Sunday, September 29, 2013

Eternal Unity

As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven:  “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” Mark 1:10,11
Since Genesis there has never been a greater revelation or expression of the unity we have been brought into than the scene in Matthew 3:16, 17. Here God is acknowledging the Son. Jesus is fulfilling all righteousness by being baptized by John. The Holy Spirit is sealing and anointing our Lord for the work He was sent to do and finish. You and I are partakers of that supernatural unity and are told in Ephesians 4:3 “Make every effort to keep the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace.”  Now because of this exhortation we must ask ourselves, as ministers, who is really building the church of our Lord Jesus Christ, God or man?  Peter confessed in the book of Matthew that Jesus is the Christ but read what Jesus asked him. Matthew 16:13-15 reads, “When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, ‘Who do people say the Son of Man is?’ They replied, ‘Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ ‘But what about you?’ he asked, ‘Who do you say I am?’”  Notice how the Lord targets the disciples’ knowledge by asking who they perceived Him to be. Considering the times we are living in, it would serve us well to meditate on His question. In Matthew 16:17-18  Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”  Jesus replied, ‘Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.’” Let’s put emphasis on the vital word “I”. 
There is much evidence today that ministries are neglecting the person of the Holy Spirit in teachings and preaching. This is a great error, because the moment you neglect the Holy Spirit who is the only one who knows the mind of God, you will only bring forth man centered teachings. I Corinthians 2:11 confirms this, “.....In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.”  Is Christ building the church or are we? Ministry is not an obligation nor is it a profession; ministry is the spirit of Christ working through us.  Ministry is Jesus Christ building His church.  He is the energy and the power behind the work. Take heed to this warning: the minute you put a price on ministry whether it be money, a pat on the back, or acknowledgement from the platform you have committed a great error. I tell you the truth; this is a carnal idea and it will reap carnal results.
There are several truths/absolutes that I have learned in the thirty years the Lord has kept us in this ministry. The moment you enter into the Body of Christ you enter into the greatest purpose, plan and design that you and I or even the heavenly host could imagine.  This is not a small thing that we have been privileged to be brought into.  This is the divine thought of God unfolding.  Genesis one gives us an absolute that God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are all united.  Unity in the Spirit is a divine revelation that can never change.  Our Lord is given titles to describe His person; The Beginning and the End, The Alpha and Omega; The First and the Last.  The title The Beginning and the End means everything originated and exists by Him and all ends with Him.  The Holy Spirit is also described by titles. Hebrews 9:14 mentions Him as The Eternal Spirit. The Holy Spirit has been energizing, empowering and giving creativity to God’s Word since the beginning of creation (Genesis 1:1, 2). Praise God we have been included in this unity.
 Another absolute is the greatness of the call of God that we have received in Christ Jesus. All ministries under the anointing of the Holy Spirit should have the objective to teach and help the Body of Christ understand the nature and the greatness of our call by God in Christ Jesus. Ministry is the Father’s idea; His thought unfolding.    Unless you continue to grow in grace and knowledge you’ll not understand the conflict with the opposition that will try to stop the work of God’s call in your life.  What does this conflict mean and why has God allowed it? Without conflict you will never know the discipline and victory of God's call on your life. I’m sad to say I have seen many of God’s children whose lives never change.  We have an obligation and a responsibility first to Christ and then to one another to grow in Him.  He paid an awesome price to redeem us so we could pursue what Paul declared in Philippians 3:10, “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection ....."

Notice how He makes it very clear to the disciples that His coming and putting on flesh and blood was not the end, only a means to an end. Christ highly valued His return in the Spirit; the Spirit of Christ.

Notice how He makes it very clear to the disciples that His coming and putting on flesh and blood was not the end, only a means to an end. Christ highly valued His return in the Spirit; the Spirit of Christ.

It is obvious that the church is not ready to confront some of the biggest battles that lie ahead for us.  Where will the power to overcome battles come from? The Holy Spirit is the source of power, He is everything.  It was troubling to the disciples when Jesus Christ said in John 16:7 (KJ) “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.” Notice how He makes it very clear to the disciples that His coming and putting on flesh and blood was not the end, only a means to an end.  He came with a greater purpose to send the Holy Spirit after His own work of redemption was finished.  The disciples’ minds were shattered as Jesus tells them, “It is expedient that I go away.”  Their hopes had come to an end, but Our Lord referred to the Holy Spirit as the Comforter who would be comforting them.  Christ highly valued His return in the Spirit; the Spirit of Christ. Meditate on the absolute that the Eternal Spirit is within us; the same spirit that is in God the Father and in God the Son.  The moment we have received Christ, we have been cleansed by the blood of the Lamb and our hearts have been prepared for the precious Holy Spirit to enter our lives and begin the process of transforming us.  We now have a new nature.  We are a new creation set in Christ Jesus with all the resources provided by the Spirit.  This is so important for the Body of Christ to understand.   However, it is sad to say we have neglected this glorious, divine Person of the Trinity and set Him aside in much of the ministry today.   Today there is so much confusion, apathy, doubt, unbelief, weakness and limitation in the church.   This is so contrary to what Jesus spoke in Acts 1: 8, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you WILL BE my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” However in spite of all the ruin we see, nothing has come by surprise to God. In His sovereign wisdom, He has made provision for all of it and His ultimate purpose will be fulfilled at the appointed time.
Years ago the Holy Spirit had me reread and take note of Matthew 3:17 where John baptizes Jesus, “And a voice from heaven said, This is my Son, whom I love; with whom I am well pleased”.  This is an absolute, it will never change. If God who created the heavens and the earth and upholds all things by the word of His power is satisfied (well pleased) with Christ, shouldn’t we be satisfied with him? As members of the Body of Christ, we have a responsibility for fresh revelation of this tremendous absolute.  
We have come to a point in time where attitude has changed greatly concerning Christ Jesus. Attitudes can change but absolutes do not!  We become complacent and easily distracted and overcome by our own reason and ideas. God’s plan continues in spite of every diversion, distraction, and weakness; He made provision for it.  He spoke it into existence and He will bring it to pass. Man centered teachings say God is waiting on us but let me tell you what, His plan is right on time!    It is time to know the Holy Spirit has been committed to see God’s plan completed.   God is in control no matter where we are in the world.  The Holy Spirit is committed to maintaining us in the absolute sovereignty of God.  We must ask the Holy Spirit to illuminate our hearts and bring revelation to our spirits so our minds can be renewed.  We must be able to see circumstances the way God sees them, not by the opinions of man or controlled by the spirit of the world. We know that our God, our Father is in control. Everything is running its course. Understand these profound statements, Galatians 4:4 “But when the time had fully come.” and in Ephesians 1:10 "When the times will have reached their fulfillment." NIV   God created times, seasons, the sun, the days, and minutes to fulfill His purpose.  God is awesome! 
The Holy Spirit is preparing us and cleansing us by His word; this is all part of the process of building His church. The Holy Spirit is jealous for us and is working in us to will and to do of His good pleasure.  We are here to please God.  We were created for the pleasure of His glory, nothing less.  When we come into Christ Jesus we come into eternity and He’s bringing us into the fullness of Christ. The Holy Spirit will finish His job.  It is written in John 16:12-14, “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you.”  Selah!!  The spirit who knows the deep things that are in the heart of God, will bring forth and reveal it to His children.  Consider well church what the Holy Spirit is saying to us today.  Discern well what you are listening to.  May the Spirit of Truth be that power that aids you in making correct decisions; be sure of your salvation.  Question any teaching outside of the foundation of scripture.  Be alert in your spirit and heart.  Guard your heart.  Let no contradiction take root.  We were created by Him and for Him!! Colossians 1:16