more manna to the sons of Israel,
but they ate the produce of the land of Canaan in that year.
(Joshua 5:10-12)

Here we see that the people’s own true fruitfulness in the land began at the aforementioned place of memorial and circumcision: Gilgal.
For even as the manna from heaven was good for those who had just been brought out of Egypt, so is the pure spiritual milk good for those new babes in Christ who have just been newly translated from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of His light. But those who will keep themselves in His love must seek to walk in ALL of His Truth by the Spirit; and the fruit of the Spirit is found ever-increasing those who enter His rest and 
abide therein, unashamed to partake of it. It is in this posture that they themselves become fruitful and thereby a revelation of He who dwells in their midst.

And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a Man over against him with His sword drawn in His hand: and Joshua went unto Him, and said unto Him, “Are you for us, or for our adversaries?”
And He said, “No; but as Captain of the host of the Lord have I now come.”
(Joshua 5:13-14a)

The Captain became very present to lead them in battle after their reproach was taken away; for they were now truly able to be lead by Him in unwavering faith, being of a single eye towards Him in a clear conscience. Notice how our Captain said to Joshua that He now had come to lead them on in battle.
His ability to lead them on in victory depended on their ability to render themselves HIS vessels.
As it was said to those who escaped Egypt, “the LORD will fight for you.” Those who surrender themselves as living sacrifices to His will may become the very vessels of HIS warfare. And by the continued experiences of His victory through faith, we more and more readily surrender and fully trust Him to be our rearguard and the shield around us when He commands us to war. As the children become sons, they develop a seasoned faith in the Lord as being their very strength, who can now “teach my hands to war and my fingers to fight,” with weapons of warfare that are “not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds.”

And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto Him,
“What saith my Lord unto His servant?”
And the Captain of the Lord’s host said unto Joshua,
“Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy.”
And Joshua did so.
(Joshua 5:14b-15)

“What saith my Lord unto His servant?” – The true worship of God is seen in the acknowledging of and obedience to He who is the true and only commander that can lead His people to inherit the kingdom.
“…for the place whereon thou standest is holy.” – There is no lasting victory upon the ground which God has not set apart and dedicated to Himself; and He will not devote even that ground to our conquering if we ourselves will not also be set apart to Him. Without holiness, no man will see the Lord (Heb 12:14). His kingdom shall only be taken by those spiritually violent in faith under the direction of the Captain of the host of the Lord. For the warring of a holy people is spiritual, not against flesh and blood; but a people who always war according to the flesh – seeking the worldly things and trusting in the wisdom or devices of man – are evidently a profane and a faithless people. The true kingdom consists in the power of God working mightily in those who take to it’s borders and beyond with a holy violence; and holy violence is only seen in a faith which renders its loyalty exclusively to ONE Captain. For having the reproach of Egypt taken off of them, they are being renewed in the spirit of their mind and putting on the new man, “which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”

And by so partaking of the divine nature, they become fruitful in the knowledge of Christ, whose qualities they begin and continue to show forth; which they are able now to do without reproach, since they have not forgotten that they were cleansed from their former sins. And regarding such faith which increasingly practices these qualities, the apostle Peter said, “in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you.”
For this is the holy spiritual violence of those who count all things loss for the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus:upon whose revelation they become ever more poor in spirit, knowing that except He lead them and they abide in His way, they will not taste of the greater glories of His fullness. It is for HIM that they hunger and thirst.

“Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding, he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.”
(Matthew 11:11-12)

“My hearer, have you ever been one of these violent men, or are you so now? Blessed be God if this holy violence is in your spirit: you shall take heaven by force yet; you shall take it by storm, and carry the gates of heaven by the battery of your prayers. Only persevere with importunity; still plead, still wrestle, still continue to strive, and you must at length prevail. But ah! my hearer, if thou hast never had a strong unconquerable anxiety about thy soul, thou art as yet a stranger to the things of God. Thou dost not understand that violence victorious without which the gates of heaven never can be stormed.”
– Charles H. Spurgeon


“As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?”

(Psalm 42:1-2)

 

– Brendan

A Call to Members of Christ

“The LORD is my Shepherd, I shall not want…”

There is only one flock, one Shepherd.
The ministries and gifts of the Holy Spirit to the body and it’s members are tools in the hands of GOD by which it might grow up into the fullness of He who is the Head.
We each are to be “holding fast the Head, from whom all the body is being supplied through the joints and ligaments, and being joined together, growing with the growth of God.” (Colossians 2:19)

The joints and ligaments do not dictate how the body moves, the Head does; and if a joint or ligament is not obeying it’s own instruction from the Head, the rest of the body suffers. None have true spiritual authority except in their transmitting of His Life for the good of the WHOLE body to grow up into HIM. Those who seek a following or perpetuate an organization of man draw away the sheep into a false fold of division and stunt GOD’s growth in HIS body. Today what you see in the religious landscape are multiple piles of ligaments detached from the rightful Head, and many having among them one claiming to be a sort of head themselves. But the true church is the body of the man Jesus Christ, and He will suffer no rivals, even though they suppose themselves to be serving Him.

Jesus said, “But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ. But the greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.”
(Matthew 23:8-12)

He also said, “My sheep hear MY voice, I know them, and they follow ME… and the voice of another they will not follow.” (John 10)

John penned,

“For truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ…”
“IF we walk in the light, as HE is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and blood of His Son Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin.”
(1 John 1:3, 7)

“I wrote these things to you concerning the ones leading you astray. And the anointing which you received from Him (Holy Spirit) abides in you, and you have no need that anyone teach you. But as His anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and as He taught you, abide in HIM.”
(1John 2:26-27)

If the Lord is jealous for the purity and wholeness of His bride, then no man can remain in obscurity regarding the matter of its Headship and operation.

The body cannot afford for its members to be lax concerning the need for the gifts and callings of God in the Spirit to be operative in her midst. There can be no rightly functioning spiritual body without the power and operations of the very Spirit whose presence and operation DEFINES said body.

“…for he eating and drinking unworthily eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord.”
(1 Corinthians 11:29)

The assembling together of believers is to be just that: the partaking of HIM by those who are one flesh with Him. But so long as members of Christ cater to worldly desires and the traditions of men, they will remain a broken body in atrophy. For the Lord in body was raised from the dead that we too might walk in the newness of HIS life, discerning according to HIS mind how we each ought to walk. “For as many are lead by the Spirit of God, THEY are the sons of God.” But by not allowing judgement to begin at the house of God, that which should have been the house is become a den of thieves, who climbed into the fold by a way other than the Door; that is, Christ, who delivers each one from sin and darkness. For those who have not been so much as washed by Him have no part in Him; and to those whom He has washed He has given of His Spirit that they might walk worthily of Him. In order to be kept from being overcome by disease, the body must know the difference between that which belongs to it and that which does not. For “If any man has not the Spirit of Christ, He is none of His.”

“For this reason many among you are weak and feeble, and many sleep. For if we discerned ourselves, we would not be judged. But being so judged, we are corrected by the Lord, that we not be condemned with the world.”
(1 Corinthians 11:30-32)

There were two altars upon Mount Carmel:
One was built by the priests of Baal, and they poured their life-blood into it, great belief, effort, and sincerity.
The other, which Elijah had to repair because God’s people had abandoned it, was made of undressed stones. This means that they were not shaped by the tools of men, but by the processes of the Wind and Water which God had ordained for each of them. And Elijah baptized this altar in water; and when the fire of God fell upon it, it consumed not only the stones and the water, but the prophets of Baal were also executed on that day

So it will be when the fire of God falls upon the altar which HE is preparing with stones unmarked by the tinkering of men and their agendas. If you do not belong to that altar, you will perish with your god, Baal.
There is a true bride and there is a false bride: there is the Lord’s holy city, His bride New Jerusalem, who is begotten of heaven; and there is Babylon, mother of harlots, who is begotten of this earth and so perpetuates it’s abominations.

And of that great whore the Lord says,
“My people, come out of her, that you may not share in her sins, and that you may not receive of her plagues; because her sins joined together, even up to Heaven, and God remembered her unjust deeds.”
(Revelation 18)

The Lord is my Shepherd: I need no other. I need only listen to and obey His voice; and the voice of another I shall not follow. Those who submit to His headship have no need that a mere man teach them; but they all as living stones are being built a spiritual house, a royal priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through HE who does not dwell in temples made with hands, but rather in each of His children by the Holy Spirit, who yearns jealously to have the Father’s will done in them.

The body is to be only HIS assembly; and He will not be in charge of all of us until all of us allow Him to be the only One in charge of each of us.

– 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