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For the Serious Community Seeker to Consider
The TRUE Bride of Christ
In His church, that is, Christ's church,(The TRUE "Bride of Christ") no one lacks, no one goes hungry- while another is stuffed, no one has two coats while another has none, (that would not be love), no one lives in a mansion while another brother lives in a shed, one does not have an air conditioner while another lacks a heater, (and your neighbor is any one in need). One would not have a luxury vehicle while another drives a broken down dangerous wreak- one does not consume a lavish vacation while another toils excess hours in order to make ends meet! NO that's not love!
The Lord said, "that's where you're robbing me- by covetousness!"
"Wherefore" you say, "Did we do this?" and He will say,
"I was hungry" (and you were eating in fine restaurants)
"I was naked" (and you were buying fashionable clothes).
"I was in prison" (and you were on your boat)...
"DEPART FROM ME!"
Because one who loves always sacrifices for others, and esteems the other more than himself- love denies self for others. The true disciples of Jesus do not work that they may have to consume it upon themselves- they work that they may give to others. If anyone says that he loves God and doesn't love others, he's simply a liar- (the Spirit of God is not in him). (See I John or James)
Do not be deceived, regardless of what he says, if he doesn't love others- he's lost, not born again of the Holy Spirit- on his way to hell- in other words, such a one does not actually possess faith for he is proving/demonstrating by his life that he does not really believe in the Lord or His word (Good-by rich American, you've forsaken the cross! (Sorry, but- These are the "Hard words").
The true church of Christ is as well as being totally surrendered in love for the Lord and therefore love for others, is a separate entity from the world. This church is not part of Sodom and Gomorrah any longer, she has washed and separated herself from the filthiness of the world, in the name of Jesus and by His Spirit. It doesn't look or act anything like the unregenerated groups of this world. She's recognizable as a body set apart as holy, sanctified unto her husband, Christ Jesus- and is conformed unto His image- not the world and it's father the devil.
They live modestly, (not showy as the world). They live simply, (not entangled in the affairs and extravagances of the world) they live together in peaceful unity, (not as the world in selfish competitive enterprises building independent kingdoms to their own gratifications) instead, they sacrifice in love for all others- both for their brethren and for the lost, (not hoarding to themselves)
They share all that they have without fear, not considering their own selves, their simple homes are both shelters for their families and any extra room is open to any in need, their lands, crops, tools, clothes, and basic possessions are for whoever has a need. They are just not at all like the world or the mentality thereof- they've been transformed! God's people truly love and care for one another and desire even that the whole world would be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth- THAT IS THEIR GOAL!
The world's perspective is this world, but for God's people it is the kingdom of God, where Jesus is Lord of all. In a church community their clothes are modest giving no occasion to the flesh, only fulfilling the purpose of covering and protecting their bodies and nothing put on to be seen or accepted by man. Their food is simple and basic to the strengthening of their bodies for the service of the Lord, with no expenses for the pleasing of their fleshly appetites. What is the bottom line? How far would the Lord have us go? AS FAR AS LOVE DEMANDS
Is it really love for me to spend money for a fleshly indulgence if I can instead help someone who needs a basic necessity or the message of the gospel? What can I say? Is not this the cost of true discipleship, even self-denial to the death, even as Christ loved us and gave Himself for us? The true Christian's physical concerns do not go beyond their basic necessities, for everything above their basic provisions is for the cause of love- which ultimately is- spreading the gospel to all creatures, and the supplying of their physical needs- not wants but needs.The church in love, the church I desire to be part of, and could believe is the true visible body of Christ on earth, would be a family of people, set apart from the world by God, living as a unit in love with one another every day, living and working for the the salvation and needs of all men- demonstrated by simple, modest, self-sacrificing , self-denying lives.
To the human eye these church families would look like quiet villages of plain living people, with simple homes and primitive trades. They raise their food, plow their fields, and work and worship together, sharing all things equally and trustingly. Within this community everything above their basic needs, (time, efforts, and resources) is offered and sacrificed in love for the salvation and needs of others. Within this church are always a few extra houses for visitors, homeless, or newcomers, and some of the families have an extra room for same. This family community has gatherings and common dinners several times a week to which any and all are welcome- including family's individual Bible reading and prayer daily.
Individual family life is important, although everyone works and interacts closely and all are accountable one to another. There is a peace pervading this community and frequent singing can be heard. All homes and meals are open all of the time for any one to join with and share whatever they have, and all are encouraged to do so. No one is turned away, and everyday brethren from this community go into the hi-ways, into the cities, towns and country, sharing the good news of salvation; going by twos or even in large groups, sharing the love of Jesus and bidding all to come. (To come to Jesus and to also come out from this world system, and be truly part of a family of God.
Not only are these communities of God's people safe havens and alternatives from the corruptions of this modern world, (and where covetousness is clearly on the list of serious sins), but these servants of God go all over, and use other means besides their own lighthouse communities to call out God's sheep wherever they may be. They even rent buildings to be used as "fishing nets"- in the form of shelters, soup kitchens, halfway houses; they visit prisons, schools, hospitals- anywhere there can be a hand of love extended and the message of salvation given.
The disciples in Christ's church are known by their love, even the real church that has laid down their lives for others on the alter of sacrifice- they are the true followers of Jesus Christ and will be endowed and confirmed with the power of the Holy Spirit.
To these Christians the "Sermon the Mount" is not obsolete but contrariwise it is the heart and soul of their lifestyles. "You can not serve both God and money", "Do not worry about tomorrow...be merciful...love your enemies, do good to them", We are the salt of the earth IF we live what Jesus thought us. This message is not for some "Future Kingdom age", or just for those disciples then. Yet there are some pastors that teach that there is no way that we can live by the "Sermon on the Mount" today. We warn them, as Jesus did: "Why do you call me Lord and do not what I say?" "Everyone of you who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on a rock, but everyone who ignores these words is a foolish man"...(and when the storm came- which surely is beginning) "his house fell- and great was the destruction thereof"). Matthew 7:24
Letter to Christians
Dear Brother or Sister in the Lord,
We need to give the more earnest heed to the those things which we have heard, because it seems that we have either already let these truths slip, or never really believed or received the impact of them, nor have we responded accordingly.
Remember that: Jesus Christ is the only shining star, even the sun of all humanity, the only answer, the only one with power over all the laws of nature, even death, and obviously the only Messiah. Therefore, we have no other person, place or belief to go to, than to simply accept the full package, of all that He (Jesus) taught- whether we like it, or we fully understand, or if some of it even seems unjust (to our finite minds- give Him the "benefit of any doubt").
This includes our innate separation from Him, our need for salvation, His propitiation, and heaven- as well as hell, for those who will not believe and receive His message. We need to swallow this complete pill of the gospel faith and live it out without doubt, wavering, or compromise. He also said to take no thought for tomorrow, what you should eat or drink, (the needs of the flesh), but to simply trust Him with all of your heart and mind, (realizing that our fleshly minds are not capable of comprehending these things for they are spiritually discerned, and because Christ's message does not conform to the logic of man's limited and carnal mind, and therefore, the answer to life can only be found through faith in the only possible answer- JESUS.
All must be committed to Him, laid down on the alter of trust, and allowing Him to direct all our paths. This is His commandment that we believe on Him and thereby love one another, not to be redundant, but I can not stress this too much- LOVE is what the gospel of Christ is all about! Therefore, reckoning ourselves to be dead indeed to sin, (and all its fleshly temporal desires), Quit ye like men, forget your childish dreams for things of this life, and instead, press on in full confidence believing in Christ's glorious kingdom to come, and unreservedly enlist to be crucified with Christ in the battle for the souls of men. Turn your eyes from the vanity and blindness of all mankind and the world about you, for they are blindly groping in a fog, swept along by the current of this age, most Christians without a full surrender to either side. Its time to take our stand in full commitment to all Christ taught, to step out in faith on the waves of life, with these truths held close to our hearts, and begin plowing forward for the kingdom of God, without looking back for fear or regret, even if it looks like a wilderness- be strong, for the Lord our God is with us, and to the faithful and believing the promised land is never far off!
We spend too much time trying to figure things out rather than just launching ahead in faith and full assurance of all that Christ has said. He, Jesus, said that those who would not believe in him, (Accept His message as truth, and the reason and explanation of all existence), and come to His cross for salvation and redemption- Would spend eternity in hell. We do not have to understand the concept or reason of a soul burning in hell forever, Christ said it, and beings that we have no other truth, answer or Messiah to go to, (except for the unsubstantiated foolish theories of man, dumb idols, or some yoga spinning around with their heads and beliefs in a trance, we need to commit ourselves, as believers, fully to the awesome profound seriousness of what an eternity in hell for a soul represents- and our responsibility to that by fulfilling the second half of the "Great Commandment" which is to love others, putting feet in the physical world to what we claim to believe in our hearts.
In other words, its time to get serious about our faith and stop running in vain cycles like the worldlings do. Where have you been going Christian? Have you been running in vain cycles? Day after day, week after week, year after year, trying to survive and make it in this world, but meanwhile doing nothing for the Lord while your life slips away? That tomorrow may never come, stop counting on it and start pressing on for the kingdom today, forget those worldly concerns and let the dead bury their dead, you need to begin progressing with visible results for the Lord- crowns being laid up daily and increasing ministry and fruit, increased service for your Master, growing in grace and knowledge of Him, before you suddenly find out that you've run out of tomorrows.
Are your goals only Physical? Things pertaining to this present passing world? work, vacations, materialism, comfortable retirements? Is your life for the Lord useless and choked out by the cares of this life? (Just another life only fit to be gathered with the tares and burned- never having yielded any eternal fruit)? are you even making a significant investment in your children that they might at least bear fruit as a crown of rejoicing for you in that great day of out Lord- or will they just follow in your vain footsteps.
As I look out about at the "Laodician" Christians in conventional churches it seems for the most part to be actually pretentious forms of Godly living lacking in any genuine fruit, people only mouthing religion, but lives with no serious motivation to move ahead progressively everyday. (Though this condition is largely the result of a satanically mesmerized church with no vision in the leadership either to be passed on to the people). They have no more vision than the blind world does, carried away in mundane strivings, one pay check to the next, going in debt for things they don't need, just living for that illusive carrot of worldly success and hoped for, but never attained, satisfaction for their flesh- Sunday Christians.
Each day should instead be a day to pray over each morning, that you might serve your Lord better, lay up a crown, and move forward to a higher calling in Him, higher ground spiritually, to make at least one more step ahead towards a closer walk with the Lord, greater intunement with His Spirit, and helping towards God's people living more effectively for Him, SEEING SOME SOUL SAVED because of labor...and then after each day, looking for something done, that at least in some small way has forwarded the church of God, and demonstrated more love for others...and further, that tomorrow, by God's grace, that we might do better than before.
If almost all that you do is take thought and put effort for things of this life, and that is likewise all you produce and instill in your children, accomplishing things for this temporal existence, (which all will be soon dissolved), THAN WHAT LITTLE YOU HAVE DONE OF ETERNAL VALUE.
Each day instead, prostrate yourself before God, crying out that you might, by His grace, be of real service to Him, seeking and desiring that opportunity to do something of eternal value. Don't be content to just live in VAIN CYCLES, barely progressing, even in the physical, and with NOTHING to show for your Lord.
AGAIN, I WARN YOU, STOP COUNTING ON TOMORROW!
START LIVING JESUS NOW! (www.livingjesusnow.com)
There's much to be done, the fields have never been so ripe unto harvest, and it doesn't matter if it's winter, this is a battle! Don't expect it to be easy- you'll have to trust the Lord one moment to the next seeking His guidance one step at a time- but step out and get started. Brethren, we need to lift our eyes from the grinding stone wheels of this life, lift our eyes from mere survival in this world unto the mission of the kingdom of God- and begin pursuing those things which when this short life is past, we have what's been done for Christ- which lasts. There's a soul out there right now that's waiting to hear the gospel of eternal life from you! There's a hungry soul waiting for you to bring them some food, there's a breaking home you can help mend, there's a lonely old man and a sick old lady, there's a man in jail sorry for his sins, but with no one to cry with- While you labor for what? Another laugh, another pair of shiny shoes, another video, a bigger barn- another dinner out?
Brother, our values are out of order, misplaced, and bottom line- SIN!
My hearts desire and prayer for this modern church is that she be extricated from this world and immersed in the Spirit Jesus Christ. "Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace".
Don't listen to the spiritual cosmetologists who can only cover and patch-up your wounds, and try to put you back in the race one more time, only to be defeated again by sin. The only thing that will save you now is major spiritual surgery- RADICAL REFORMATION REQUIRED!
You may fool others with your pasted on smile, but you know in your heart that you are not "Living Jesus". The world is neither impressed or persuaded that you are really any different than they are- except that you "say "you are a Christian and try to prove it by a few surface appearances. What do you think they are- stupid? They know you don't sacrifice to show love for others... that you only give,effectively, token gestures out of your abundance- why even the "household of faith", your very brethren are in need- why even the Federal government puts the "Christians" to shame, and the Red Cross, as far as helping others- and this "love" is supposed to be our great commission!
They don't care to see your Sunday parade, they have pretty clothes, cars, and nice buildings- so who are you trying to impress? The Jones's in the pew next? (I wonder if there will be pews in hell)?
ITS TIME TO GET SERIOUS ABOUT OUR FAITH NOW!
True Christian Community Living
It was a beautiful spring morning when I arrived in town with a wagonload of fresh produce and baked goods. I was just setting a bucket of water down for my horse when someone came up behind me, and rather startled me with an enthusiastic- “David, is that you?” I stood up turning towards the man as he continued, “It is you! But I hardly recognized you with that beard and plain looking clothes… I’d heard that you’d probably be here today, how have you been and what are you doing?” “Robert!” I responded, “It’s been several years…” and we started the usual conversation as to what had been going on in our lives since we had seen each other last. However, shortly into it, Robert, (a “good Christian”), wanted to know about what church I was attending, (we had met at a traditional church about five years earlier), and he caught me off guard, (as his manner is), with a string of connected questions in rapid succession- “Where have you been going to church? do they meet Wednesday and three times Sunday?, who’s your pastor?, and tell me about the programs- do they have a big choir and a great band?…how many usually attend?” He couldn’t understand, I guess, why for a moment I just stood there with a blank look on my face, and I guess that was reasonable, for it was a normal enough list of questions that I could have easily answered when I was going to my old church- but to answer them now was almost a challenge. “Well, Robert, I will try to answer your questions, but one at a time, and I can not assure you of the accuracy”. (He was looking at me puzzled, as I continued), “We had better sit down for a while”, (as I finished tending the first customer),
“Let’s see…I think the first question you asked me was- where? I was going to church- do you mind if I answer that for just last week?” He nodded in agreement, though still looking quite confused. “The first place we had church last week, best I can remember, .oh yes, it was in the corn field-…then, I think we met right here in this parking lot, and we had church a few times in the supermarket, at least four times on street corners,” (Robert was scratching his head significantly)… “two times at the nursing home, several times at the homes of strangers, once at the prison, about ten times at different brother’s homes, let’s see…and three times at McDonalds,” Robert interrupted- “You’re pastor must be exhausted!” “No,” I responded, “It’s a blessing, and not difficult at all, the brothers take turns preaching…we have about a dozen with that gift, and sisters sometimes share testimonies or…”
“A dozen preachers!” he exclaimed, “Why- your church must be huge! How many people go to your church?” “I guess you’re not following me, Robert- we don’t go to a church, we are the church, and whenever we come together as a body, there’s about twenty or so families here locally, plus singles and seekers and…” “I’m still confused, where’s your church at?” “If you mean where is our building? then I guess we don’t have a “church” however, if by “church” you mean a family of people that love the Lord, I belong to the greatest one I’ve ever been part of, and we live in a small community not far from here”. “What time do you meet?” asked Robert, “We meet whenever the Lord arranges it. Sometimes it starts when some of us are just standing around talking, or even working together, or someone might be singing and others just join in, and we start gathering together, a brother may feel led to share an exhortation or whatever, someone might have a prayer need- we try not to regulate or tell the Spirit of God when or what He should do…it’s spontaneous as we desire and seek to remain “in-tune” with what GOD wants and is doing.” “ In fact, some of our most powerful meetings were completely impromptu and in public places, like when, as often occurs, some of us were just praying or witnessing with a few people, and before we knew it, the Lord caused a group of people to come together out of no where- it seemed like, and the Spirit of God just fell on everyone within a radius of the Gospel! It was amazing seeing souls convicted and saved like it must have been at the time of Pentecost!”
You see, Robert, that whenever we are brought together, even if it’s only a few of us, we are always aware and open to the fact that that GOD is at the helm- Jesus is present, and those that are the children of God are led by the Spirit of God- at all times, and especially the church in assembly should be no exception to that- but rather a powerful demonstration of it.” “I still don’t understand- how can you people plan your work schedules, recreation and social lives with these sporadic meetings interrupting things all the time?- or you must have terrible phone bills coordinating all this?” “Robert, for the most part we don’t even have phones, or generally don’t wear watches for that matter, for the Lord is very good at weaving all His work together smoothly and even miraculously when we’re walking with him and in harmony with His Spirit- it’s all part of the flow, so to speak. We, our church, is not into making schedules, programs, future commitments, and so forth- how can we?, or why should we, predict one moment to the next what He might have us doing- or where He might have us to be? You see we don’t have a number of different lives like home, work, school, or worlds we’re trying to coordinate, we are a family all the time, and we’re all always really working on the same project- the kingdom of God, and the Holy Spirit is the director.
The fruits of the Spirit, and being intune with Him, is the essence of Spiritual Christian living, therefore by the members of local assemblies fellowshipping , working physically- “LIVING JESUS”, within a few minutes walk or a holler across the field from one another, the communications and efficiency for serving the Lord is enhanced greatly. One of our primary goals is to be open and available for the Lord to lead us whenever or wherever He chooses, for His glory and for the cause of the Gospel- which really boils down to loving others- especially their souls. Even our individual families and homes are mini-churches, and we are together almost all the time. You see, Robert, a church to us, is not a place where you meet each week, follow some procedure, listen to what someone has probably been paid to say, and afterwards go back to what you were doing till the next Sunday, (and then “play” church again)- and live like the world in the meantime.”
“I’m disappointed”, said Robert, “When I heard you were living in the area I was hoping you might want to join my church- we have an incredible building and a sound system that you wouldn’t believe, accompanied with a humongous video screen!…and you should have seen the performance we had the other night- some of the best acting I’ve ever seen- and even by our own pastor!”
“I’m, sure he’s good at it, but Robert, once you’ve had anointed preaching and genuine Spirit filled worship, sharing and living, it’s hard to settle for anything less. No offense, but the church I want to be part of is a family connected everyday, concerned for one another intimately all the time- bearing one another's burdens, working, learning, sharing, serving and simply- participating together in a life centered around love for Jesus and each other, and especially the lost. Personally, I’m done with spectatorship Christianity and going to catered affairs several times a week put on by “professionals”. Instead I now enjoy going to “covered-dish” suppers where we can all open up and share whatever the Lord may want to bring through someone. After all, if we truly love the brethren, then why would we want to be apart from one another most of the time with everyone doing their own thing mostly for their own personal benefit? Why don’t you come visit us anytime Sundays are especially good because we usually spend the whole day in fellowship and breaking bread either at the dining hall or house to house?
“I don’t know, David…, it sounds too radical to me- anyway. I just got a promotion- you know-“Big bucks!”
“Robert, it’s all a trade-off, but to trade this life, (which you know is going to end), for eternity, (which you know has no end), is an awfully disproportional risk! Besides- which life is even the better of the two- chasing selfishly after the things of this life with the world, or living in harmony with brothers and sisters in a natural environment, while serving the Lord and walking in His Spirit daily? I would much rather be part of an intimate, supportive and loving family, together as much as possible and serving the Lord as a full time team. The way I see it, if we are not “Living Jesus”, all the time, if the mind of Christ is not absorbing us moment by moment, filling us with His presence, cognizant of His Spirit, speaking to one another, even with psalms, and hymns, making melody in our hearts unto the Lord, praying without ceasing, while the fruits of the Spirit are flowing from our lives, empowered to reach out in love for others, than- WE’RE MISSING THE RELATIONSHIP GOD DESIRES WITH HIS CHILDREN.”
“Excuse me David, but you’re getting a bit carried away with this whole Jesus thing, why- YOU”RE MAKING IT YOUR ENTIRE LIFE!…Anyway…uh, I have a plane to catch soon- may be I’ll see you again?”
“Nice to see you too, Robert”, I said, as he turned and briskly walked to his car, and I went back to sorting some apples. However, I wasn’t busy long before someone I recognized came up- one of the local pastors.
"Good morning David...busy about the Lord's work as usual?"
"Well, I try to remain intune- how about you Pastor?
"Yea, making my rounds- say, I've wanted to ask one of you a question- your'all so big on this "community" living idea- where do you get that from scripture?"
"That's a fair question, brother, and if you'll bare with me a little I'll try to explain. Granted, that it seems that over the course of history that believers for the most part have not lived in separate communities, therefore I can not say that it is impossible to live a Godly life while interwoven in their secular society- but, doesn't there come a time, (usually just prior to God's judgment falling) when even if you are as righteous as brother Lot was- that you had better pull back some (Before you end up getting destroyed with it)?..you know, like- "Even the elect would almost be deceived". or "Scarcely are the righteous saved"... however, brother- if you're not that effected? -and your really empowered?- Is it that way with even you... the Pastor?"
"Well, yea, for the most..." (Cutoff)
"Honestly reverend- is it working? Are you, and your people, and the quote "church" as a whole for the most part proving they can live victoriously the way it is? Brother, face the truth about the results of the way we've been living so integrated in this culture, and...what do you suppose the "Mind of God" is pertaining to the current state of the salt? What was His mind when Israel was so involved with the ungodly?- and here's the bottom line about the way we have it, again- DOES IT WORK?, What is the fruit of it, look at my life before God granted me repentance and some radical reformation in my life-why I recently heard that the divorce rate amongst "Christians" is the same or higher than with the unbelievers! and you're going to tell me its working?
And I won't go there with some of these conservatives who would just write off such Christian people as being weak, carnal, or (simply lost), I'M inclined differently- and think the problems much deeper and widespread than that. I think that many, if not most, of these are truly brothers and sisters who really do love the Lord in their hearts, but have been blinded by the spirit of this age- and no offense intended, reverend, but I feel the main reason for this is largely the result of a bunch of hireling "Pastors" and preachers that are unfortunately under the same spirit of delusion"
"David!" , Pastor Smith interrupted, "Now you've gone too far!" You should remember that I am a respected member of this community- and you evidently couldn't care less about the danger of insulting me!? Good-by." (Indignantly)
"Please- wait! I do care! Very much" David called after him, "I love you pastor, but you're going to be held accountable as to how your flock ends up! Just think about it- don't you realize that we've been living essentially like the world, as far as our priorities regarding spiritual things- those things of eternal consequence?"
(The pastor slowed down his pace, as David caught up to him) "Pastor- I just think that there's a lot more to our Christian faith than what we've been living- just listen a moment, would you? Please? (As the Pastor stopped walking) "Pastor" (David continued), "Don't you think that a big part of the problem might be that there is some kind of obstruction keeping us from really receiving all the blessings, (spiritual) and the "abundant life" we've been promised?, have you considered this passage- could this be a clue to even the root of the current condition of the church as a whole?"
"NO man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; (so) that he may please Him who hath chosen him to be a soldier" (II Timothy 2:4) and how about the "Great Commission"? There's no getting around that, in that we are to be all soldiers of the cross, surely Ephesians six makes that clear that we are all involved in a warfare- but instead, our lives and lifestyles are little different than that of the blind worldlings around us..."
(As they both sat down on a bench, David continued)
"Pastor, that brings me back to your first question, about us living in community- Have you ever been away for a week, IM sure you have, to a conference, church camp or whatever- like a full time revival for a few days? And do you remember what it was like in an environment where all around you were people all excited, spiritually alive people, and when you left there you were just "Flying in the Lord", so to speak? Your flesh couldn't touch you, witnessing was just spontaneous and just seemed to flow right into every conversation, when the Word of God was so alive and vibrant to you- and your prayer life- I mean, your time in prayer was fun! Refreshing, revelationary, why new truths were so exciting you that even if in the middle of the night, you could almost not keep yourself from calling or running down the street to share it with someone?"
"Well, admittedly, not lately,David" (Pastor Smith responded, and David continued):
Answer me this, Pastor, How can I, or why should we be content, with anything less? And how can I sit under other than anointed preaching- once I've heard it? Or how can I enjoy eating dry crackers when there's available hot juicy steak and fresh wine- so to speak? Brother, I tell you its difficult, I just have a hard time settling into spiritual indifferency, and once a week spectatorship- spiritual pump-up endeavors. I think, no, strike that, I AM SURE (now) God has more for us, and I think that a community of God's people, unshackled from the bondages of legalism, unnecessary commitments, traditions, and worldly values, and all the general entanglements of this culture has a lot more spiritual vitality and viability.
And just one more point Pastor and I'll stop preaching to you- I think that the use of our resources, especially financially, when we live in the world system are highly wasteful...the interest, insurances, things and equipment we're compelled to buy, homes and vehicles we feel we have to have, all these things become a snare and destroy our lives and effectiveness for the Lord."
"Well, you are kind of making a case, little brother"
( Pastor responded patronizingly, as David finished)
"and Pastor, these expenditures are just plain poor stewardship, - even our church buildings are generally far more than is necessary, and I could go on elaborating on the eccomic differences and advantages of living modestly and sharing in community- which is all just a matter of simple math."
"Are you quite done now David?" (Pastor interjected, twisting uncomfortably on the bench and preparing to stand up)
"Just one more point Pastor...don't you think these matters are crucial- even critical matters effecting the eternal destiny of souls? I mean, my intent is not to upset you, or anyone else for that matter, or to be a judge of hearts, but our bank statements are not a matter of judgment- their a matter of fact indictment of the condition of our faith and priorities... and Pastor- I'm just trying to be obedient to my Lord, and what kind of love would I be showing you if I didn't try to tell you what I believe is true, and to remind one another about our responsibilities to almighty God- after all-is it not true that "The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom"... sounds like a good place to start- not?
(As the pastor simply walked away and David looked on after him)
I have really quite had it with all their "teachings" and songs, it's like when the children of Israel were bringing me their sacrifices and burnt offerings, but had no heart for what I was really looking for from them- a broken and contrite spirit.
Enough! with all their studies, and they can keep their praises too, leave their gift at the alter until their hearts are right, until they are first loving their brothers whom they can see. God desires mercy and truth from the heart and not to leave the other undone, for the whole law is accomplished in a broken humility, the heart of a servant in love with His master and one another.
Leave your pretty houses, fine clothes, sweet music and worship in outward appearances, and crawl into the streets, considering your own selves, that were it not for the grace of God alone, you would have likewise been consumed. Go to the homeless, the druggies and the prostitutes, go to the starving children and breaking homes, the discouraged, the widows, those in prisons, those enslaved in sin-
You don't need a bigger church, you need a bigger heart for the lost and dying, that's where you're robbing me by your covetousness. "Wherefore", you say, "Did we do this?" and I will say, "Depart from me, for I was hungry- and you were eating in fine restaurants, I was naked- and you were buying designer clothes, I was in prison and you were on your boat, I was destitute and you were dancing on carpeted floors, even offering praises that you I was receiving from you, but you were not worthy to offer them".
Oh children of God, let's face the real issues, true religion, let's get in touch with the heart of God, let's get a grasp of when our lives are worth while to Him, let's let the love we claim to have for Him be seen on the bottom line of manifestation- that of servitude, sacrifice and self-denial for others, a genuine sweet smelling sacrifice- with that He will not be displeased nor refuse our praises.
Then, when the wine of true love is streaming from our broken hearts and bodies, we can enter His gates in jubilant song and in right relationship with our Lord, and He will receive us with a "Well done" and a smile, into the joy and warmth of His glory.
"If ye then be risen with Christ, (Truly born again- transformed!) seek those things which are above, (of eternal value) Col. 3:1
A Call to Action!
Put on that helmet of salvation, lift that shield of faith and take your stand with your sword of the Spirit in hand and begin wielding it against this vicious enemy! We do not have to be destroyed like this, Our king has given us all we need to be victorious- all we have to do is realize it and avail ourselves of it! Your daughters do not have do not have to be on birth control or pregnant out of wedlock, your sons and daughters do not have to be given to drugs, perversions, lusts or in jail. You and your children do not have to be suffering from stress and broken homes, drunkenness, crime and hatred- this is not the Lord's will, nor plan or fault that we are being defeated. The weapons of the enemy's world of Hollywood, materialism, secularism and modernism do not have to be exploding within our camps, destroying our lives and effectiveness for Christ.
(There will be a remnant that comes through this battle, that has their garments washed in the blood of the Lamb and be clothed in white raiment- a remnant will overcome!)
What kind of soil are you? Will you just lie there and die? Or will you take hold of eternal life and live? Quit ye like men! Choose ye this day, He sets before you life and death. It will not be easy in your weakened condition to receive the adrenaline of His Spirit and stand up and fight as a man to the very end. But unfortunately this decision is the most crucial of your life, for your eternity, and possibly the eternity of your loved ones is at stake. Don't let them go to hell, you've got to hear this call, you have to muster the strength, to struggle to your feet and make a final stand- to expend yourself 100% to destroy this enemy once and for all- SOLDIERS OF CHRIST ARISE!
...Now the general himself kneels beside your wounded and dying body, He is pleading with you, bandaging your wounds, wiping your brow, pressing on your heart and breathing into you the breath of life- But will you respond? Will you have the will to receive His power and fight to the end? Will you awaken out of your coma? Will you do your part in this and demand your body to obey His orders? He loves you and is trying to drag you out of a burning building, saying, "Brother, come on, you can make it, at least try for your helpless babies and children, they are depending on you!
You do have a choice and a part in this, and the battle for the souls of men is not over yet- in fact, the battle is just about to reach its zenith, and the war will soon be over. There is about to be a great assault of God's people against the enemy, and a great calling out of His people during this great falling away, But you will have to fight to be one of those who survive what is coming upon the earth, and unless those days were shortened even the elect wouldn't be saved. Are you a soldier of the cross? If you can hear our captain calling you- awaken now! Don't let yourself fall back into unconsciousness, for you may never awaken again. Rise up now and put your hand fully to the plow for the balance of your life.
Wake up Christian! Strengthen your loins, dress for the conflict and give yourself fully to it- for the battle, the victory and the glory will be to those who overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the testimony of Jesus.Eph 6:10-18 Luke 21:34-36
The Lord's army is in need of a transfusion of revival Spirit, including another real "Apostle's feet breaking" again of His people- loving one another again as when their hearts were broken at Pentecost, only then will we see the power and promise of His Holy Spirit in full measure. The harvest fields are ripe and we need to pray that God will bring this revival of His Spirit, that there might be laborers brought forth- even many full time soldiers and prophets to go out and stir up His army- to rouse His troops to action- for the enemy is upon us and surely at hand, that we might turn God's people away from the covetousness that Egypt's idolatry has taught them, (and the goods which their covetous practices have gained them) and to put all on the alter of sacrifice. You don't need a bigger house, another car, two sets of clothes, or food for tomorrow- what you need is a full time, active, Spirit filled relationship with God- and let Him take care of the other details, ("Seek ye first the kingdom of God"), serve Him with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, loving others more than yourself, Let go of your junk, throw off the bondages of Egypt and this life, and be free to serve Him in a life of faith, one day at a time-
"GO YE INTO ALL THE WORLD AND PREACH THE GOSPEL"!
Why are you hearing this? Could it be the Spirit of God WARNING YOU to flee what is about to come upon the earth, and not to be partakers of her fornications? Will you then bring forth fruit showing your repentance? Don't say amongst yourselves "We have our preachers, and we have our churches" for I say unto you that God is able to raise up preachers from amongst those you esteem least- and that your preachers are for the most part wells without water, entangled and even overcome by the pollutions of the world, and behold now the ax is again laid to the root of all evil, and any who will not believe this- sell their goods and part them to every man as he has need, and will not bring forth this good fruit, will be hewn down and cast into the fire!
Hewn down, lose whatever light they may have had and be sucked into the "Mother of Harlots", even this late religious world system- the great Babylon of the end of this age.
You should ask: "What shall we do?" (Or just shun this truth and be prepared to run away faster than the "Rich young ruler" into your psudo-church caves until you cry out for the rocks to fall on you- in an effort to hide from the wrath of the Lamb- because you would not repent).
But if you will repent, I will answer: "If you have two coats, give to him who has none, and let that premise be the scalpel of spiritual surgery, even to the circumcision of your heart- in every area of your life- all of your time, efforts and resources laid down in love for others.
"After all these things do the gentiles seek"- but you who have been transformed, seek first the kingdom of God, He will take care of your physical needs. Oh ye of little faith- Where is your focus and priority? Even your true love? God or mammon? Are you entangled in the affairs of this life so much that in truth you are effectively put out of the battle for the souls of men, and likewise prevented from laboring for true riches? Have you not yet learned that the Father knows how to feed the birds and clothe the flowers, can't you trust Him to take care of you? Will not His army have their needs supplied.
Money is no problem for God, (especially after "His people" have been accumulating by covetousness for years). Our captain is calling His people to clean the idols out of their houses, to liquidate their unnecessary possessions and follow Him, quit with their worldly holey fishing nets and become fishers of men, following Jesus. We are not imagining things- the world has changed essentially overnight and is rapidly chain-reacting towards the grand-finale of all things- it's time to awake out of sleep, cast off the works of vanity and unrightousness and get into the harvest fields for the souls of men.
Now God is choosing a few good men to be like the apostles again- men who can be trusted, full of the Spirit as Stephen was (Acts 6) NOT men that buy this worlds goods while others perish, but men who having food and raiment will be content as the needs of the saints and others are being met...Christians who are willing to separate themselves from this present evil world and change their diet from ungodliness to holiness.
Your life is a one-shot deal- there is no second chance! Our mission and purpose will never be repeated in eternity, so you are- everyday you have left investing in heaven by what you accomplish here on earth; for the Spiritual and physical needs of others in Christ's behalf and by your love for Him (II Cor. 5:20)
DO YOU AGREE?
Our priorities are wrong, our lifestyles, concerns and values are too much like the world's, we want to go about this warfare but we're too entangled with the affairs of this life. HOW DO WE GET OUT OF IT? How do we get from here to there? What about our families, our homes, our jobs, how do we survive, how do we remain responsible and still move on to this higher ground- this place of richer Spiritual life, and greater service for Lord? Where is this beautiful Church of Christ?
WHAT SHALL WE DO TO BE SAVED? How did the early church answer these questions?
First, there is no getting around a fundamental principal which has been around since the curse put on man in the Garden of Eden, and that is the responsibility to work and provide for our own,(eg:II Thes.3:6-15) and to have to give to those in need as well. So this is a constant aspect of the Christian's life, however, we need not, either, be consumed by or under a legalistic or judgmental bondage pertaining to this, as we are under grace and led by the spirit, and our priority of labor is always the spiritual things, (Unseen) especially the souls of men- so don't be sidetracked from the ultimate purpose and focus of our lives so as to assessing things according to worldly standards, anxiety or fears- for the Lord provides,
but We must be careful to always do our part, whenever and however He leads- Christ didn't word (Physically/manually) probably for at least three years, and the Apostle Paul had a "right" not to work, while he was involved in spiritual concerns, however, he felt it was a good example to do so. Don't value monetary things as the world does- God will take care of that as long as you're open, yielded to and following His Spirit- that is what's critical (even if you get off track, for that matter).
You must be willing to set your fishing net aside and follow Jesus. Trust Him fully, He knows what's best for you, thought it won't usually be easy, at least in this life, remember: "Our Lord knows the way through the wilderness, all we have to do is follow".
The FIRST thing you need to do is to take some time off to SEEK THE LORD. Pray about everything that you have. Pray about the job you are doing, ask God if that's what He wants you to continue to do, for the time being anyway, then SELL everything that you do not need to live and serve Him., and be prepared to give, or possibly receive depending on your circumstances.
Unload all the bondages and trinkets of this Egypt, have a yard sale, an auction, run ads, however, or just give it away and burn any carnal junk which might contribute to someone else's ungodliness. Possibly sell your house, if it can not be used efficiently for the Lord, or if there's debt involved- we should not be in debt to man for anything, but to love them, the borrower is servant to the lender. If you can get by with a cheaper car, than do so. Don't have two coats of anything if your brother has none.
Also, begin seeking fellowship with plain living, like minded believers, who are likewise separating themselves from the unrightousness and ungodliness of this present evil world. Once your life is stripped down to necessities, and your debts are all paid, (and the church may be able to help you with that), you can begin asking:where to from here?
If you are not immediately joining an existing church community, you will need somewhere to live until your church, (or the one which you are starting) has found some acreage on which to establish a settlement, like a pioneering village, an encampment of God's people. You may share the house you may currently have or another until you find where the Lord would have your church as a base of operation, however, once you have been able to purchase some land, you can go about moving on to it as soon as possible, and developing a simple, independent lifestyle from the world system and influences- but NEVER take your eyes off the goal, which is to cover your basics and get to the battle for the souls of men, even all the while, whenever, doing all you can to win the lost, and share the good news of salvation, never passing up an opportunity to minister or be ministered unto.
"FEAR NOT LITTLE FLOCK FOR IT IS THE FATHER'S GOOD PLEASURE TO GIVE YOU THE KINGDOM"
The night is far spent the day is at hand, prepare ye the way of the Lord, let His bride come forth from the world, and wash herself from the filthiness of her flesh, and be in unity for which our Lord prayed, truly in love with one another- self-denying, self-sacrificing, sold out in love for the souls of others. Now is the time to bring forth such fruits indicating repentance.
Turn away from this present evil world and surrender all for the cause of the battle: don't look back- press on for the kingdom- that the world may see and believe, that Jesus is the Christ. This will not happen for you if your heart is still desiring Sodom or Egypt. "Quit ye like men and lay hold on eternal life" Choose ye this day to serve the Lord fully, regardless of the cost, for the balance of your life and even your life itself.
There is so much more Christians could be doing if they would stop living like Egypt! The needs spiritually and physically are so great here and abroad, and one of the primary results of sacrificial, simple community living is the cream of resources which surfaces for the Lord's work both financially and in the number of available laborers for the harvest.
During the Vietnam war, and even more recently in this Persian Gulf crisis, many Americans were frustrated, and almost angry, that the United States, with all its power and resources, didn't just- go in there and get the job done once and for all! But evidently, because of "Political reasons" the US was restrained from really unleashing their full power against the enemy. Well, I feel kind of like some of those Americans did regarding the way Christians are fighting their enemy- We have more than sufficient power and resources to put out enemy on the run, but we're instead held back- by what?
Brother and sister, what are your "political reasons", just POOR EXCUSES, nothing more than enemy distractions and entanglements that are keeping you from getting the job done, and I think our Lord is angry too! And if He was to walk into our lifestyles right now, that He would do some powerful "Temple clearing"! And possibly that's just what He's about to do! I pray so, for it's the only thing that's going to save us from pending disaster.
Brethren, can't you hear those babies crying? Don't you believe that the heartache, hunger and hatred is real? And that it is going on all around you and within your reach and responsibility? As you instead of responding, hoard the light of the gospel, and squander the Lord's blessings on comfortable living.
Church, tear out those stained glass windows and padded pews! Get rid of that million dollar pipe organ, and half million dollar gymnasium, you built to entertain the kids, (or convert it to a shelter)- or sell your foolishness to those that don't know any better.
Brother, I don't want to sit and watch your videos- I want to stand on the corner and witness with you, I don't want to bath in your Jacuzzi with you, I want to cry out to God with you in a prayer closet. And I don't want to ride in your fine air-conditioned car to resort seeking lusts, I'd rather walk a dusty road in the wilderness seeking the lost- I'd rather be a doorkeeper in the house of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.
I think some modern churches have pretentious overseas missionary works because they feel it produces good public image locally (for "promotional reasons") especially when I see them sending someone to darkest Africa, but won't send workers to a domestic urban ghetto (however, I will admit that I am not sure which is the more dangerous, but fear should not be a factor to the Christian, who trusts solely in God and has already considered their life crucified with Christ).Lost people by the thousands are lost people by the thousands, whether at home or abroad, and just because sin takes on different forms in different places, and different kinds of satanic oppressions, does not change the equality of their desperation and need for salvation- or our responsibility to "all creatures".
To try to ignore the home mission field, or the lost in developed countries with an excuse like- "Well, they're within the sound of the gospel" doesn't cut it, all man is equally under the mandate to "Seek and ye shall find the truth", the only differences are the walls Satan uses, and therefore God's method regardless of where, is one-on-one evangelism, here and abroad, loving all. And desiring that none perish- anywhere.
The bottom line is that none of our missionaries should have to beg or struggle while supposed "Godly" people live in luxury or unnecessary comforts and indulgences. Missionary work is what real Christians are all about, which also includes "Jerusalem and Judea" meaning all these desperate situations all around us here at home as well.
Further, we need to use wisdom as far as what modern advances can be utilized without ensnaring us. All things are lawful for us, but not all things are good for us. We must not become obligated or defendant upon the world's things, or a slave to them- especially as the times of persecution intensify, Christians must be in a position where they can survive without anything modernization provides. Which is also why total self-sufficiency should be one of the sub-goals of the community as well.
Some of man's developments in medicine, transportation and communication may be used advantageously, but with wisdom, moderation, wise stewardship and caution for the time being, and likewise as far as employment, products and services, that brethren are involved with as well. Just be sure that none of those things contribute towards vanity or frivolity. We are engaged in a warfare that requires utmost conscientiousness.
Here are some other reasons why I feel that community living has more advantages over the "way we have it" in this battle. Christian communities provide an overall more consistent and healthier environment, especially for the children, and there is much more constructive things for them to be involved with. Also, there are the benefits of more intimate and improved accountability, fellowship, communications, organization, support and encouragement, plus more efficient stewardship, more available full-time workers, non-competitiveness, better physical health, and a brighter light as a separated Godly people, who have an alternative for themselves and for converts from the destructive satanic influences of this age.
To summarize the advantages of community living consider these 5 "E"s
1. E evangelical emphasis and priority
2 E economical advantages of living simply and sharing, allowing more resources for evangelism
3 E efficiency of working, communicating and pooling recourses as a unit
4 E encouragement for one another by edification and mutual support
5 E environment, an environment separated from the world system, closer to God and nature.
"If you would be perfect- go and sell what you have and give it to the poor" Jesus, Matthew 19:21...
Don't be "choked out by the deceitfulness of riches and the cares of this life" trees not bearing fruit, to be "hewn down and cast into the fire". (Jesus)
Brethren, now that we know these things, let us fully submit to His Spirit within us, if we are truly sons, in order that He might cleanse us from all filthiness of the flesh and Spirit, and perfect His holiness in us, as we appreciate and reverence what he has done and is doing in us. Let the time past in our lives suffice us when we wrought all manner of fleshly deeds for which we are now ashamed, and now forgetting those things which are behind, press on for that high calling.
John Henry wrote: Greetings Jonathan:
"I have a suggestion that you might want to add to that information" (on your site) "You may want to put a link to the web site for "Concentration Camps America". or at least some information about the web site. It is all part of the whole picture of upcoming events. A very important part of the "National ID act" is that it now gives any law enforcement officer the right to: at any time ask (Demand) you! to show your National ID card- and even a Forest Ranger has the right to detain you and put you into custody until -you prove- to them you are not a terrorist. ("The Military Commissions Act) Keep in mind that while you are being held that under the terrorist act you loose all your rights as a American citizen to legal council.
The next part of the information is: where are people who cannot produce a card going to be held? In those camps.
People need to know this!
Jonathan, on your web site you have a small notice regarding information if someone is interested in living in community. I need to be in a community..."
Christians in America will be needing places of refuge in the near future.
The Ten Commandments of Christian Community Living
1. Due to the intensity of the warfare in this age, Christians should (ideally) live and raise their children within separate communities from the world, (which has become the later Sodom and Gomorrah), only going into this "world", or its market places, keenly aware of their primary purpose as missionaries and soldiers of the cross.
II Cor. 6:14-18
2. All "worldly" influences and involvements are to be avoided, resisted and/or abstained from altogether
I John 2:15-17
3. A community should be as self-sufficient as possible- independent from the world, its products,systems and influences.
4. All of God's people should evidence nonconformity to the world, being transformed that they might recognize God's good, acceptable, and perfect will, and especially in such things as modesty.
Romans 12:2, I Tim.2:9/10
5. That all should share all their resources equally, no one considering anything which he possesses as his own, and not one person living above or below the other, but all working together as a family for the common good, even the kingdom of God.
Acts 2:41-47, 4:31-35
6. All of the brethren are to be mutually respected for their gifts and opinions, and for man to have authority over the woman.
Eph.5, Phil. 2:3, I Cor. 11
7. The church service should always be open to a word of testimony, a word of wisdom, an exhortation, or an individually selected hymn. The worship service should take its example from the new testament: "For you can all prophesy in turn".
I Cor. 14: 26-35
8. Generously, openly, and trustingly being "Given to hospitality" towards all brethren, friends, and strangers.
9. Avoiding "Judging another man's servant" (each man being responsible to Jesus Christ), in any areas of "doubtful" issues, let each be persuaded in their own mind in what they allow -however being careful, not to cause a "stumbling block" for another.
Romans 14 .
10 Having our homes in order , and being content with the practical provisions of simple food and plain raiment, (basic shelter)... FOCUS ALL PRIORITY ON THE BATTLE FOR SOULS (Evangelism!)
(Their eternal destinies and their physical needs)- in other words-
I Timothy 6:8 Mark 16:15
Part 1 "The Need for Community" Part 2
We are currently seeking new members, setting aside funds, (Though personal resources are Not a prerequisite) and seeking land for our first community. Please review the convictions expressed on this site, and if you are in essential agreement and you feel the Lord may be leading you to join a community of this nature, please contact us.
A New Christian Community
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Serious Chinese House Churches
Might Jesus return in 2011?
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