mikehill4jesus “So where do I find this Body of Christ?”
28th July 2016 (14.11) My .mp3 Thought for Today Audio
How do we find the Body of Christ?
All Disciples of Jesus are hated – so look for that first
First, you have to learn that there are very few true Disciples of the Lord Jesus. The reason for this is that they are so hated and unsupported not many Lost Souls want to become one. The cost is too high! I have known my Lord for 68 years and been a Disciple for 39 of them. The result is that I have little or no Family, Worldly or Christian support.
The Lord Jesus said in, John 15:18 ‘If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. 20 Remember what I told you: “A servant is not greater than his master.” [John 13:16] If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 21 They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Whoever hates me hates my Father as well. 24 If I had not done among them the works no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. As it is, they have seen, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. 25 But this is to fulfil what is written in their Law: “They hated me without reason.” [Psalms 35:19; 69:4]
Yes, there is Christianity!
But much of it is false with people calling themselves “Christian” when they are not true “Disciples” (spiritually converted students of the Lord Jesus) who are in the Body of Christ.
What is a Christian?
To my mind, the term “Christian” can be misleading. In all my years, 72, I have not met a Christian who has described to me their relationship with the Lord Jesus and his Father as described by the Lord in John 14:23. And I have been trying very hard to let them do just that.
When I first started to read about my Lord Jesus in the Gospels of the Holy Bible I was startled to see written in its pages that he had so many enemies from among those people who were supposed to be His Father’s Leaders. I noticed that it had been the same in the Old Testament, where the Prophets opponents were often Jewish leaders. Then when the Apostles started their ministry after Pentecost, the same thing happened again, many who were supposed to be leaders in the church of Christ were actually bitter enemies of those personally chosen by Jesus to build it up in the faith. In a very short time, all sorts of heresies and schisms broke out and Christians were persecuted from place to place. The glory had soon gone from the organised church because of false doctrine, lukewarmness and worldliness. Spiritual leadership was replaced my human organisation.
Today it is just the same and I can truthfully testify to you that those who are and have been my most ardent enemies have been Christian Church Leaders. To this date, 28/07/2016, I have no loving support (friendship) from UK Christians; not one. I am strongly of the opinion that Christians are actually against the Lord Jesus Christ! If they were not, then surely, they would be helping me witness for the Lord Jesus?
So there it is
People claiming to be “Christians” but acting against the will of the Lord Jesus, and with no spoken or written testimony of Christ Jesus knowing them.
John 14:23. Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me”
John 14:23-24, is the key to this question of who is a Christian. True followers love and obey Jesus, false followers do not. The term, Christian, does not come into it at all as it is just a religious title. “True Followers” are a people who are different in their character than the unsaved that they want to see saved. A people who love Jesus; who do not wilfully carry on sinning; who show evidence of the Holy Spirit’s power in their life; a people who do not brazenly go against the Holy Spirit as he seeks to do good. False Followers are enemies of the Lord Jesus, and of his true ministers in the “Body of Christ”!
But you can join the Body of Christ without knowing anybody who is in it – It’s Your Choice
In the Holy Bible, the Lord Jesus Christ speaks of two gates that everyone has to make a decision over which one to go through. One gate is Narrow and the other is Wide. Each of these gates leads onto a road that represents your life here on earth and likewise they are the same as their entrance gate.
Matthew 7:13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
Do you want to go to heaven when you die? Then quite clearly, God has offered you his only Son in order that you can make thoughtful choice in this matter. He does not offer you a neutral path. You will have to make a choice, if not the narrow then the wide. You will have to bear fruit in your life, if not good fruit, then bad fruit.
Here is what the Lord Jesus teaches in the area of who is and who isn’t in the Body of Christ:
Matthew 12:30 “He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters.
Luke 11:23 “He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me, scatters.
Mark 9:40 for whoever is not against us is for us.
Luke 16:13 “No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”
Luke 9:62 Jesus replied, “No one who puts his hand to the plough and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”
Matthew 4:10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'”
John 12:26 Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honour the one who serves me.
Mark 16:20 Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.
Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
Psalm 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise.
Life or Death
If you choose to enter through the narrow gate, you will find real and abundant life. Your life will have that inextinguishable and indestructible quality that is self-existent in God and shared with those human beings he created. Us! For we are not animals. It is God’s gift to man animating him both physically and spiritually and making him an eternal being; “the absolute fullness of life…which belongs to God.”
Danger, False Christian Teachers who are NOT in the Body of Christ
Be on your guard for many false teachers are about. Not only is the correct gate that leads to eternal life hard to find there are also people who are dedicated to tricking you into entering the wrong gate that leads to destruction. Danger! Beware, Jesus says, of false prophets who will be out to deceive you onto the road to destruction. Religionists who preach dogma, a religious belief or opinion held to be absolute truth; a point of view or alleged authoritative tenet put forth as dogma without adequate grounds. They pray for revival, a supernatural visitation from God which awakens hearts and produces joyful obedience, while at the same time rejecting the truth that Jesus and his Father are already here in Christ’s disciples. Avoid them, for they are dangerously stupid!
Matthew 7:15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognise them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognise them.
Law Breakers are NOT in the Body of Christ
These false teachers are living in deliberate defiance of the moral law for personal gain, without regard to the pain or suffering brought to others by it. Law is a rule established by authority. The letter of the law is dealing with the outward keeping of the law. The letter of the law is the literal meaning without regard to the motive or principles behind the law. Moral law is a universal unchanging rule proceeding from divine intelligence. To which moral beings ought to conform. That will protect the basic rights of all and bring happiness to all. A rule for action with certain resultant consequences for obedience or disobedience. A moral law without sanctions is not a law, but advice. The law is a fence to show not only ownership, but also protection.
Corrupters of Others are NOT in the Body of Christ
You will see their selfish greed that makes them not only content to perish in their own corruption, but are not content unless they are corrupting others as well. Get Smart! You will know them! As your relationship with these prophets develop you will come to a fuller, clearer, and more thorough knowledge of their fruit. It will be either good or bad! You will see they are inexorable, unyielding, inflexible and relentless. Not to be persuaded or moved by entreaty or prayer. They are licentious hostile or offensive to accepted standards of conduct; marked by the absence of legal or moral restraints. Indeed, I have found that the toughest mission field in the entire world is that place where unsaved people call Jesus, Lord. They are truly children of the devil, of whom I have met many.
When Christian Tradition disqualifies a Christian from membership of the Body of Christ
Matthew 15:1 Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked, 2 ‘Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don’t wash their hands before they eat!’
3 Jesus replied, ‘And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? 4 For God said, “Honour your father and mother” [Exodus 20:12; Deut. 5:16] and “Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.” [Exodus 21:17; Lev. 20:9] 5 But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is “devoted to God,” 6 they are not to “honour their father or mother” with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. 7 You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:
‘“These people honour me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
They worship me in vain;
their teachings are merely human rules.” [Isaiah 29:13]’
Here they are talking about that which defiles. But it can be opened up to any Christian Tradition that nullifies the word of God.
Charles Finney taught about this. (American spelling)
The government which God exercises over the universe of mind, is a moral government, it is not of course, administered by direct physical agency; compelling mind to act, in the same manner, in which the physical laws of the material universe operate in the world of matter. Motives are the grand instruments of moving mind.
God’s moral government is made up of considerations, and inducements, designed, and calculated to influence the minds of intelligent creatures, to pursue that course of conduct, which will in the highest manner, promote the glory of God, their own interest, and the happiness of the universe. It lays down a definite, and perfect rule of feeling and of action. Its precept marks, with the clear light of sun beams, the exact course of duty. Its sanctions hold out on the one hand, all the blessedness of everlasting life; and on the other, denounces against offenders, all the pains of everlasting death. Thus holding before the sinner’s feet, the clear lamp of truth, and in its awful penalty, gathering around him on every hand, over his head, and beneath his feet, all the moving considerations that heaven, and earth and hell can present, to hold his mind in an exact course of obedience. The law of God was clearly revealed to the Jews, but its power was often broken, its influence over mind paralyzed and destroyed, by a variety of oral traditions, which were handed down from one generation to another; which were held as of equal authority with the written law. They were often the corrupt glosses of the Jewish doctors, and not unfrequently mere evasions of the spirit, and meaning of the written law. We have an instance of this, in the verses connected with the text.
The Jewish doctors had a tradition, that it was unlawful to eat without first washing their hands. To this tradition, Christ’s disciples paid no regard. But as these traditions were held in great veneration by the multitude, the Scribes and Pharisees, made the disciples’ disregard of them the occasion of reproaching Christ, and demanded of him “why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the Elders?” Christ rebuked them by answering, “why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? for God commanded, saying, honor thy father and mother, and he that curseth father or mother, let him die the death; but ye say, whosoever shall say to his father or mother, it is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me, and honoreth not his father and mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.” The commandment to honor the father and mother, included the duty of providing for them, in case they were in necessitous circumstances; but the tradition of the Elders evaded this requirement, and taught, that if the child would give his property to God, or dedicated it to religious purposes, and made no provision for his aged parents he was blameless. Thus, by this evasion, nullifying the requirement, and absolutely setting aside the commandment of God.
It has always been the policy of Satan, since the world began, to break the power of moral government over mind; to introduce confusion, rebellion, and damnation, into the universe of God.
IF YOU CAN’T FIND THE BODY OF CHRIST, WELL, I AM HERE TO HELP YOU.
I know in my heart that many Professing Christians will not submit to the will and teaching of the Holy Spirit. But with His strength and guidance, I will do all that God has called me to do in order to save obstinate members of the Body of Christ and help those outside of the Body. For that is what the Holy Spirit wants me to do at pain of my own punishment should I refuse to do it. I have been struggling to do it for 39 years and to my joy and utter relief, the Spirit is still with me.
The Encouragement of Rev. Ken & Jean Newton once of Wholeness Ministries International in Southport, Australia.