Forsaking the Assembling
Forsaking the Assembling together: Hebrews 10:24. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25. not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
Is "exhorting one another" happening in the corporate church? It is one of my deepest convictions by what I've observed and learned from Scripture that denominational division are amongst those that have "forsaken the assembling" of stirring up love and good works. The children of God have a deep need for the fellowship of others that are partaking of the suffering of Christ and need the exhortation and encouragement of others that are experiencing the same trials and persecutions. A pastor held high by his credentials cannot accomplish what others that are going through similar trials can do for each other. Those that are going through these experiences are the ones with the clout that can encourage others that are facing similar situations. Corporate church services squelches this from happening. Similar to TV. God has placed a need in the flesh of man to seek and experience positive accomplishments. Many TV shows will produce a need and then we team up with the story and the end, the hero comes through and has the victory. Because we get so caught up in the story, we all experience the victory and never left our seating, other than to get some snacks. We go away filling fulfilled but the truth is, our life is none the better and that is a false sense of accomplishments. The corporate church fulfills a similar need and the true body of Christ does not grow, reaching out for the needs of others.
Also, consider this: In business, is it reasonable, when one of God's children is defending the gospel, to assume that the world is going to flood him with business? Considering that the world will hate those following the Way in Christ. So where is the church for those businessmen that are daily defending the gospel of Christ? The children of God that are in business will tell you that the corporate church has forsaken them, for the corporate Christians have given their business to the world, forsaking the assembling and needs of the true church. If you love your fellow brethren, then give them your business and they will treat you as to the Lord, if they're truly in Christ.
Ephesians 6:7. with good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men,
The truth is, the true church of Christ are made up of those that are dependent upon each other and the Lord. Lucifer, made the decision that he wanted to be like God, not replacing God but to be independent from God. In the flesh, we are all independent from God. Same way today with many of the members of the corporate church. Most of them are very content that their lives being independent from others. They go to church to satisfy their need for worship. They are given a message that is their option if it is applicable to them independently. The church of their choice will fulfill their desire for most everything they get from church is for them. This is independent corporate Christian living. The true church of Christ is about giving. Each member of the body was given a gift and it is to be ministered to others for their benefit. Consider: 1 Peter 4:10. As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11. If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. It is one of my deepest convictions that the corporate church has "forsaken the assembling" of those that have the gifts of God that are to be ministered to one another, through Christ. This may be one of the reasons that we do not see the gifts and promises that were promised to the church, within the corporate church. We either 24/7 Gather or Scatter
1 John 2:18. Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. 19. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us. 20. But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things. 21. I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth.
We can see between verse 19 and verse 20 the difference between that spirit of self, which resists the anointing of Christ, which is of that spirit of anti-Christ vs. the focus being directed on the anointing from the Holy One which is found in the indwelling Holy Spirit of God. We can see that those that resisted the fellowship of those in Christ wanted themselves to be made manifest. Also take note to the word "they" showing that that spirit of anti-Christ spread while "they" were still within that fellowship of the anointed ones.
Matthew 12:30. "He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.
3 John 1:9. I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to have the preeminence among them, does not receive us. 10. Therefore, if I come, I will call to mind his deeds which he does, prating against us with malicious words. And not content with that, he himself does not receive the brethren, and forbids those who wish to, putting them out of the church. 11. Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God. 12. Demetrius has a good testimony from all, and from the truth itself. And we also bear witness, and you know that our testimony is true. 13. I had many things to write, but I do not wish to write to you with pen and ink; 14. but I hope to see you shortly, and we shall speak face to face. Peace to you. Our friends greet you. Greet the friends by name.
1 Corinthians 1:11. For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe's household, that there are contentions among you. 12. Now I say this, that each of you says, "I am of Paul,'' or "I am of Apollos,'' or "I am of Cephas,'' or "I am of Christ.'' 13. Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?
In the verse above, we see the preeminence of man being manifested, very similar to the behavior of Diotrephes. Whenever the church comes together, when there is one that wants to have the preeminence, the manifesting of self, then their focus is no longer on the anointing of Christ. This is anti-Christ! When man tries to take over the leadership of the church, requiring credentials, then the focus is on the accomplishments of man rather than the indwelling anointing of Christ. When self is being manifested, then the anointing of Christ is squelched and what is visible, is that spirit of anti-Christ. These will always be found, resisting the fellowship within those seeking and manifesting the anointing of Christ. Now here's another big problem. When man take over the "adding to the church" by bringing in non-believers, thinking they can save them in the fellowship, then that opens the door to this anti-Christ behavior. Anytime when that spirit of anti-Christ is being manifested, there is discord amongst the brethren for within that fellowship, self is being manifested rather than the vision of seeking Christ's anointing. That is why it is so important that the leadership or rather those that are willing to be servants within the body of Christ are appointed by their testimony in Christ rather than the credentials of man. Elders of the faith in Christ, might consider reviewing the biblical testimonial requirements of those that oversee the flock. Whenever there is discord within the church, the body of Christ, the overseers need to look for what is being made manifest. Many times it will be an issue of "self" and the overseers need to have the courage to expose this to the church, otherwise they will continue scattering as "they" did in 1 John 2:19. We must always fall back on the words of Jesus in our own lives. Are we gathering for the Lord or is our testimony contributing to the scattering. Anytime regardless if it is an individual or a body of discord, seeking to go off by themselves, seeking to bring others to join in with them, they are scattering the flock of Christ. Jesus is the true Shepherd of only one flock. In man's resistance to that Shepherd's anointing, they will break up that flock and seek the preeminence, drawing men after themselves. When those in Christ, those that chose to be led by the true Shepherd, as they follow Him and in that process, others will fall in too, because they will desire the behavior of those following the true Shepherd, and within this, they are gatherers rather than scattering the flock. Each of us need to examine our own testimony, are we gathering or scattering? There is no in-between. The indwelling presence of Christ will help each one find the truth within this self examination.
2 Corinthians 13:5. Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Prove yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ (Jesus' anointing) is in you? unless indeed you are disqualified.
1 John 2:27. But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him. 28. And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming. 29. If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him.
Loving your Lord God: Mark 12:30. `And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.' This is the first commandment. 31. "And the second, like it, is this: `You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these.''
Luke 6:27. "But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28. "bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.
How does anyone find a sincere love for the Lord? I believe that many have silently asked themselves this question within their own hearts to no prevail. I believe there are erroneous doctrinal teachings and traditions that keep people from finding and experiencing a sincere love for the Lord. I think one way to approach this question is to ask, how did we find love for the ones we love the most? The answer is, we must first get connected in their lives and get involved. We have to develop a relationship before we can sincerely say we have found love. Within a relationship, we get to know that person. And somewhere along that adventure we finalize that decision of love. But for love to grow, there has to be a relationship. Let's focus on the depth of what Jesus was saying about loving our enemies. Can we just make that decision without having a relationship with them? I don't see how. It does start with the decision but we need to understand how love is developed and strengthened through our relationships. When we consider and understand this, we begin to realize what Jesus was really saying when He said for us to love our enemies. He was also saying to get involved in that person's life so that love can be experienced by that individual. Let take a look how God "first" loved us. In James 4:4 we can see that until we come to our Lord God in repentance, that we are still at enmity with God.
James 4:4. Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
1 John 4:19. We love Him because He first loved us. 20. If someone says, "I love God,'' and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?
So God dealt with the enmity of man by first loving him and blessing him that came at a great sacrifice for God by His giving His own Son as a propitiation for the sins of the world. In other words God loved us first and He made great sacrifices to gain our love. So when Jesus says to love our enemies, first of all that is a commandment, commanding us that if we are going to imitate Christ, then we must also be willing to make sacrifices to gain the love of our enemies. But back to how we can find love in our heart for God? We must first realize our sinful flesh, and then consider and realize the love behind the free gift of our redemption. We must repent, or turn to God, submitting our entire life to His care. We must pray with specific prayers, seeking God's direction in our lives and He will manifest Himself to us. As He answers our prayers and we realize His divine interaction in our lives, we begin to realize that we are not alone, but that we are one spirit with the Lord, realizing a loving relationship with both the Father and His Son though the anointing of Christ. As this relationship grows, so does our love for Him. For in this divine relationship, through faith, we find a rich life through the anointing of Christ that gives us the strength to overcome the trials that we face. And when we realize that we do not face these alone, we have the confidence that our loving God is with us, we experience a most sincere love for the Lord, our God and His Son our Lord and Savior. For as it is written in 1 John 1:3, and these are not just words in the bible, but a fact that can be experienced today through Christ. Verse 3. that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. 4. And these things we write to you that your joy may be full. Believe this, Satan years ago, placed doctrinal teachings by men appearing godly that are still stealing the love that many could be experiencing today within the fullness of God. When we experience this relationship, we also find that God has also placed a similar sacrificial love for others in our heart.
Romans 5:5. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Ephesians 6:23. Peace to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24. Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen
Romans 8:8. And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
Knowing God's will: Philippians 2:13. for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
This is a very important verse to me for in it I can begin to understand how to realize God's will in my life. First of all we can see that it is God that decides what work He has planned for me. I do not have to search for it, God makes that decision. And when He does, He will also place a desire in my heart that is apart from the desires of my flesh. I can seriously consider this "will" and see that it is not one that I came up with but one I realized through the love that God has placed in my heart for others. Sometimes this "will" will come at a personal cost but we can also see, that the outcome of this "will", is much more important than the cost. Jesus realized this when He asked His Father if this cup could pass from Him but three times He went back to His disciples and saw that without the power of the Holy Spirit these guys could not even stay awake with Him. Jesus realized at that third moment, when He said, It is enough!, that He had to fulfill what He was sent to do.
Mark 14:41. Then He came the third time and said to them, "Are you still sleeping and resting? It is enough!
After saying, ..."It is enough!", He focused on what He had to do for the outcome of His personal sacrifice was greater than the cost. And also take notice that His Father gave Him this revelation by what He observed. There was no voices from heaven, just the observation that without that sacrifice, no flesh had any strength to be saved. As Jesus continued in love, we also knowing that God is going to be with us during our service gives us the confidence to proceed with a loving heart, regardless to the personal effect it may have. And knowing that we are walking in the will of God brings peace in our heart. But even though, realizing this, we still need the love and encouragement of others that are also in Christ. This is why seeking others that are also doing God’s will in their lives is so beneficial and this fellowship is not to be forsaken. For in it is also the presence of Christ Jesus doing as He promised.
Matthew 18:20. "For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.''
This fellowship is realized and enjoyed through faith, our faith in Christ