26. Carrying One Another
Everyone is always finding exactly what they are looking for in other people and in themselves. More than that, everyone is always finding their own personal definition of “God,” whatever that might be, in other people and in themselves. If I am seeking Christ inside of you, I will most certainly find Him. If I am seeking fault inside of you, I will most certainly find fault.
I look for Christ when I look at you; I seek Him, and OH, how I find Him! I look for Christ when I look at me; I seek Him, and OH, how I find Him!
26. Carrying One Another
I want to enlarge on this real and present burden of the Holy Spirit filling our hearts full. We are members of each other. We will be members of each other forever. We cannot comprehend how much we are, right now, part of one another.
Receive one another just as Christ received you. Romans 15:7
This series is The Gathering Together. These last letters focus on what the church, the Bride of Christ, MUST BE now in her final stand upon this earth by which all transformation comes.
The world will know God ONLY when they see the fullness of love for one another in the midst of God’s people, as Jesus said. There is no other way for this present age to end.
In the next letter, “Turning the Church Right Side Up,” I want to explore God’s true order for His church, flowing out of His ministry to His Bride, as it must be found in full expression now. Then, in “Every Member Supplies,” I hope to portray the nature of each local assembly, fluid and dynamic, of this pure and spotless church.
But here, in this letter, we must begin with the incredible value and preciousness each one of us must find in all who are members of one another. Here is the gold, here is the jewelry, here is the inestimable value. How we must value, highly regard, even, yes, adore one another with pure hearts. For this is a Feast of Love.
Now, let me insert this understanding here. I retain all the normal human emotions of distrust, holding people at arm’s length, and sometimes engaging in not-so-kind thoughts of people that rub me wrong. I am not “trying” to “be like Jesus.” But whatever I find myself to be in the present moment, He carries me, and I do not judge myself by that. Rather, Christ is my life – I WILL be just like Him, in fact that is exactly who I am before God right now. Thus I am speaking of Christ my life when I say, “we adore one another with pure hearts,” calling those things that right now seem to “be not” as though they are.
We will find exactly what we seek, as Jesus said, whether in ourselves or in others. Those who seek for Christ in me will very much find Him; those who seek for fault in me will find all they need to prove me “false.” The same goes from me out. What I seek in you, that I will find. It cannot be otherwise.
The last I wrote in this series, a year-and-a-half ago, “For the Sake of His Body,” was at the same time that the Lord was veering me off into the Kingdom of God series. I wrote that article right after, “God Is Beneath Our Feet” found in The Kingdom Rising. I know now that I could not have completed this series until God had altered utterly my knowing of Him.
The church as it exists in all forms in the world today comes out of an Augustinian/Nicene-Creed knowing of God. Thus, though it is filled with God’s precious people, it is of necessity twisted and wrong. It hangs entirely upside down. It is impossible to know God as He is revealed in His church without God turning the church right side up, and that begins with knowing God as He really is.
The church is birthed entirely out of the apostolic, out of a ministry who carry inside them a full knowing of the Bowels of Jesus Christ, of His utter passion and desire. The church as it is now is formed in a similar way, by the strength of men. The vision, the heart, the word, flowing out of the ministry, whether true or not, forms the church, that is, all relationships between members in the body.
Now understand, I am distinguishing entirely between the church and individual believers. As individual believers, we draw all things from our own personal knowledge of Christ or lack thereof. The church, rather, is the connections and relationships between believers in any local assembly.
Any assembly reflects the good things of God that come through the pastor, which can be many, but it also reflects entirely that individual’s own limited knowledge of the full Desire of Jesus, and is limited by that limitation.
I do not say this to criticize, but to understand reality as it works. God has many servants in His house doing many things at many different levels, all to draw His own ones into Himself from wherever He finds them. Every walk into the fullness of God must begin somewhere. And every one of us needs help at every step along the way.
Now, God’s people are followers at some level. There is no human interaction without leadership. Anytime you put two people together, regardless of circumstances, one will tend to lead and the other will tend to follow. In amicable relationships, the lead/follow reality goes back and forth. In unhealthy relationships, one leads only and the other follows only.
Jesus defined His church with these words: “Where two or three are gathered together in My name, there I am in your midst.” By myself, I am a son of God and Christ lives in my heart, but no “church” exists except I gather together with another believer in His Spirit. That gathering together is purposeful, and it is that “gathering together” that IS the Bride of Christ.
If you were to take any five humans, or in fact, take put all humans together as groups of five inside one acre of land for each group. By studying the interactions inside each group, you will find the same relationship scenarios developing over time in every single group. You will find one becoming dominant. You will find elements of blind submission, manipulation and control, abusing and being abused. You will find rebellion and coercion, flattery and hatred.
Any group that might be Christian or even Spirit-filled Christian will be no different. In fact, you will find the same psychological scenarios taking place within a group of five atheists as you will find within five committed Christians.
Except. We must understand what makes the exception.
There are three ways to lead. There are only three ways to lead.
By far the most prevalent is by violence. Any pastor who teaches in any form the idea of God’s “displeasure” if the things he teaches are not implemented IS leading by violence. The violence of using the threat of “God’s punishment” as a means of manipulating people is as evil, and maybe more evil than the worst forms of outward violence used by fallen men.
The next method of leading, not nearly so common, is that of persuasion. It is not wrong to lead people by persuasion. In the end, though, any group led by persuasion only will not bring forth Life.
The third method of leading is very, very rare. In fact, most of the time you do find it, it is only one tool of many in the hands of the violent and the persuasive. It is almost never used all by itself.
Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
The third method of leading is by example. I don’t like that word because I have seen it used as just one more gimmick by the violent and the persuasive. And make no mistake, any leader who insinuates that submitting to him or her IS submitting to God is a violent person. They are using horror as a whip, and they sit upon God’s woman by violence – not a good idea. In fact using an “above” hierarchy (the apostles don’t witness to what you are doing) as a method of control IS the use of violence to lead. The threat of expulsion from the group, and all the bitterness of rejection and isolation that comes with expulsion IS violence.
A better word than “example” is leading only by a laid-down life.
A laid-down life is not a way of dying; it is the most powerful way of living that exists. We walk ONLY in a new and LIVING way.
Let us take these two facts of reality for granted, then. First, there is no church without two or more believers gathering together in His name, and there is no two or more believers gathering in His name without the reality of leadership taking place. In fact, if five people gather together and the dominant person says, “I don’t believe in leadership,” that statement asserts the power of that person as leader more on the violent side than on the persuasive side. Any such statement will come with overwhelming disapproval as its enforcement. That disapproval IS violent leadership.
Leadership is NOT the teaching or holding of ideas – word. Leadership is not the charisma of power – spirit. Leadership is entirely a matter of heart.
Over time, the heart of the leader WILL shape all the structure of any group. All groups, large or small, will line up according to the heart of the real leader(s) of that group. (The visible “leader” is not always the real leader.)
Again, understand, we are not speaking of any individual person’s relationship with the Lord. We are speaking of the Church which is entirely that point of interaction between and among individual believers. That interaction will follow the heart of the real leader(s) and how he or she interacts with the group.
The communities in which I lived were perfect microcosms of group interaction, perfect places to study the reality of human relationships. Those communities were governed by an eldership, a group of men and women of the community, but recognized by the apostolic ministry as those whom God had anointed to lead. Each eldership contained one, two, or three leading individuals. Yet the distinction between those persons in the eldership as a group and those members of the community who were not elders was strong.
The end result was the creation of a psychology, a group think, that required all interactions between non-elders to pass through the “order of the group.” In other words, two non-elders could never be just “friends.” All of the interaction between the two must pass through the psychological image each individual held in his or her mind of “what the elders would approve.”
This is not something we “agree to”; it is a law of human psychology and ALWAYS takes place anytime there are three or more people relating together. One of the three will be dominant, and when the other two are together without the dominant one, they will always relate with one another out of the image they hold in their minds of what the dominant one expects.
This psychology takes place in the world the same way. For example, policemen on duty can no longer relate with a citizen as a fellow human being with full respect going both ways. Rather, the power of the state exists as the driving force between any such relationship. That “government” God calls “the beast.”
It is no less a “beast” in the church.
Now, here is the secret for us. No violent leader in human history, no persuasive arguer among men can ever win leadership away from one who is always laying down his life for his friends. Such a one is always the dominant leader in any and every situation. Always.
If you want “power” in the church, then always be laying down your life for the others. If you want to be the greatest in the kingdom of God, then become the servant of all. This is not a “Christianity” exclusive. This is an absolute reality in all universe psychology in heaven as much as earth.
Of course, as Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13, laying down your life is completely worthless unless it be flowing out of love.
The love of God IS shed abroad in our hearts.
Now, here is another absolute law. If you or I allow ourselves to come under the manipulation of a controller or a persuader, in any way, then we are no longer able to lead by a laid-down life.
Love exists ONLY inside absolute freedom.
Owe no man anything, except to love one another.
The moment you or I allow any part of our heart to come under the slightest shadow of a controller or a persuader, we pass under the rule of obligation. We are now in debt, and we cannot love. Every action in which we engage, under that shadow, is a payment of debt and can never be love.
The church, the Bride of Christ, is a FREE woman. No “woman,” that is, no gathering together under obligation can ever be the Bride of Christ. The individual members may belong to Jesus, yes, but the interaction is “the world”; it is not “the church.”
The communities I was a part of were much more microcosms of “the world” than of the church, in spite of the presence of the Spirit of God and much Christian love. The same is more true of almost all Christian assemblies. In fact, we could say that few of us have ever been in “church.”
Laying down one’s life has no relationship with coming under the shadow of pretenders. Anyone who asserts anything “above” others is a pretender.
Now, I want to drive home something here that God is right now driving home to me. I write for my own sake. Jesus said that we will find whatever it is that we seek. He was not speaking of a “maybe, maybe, someday.” He was simply stating an absolute law of God, a law of reality, as real as the law of gravity, “if you let go of a book, it WILL fall to the floor.”
Everyone is always finding exactly what they are looking for in other people and in themselves. More than that, everyone is always finding their own personal definition of “God,” whatever that might be, in other people and in themselves.
If I am seeking Christ inside of you, I will most certainly find Him. If I am seeking fault inside of you, I will most certainly find fault. And here’s another law. There’s no such thing as seeking for two opposing things at the same time; in other words, I cannot look for half Christ and half fault equally. No, if I look for fault at any time and in any way, then Christ will vanish from my sight and fault will be the only thing I find. Yes, I may mentally acknowledge “Christ.” But mental ideas do not rule the heart, and the heart always rules all.
The heart is the throne.
Now, looking at the negative has no value except as a backdrop for the truth. Here is the truth.
I look for Christ when I look at you; I seek Him, and OH, how I find Him! I look for Christ when I look at me; I seek Him, and OH, how I find Him!
There is one way only by which this law of love can operate inside any grouping of individuals, and that is by living only as the Lamb-slain, as the laid-down life, as the Mercy Seat, as the throne of God. (Please read The Covenant to know what these things mean.)
This way of love, this bond of perfection, comes only through the true apostolic, those SENT, bearing the heart and overwhelming DESIRE of Jesus inside themselves. Those who would never ever place themselves over His woman in any way, but who see their own great honor in joining her to Jesus and then waiting in the shadows.
I hope to discover how this dynamic must operate as I write “Turning the Church Right-Side Up.” But this understanding must be laid as the foundation for the incredible reality found in these words, “Carrying One Another.” You see, when all are living as the tip-point of the Pillar of Fire, then every member in the church is always laying down his or her life for the others – and thus every member in the church is always “ruling” over all. I am not describing a group of obsequious flunkies all bowing and scraping, but rather a dynamic giving and receiving. Receiving what you give to me is as much respect for you as giving what I have to you, freely.
Paul said, “Receive one another in just the same way that Jesus receives us.”
Jesus receives us by drawing us into Himself, by limiting Himself by our weakness, by stumbling with us along our way, by becoming us, by carrying us inside Himself all the way into life.
AND WE ALSO.
When I look at the chapter I placed as the opening word of The Kingdom Rising, “Greater Love Hath No Man,” I often wonder if I put in that spot the right chapter to capture people’s attention and make them want to keep reading. Yet, when I sent that letter out, I stated with it that this is the most important thing I have written. I hold to that claim.
Those who see Jesus birthing His church out of His side upon this earth will keep reading The Kingdom Rising. Those who don’t won’t.
By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 1 John 3:16
This is the only birthing of Christ in fullness upon this earth. This is the only setting of creation free.
This is the unveiling of Christ in us.
What does it mean to “carry one another” just as Jesus carries us?
You see, God made me Asperger’s so that I would have to “figure out” relationships with other people. Yes, that has taken years; yes, I have had to cast myself upon Him over and over, but that’s the point. By this perfect path God entrusted to me, it is He who teaches me, step by step, His reality. I cannot pretend without thinking. I don’t know how. And inside that vulnerable inability (the ability to pretend makes most people feel secure), I must know Him.
Here is the first law of carrying one another. I cannot do it at all except I give no thought concerning my own ability or inability, but cast myself utterly into His carrying of me.
I cannot carry you; I cannot try to do so; I cannot pretend.
The Lord Jesus carries you through me ONLY as I KNOW that He alone carries me utterly regardless of all my vulnerable inability.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.2 Corinthians 1:3-4
The greatest gift I have to give you is the comfort by which God has comforted me. I can give you nothing except it come out of that gift to me.
The cause of all difficulty, all disruption, all “ungodliness” in Christianity and in any gathering together unto Christ IS the definition of God held in the hearts of Christians. If you define God by the Nicene Creed, you will never know in your experience Jesus’ words, “that they may be one in love – that the world may know.”
God must change our definition of Him.
The definition of God we hold in our hearts rules all the pathways of our lives. I will relate with you ONLY by that definition; it cannot be otherwise.
Theology RULES everyone on this planet whatever they imagine in their minds. What we seek, we will find.
There are individual people in the body of Christ who are very easy to love. There is no point in speaking of them. We must zero in on those who are the very hardest to love. In fact, you may find it easy to love someone whom I find it very difficult to love – and vice versa.
The most difficult persona for me, personally, is the hard male ego (or hard female ego, I have known both), pretending from doctrine and stance to be “the authority” of God over me. The hard bully, the strong religious face – in “the name of Jesus.” The one who comes against whatever one might say with Bible phrases and the pronouncement of authority, with a frowning face and cold eyes. The one who proves you “wrong” with the flipping dismissal of his (or her) hand.
I could give you the names and locations of several of these individuals, some of whom I have walked with every day for years. That I will not do – I say this only so you know I’m not speaking “theoretically.” They so often left me utterly ripped to shreds, feeling emasculated and powerless, in confusion and darkness sometimes lasting for many weeks. I can never escape them. Mentally, emotionally, they are all still there.
There is one thing only that I can do with these people – draw them into Love above the Blood upon the Mercy Seat, my heart, inside of God filling me full. I give thanks; I expect God.
However, most who lead in the body of Christ show this hard kind of face to some degree that alone gives them the place to drive God’s people in whatever direction they demand.
Yet every single one of these in my own life belongs absolutely to the Lord Jesus. They love Him and seek Him as best they know how, and He carries them inside Himself just as much as He carries me.
Can I seek for Christ inside of them? And will I find Him?
I have never been able to consider such a thing in the past, though I forgave, sometimes through wrenching deliverance, yet I forgive real and true. I do not judge that forgiveness by my own emotions, but by the Grace that carries me.
Can I draw this one who has brought so much pain and confusion, not only into my own life over many years, but into the lives of so many, this one who has never shown a kind and tender expression except in surface things, who has never shown any seeing of Christ inside of me or others, but only as objects to be whipped into an outward performance of “Christ,” who has only ever sought for fault and found it, can I draw this one into Love upon the Mercy Seat inside my heart? Can I seek for Christ in such a one?
For surely how I see this one is how I see God. How I treat this one is how I treat God. How I love this one is how I love God. This is a word to me that I speak.
Never in my life could I have looked at such a thing – except by writing “The Pillar of Fire,” at the end of my book, The Covenant, and the step-by-step letters leading up to it. It is God alone who could know such a thing.
He says that He fills me full, and I believe Him.
If I cannot lay down my life for my greatest enemies, then I cannot for my friends. But knowing the power of the Holy One who fills me full, knowing my utter “disappearance” into Him, I AM well able to love even my enemies. What then my friends?
Laying down one’s life as the atonement of Christ is NOT doing, doing, doing things for other people. It is not jumping at other’s command, those acts are by obligation and can never be love. Yes, it certainly does include continual acts of kindness, but those acts of kindness must flow out of a far deeper reality.
When it was just me, knowing I “ought to” love, I always found it hard going. Now that I see all the meaning and power of Gethsemane, of the cross and resurrection, right there, filling my chest full, the Blood sprinkled fully upon my heart as the very Mercy Seat of heaven – oh, what a difference it makes. I’m drawing everything, now, into God, into power, into the mighty transaction that causes the old to cease and the person of offense to walk forth into life!
As I walk into a room full of brethren I can only be awestruck, for I am in the Presence of the Lord Jesus Christ for REAL, multiplied. He has fully appeared as this one, as that one, as this sister, as that brother. As we worship God together, I can hardly contain myself, for I am worshiping God together with the Lord Jesus Christ for real, in Person, multiplied.
Those who “wait” for His appearing have it all WRONG! He is come. It is a simple thing to see Him if we would but look.
When I come into an assembly as “the minister,” I can hardly contain the honor, that the Lord Jesus Christ multiplied would so honor me as to sit and allow me to teach Him!
When I was sharing in one small fellowship, the dear sister could not quite hear me, so she moved over to a chair side by side with mine. I felt so honored, that the Lord Jesus Christ as her would sit, there, side by side with me.
We minister to God Himself. We give to the Holy.
When I go into any assembly, I go seeking the face of God multiplied in all these precious Pillars of the Holy. I find what I seek.
Just as surely as God is changing how we see ourselves, so He is changing how we see one another. The first always comes first, the second always follows immediately upon the heels of the first.
Jesus said, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” He was not instructing us on “what to do,” but simply stating an absolute scientific law. However we see ourselves IS how we automatically see all others. In the fellowship of the move communities in which I lived, we believed absolutely in a divided heart, one heart Christ, the other fallen and deceitful. We judged ourselves absolutely as evil flesh versus hard-to-maintain spirit, Christ versus anti-Christ, thus it was impossible for us to see each other or treat each other in any other way.
We always found what we were looking for in ourselves and in one another. Yet, in spite of that horrendous flaw, held in common with most other Christians, we knew a level of the life of Christ in His church beyond what most have experienced. We are carried by a Savior who just keeps showing Himself good in spite of our foolish unbelief.
I cannot share as I would concerning the reality of the true gathering together as the Church because of the present season God has us in, a season of solitude as far as this level of Church is concerned. A brother who reads these letters shared on a Facebook thread that he was seeking God towards connecting with a fellowship of brethren, now that he is learning the joy of this Third Feast knowledge of God. But God spoke to him that should he connect, at present, with others, all he would know would be more of what he had experienced in the past.
The same old same old, calling it “church.”
Thus he continues to wait on the Lord.
I am convinced that God does not mean for him never to move with his family into a full expression of church life. Rather, until we know the level of power and the seeing of Christ that flows fully out of the Mercy Seat in the Holy of Holies, until we know one another as fellow Pillars of Fire in the mighty house of God, then all that can come from present attempts at “getting along,” will just be more of the same old psychology of manipulating one another, the dance of faces.
The same is true for all of us.
YET, we do not wait to “become perfect.” We are perfected forever. Rather, we wait upon God in the full expectation of faith. The gathering together of His Bride IS the mighty Passion and Desire filling the Heart of the One who lives in our hearts. His overwhelming and uncontrollable Desire fills us full and guides all the thinking of our thoughts and all the pathways of our feet.
How do we carry one another inside the God who fills us full? The Lord will teach you as He teaches me – let’s find out together. I don’t write because I know something, I write to place before my eyes the truth I know is true.
Rather, let me place before us the certain context in which we prove what carrying one another inside the God who fills us full really is. We must have clear the temptation of Eve.
We have no more connection to Adam, but Eve is all around us. When we are by ourselves with Jesus, she is not there, but the moment we come into the presence of another believer in Christ, she is ALWAYS there, up front and center.
Eve is “what I think you think about me.” Eve is the expectation of performance.
I know now that God is preparing my heart, with all this Pillar of Fire stuff, to walk through a soon-to-come overwhelming temptation, a temptation that would simply have drowned me in the past. I believe that soon God will send me out to share this word with many, thus the need to know how to turn my back on Eve right now.
I am planning a visit with some brethren who read what I write and who, because they are humans, have a certain “image” or expectation of me. Have I not presented myself, by these letters, as some “man of God”? Yes, in the right context, when I have a “place” such as a pulpit in front of a seated “class” or congregation, then I can move surprisingly freely in all the word and anointing that is in me. Out of that context, in an environment such as freely and spontaneously praying for one another in a group environment, I am entirely out of my zone. I can follow with strength, but I do not lead.
I also like to visit with people, who find wisdom and kindness in conversation with me. But what I cannot do is pretend to be a “man of God.” And the certain fear presses upon me that these brethren will go home thinking, “Wow, I thought Daniel was a real man of God. He’s not at all what I thought.”
I cannot perform for Eve, but I can feel the overwhelming weight of her expectation that I perform. (As I said, “What I think they think about me,” which is not necessarily connected with anything actually going on in the minds of dear brethren; imagining nonsense is the flip-side of pretending.)
Now, many ministers of the gospel demonstrate a visible “man of God” appearance. Let me cue you into a secret. They are pretending. How do I know they are pretending? Simple, there’s no such thing as a “man of God.” Whoever is putting on that face does so because they don’t know how to be real, they imagine God demands the performance they pretend. When they were children, they were real; as adults, they have lost all knowledge of being real.
The moment two or three are gathered together in His name, the temptation to pretend is front and center. We so much want others to think of us as “good Christians.” “I walk in the Spirit, brother, no flesh for me!”
And that whole way of thinking is the only “flesh” we need to escape.
In the face of our brethren, that’s you and me, we MUST turn our backs to Eve. We must be ourselves as God made us without pretense or face of any kind, simple and real. Human. God reveals Himself only through humans.
You see, most Christians define the “perfection” of God AS the perfection of man. But look at those who must be “perfect” in every way. We don’t witness to what they have done with themselves, do we? The perfection of God does not come in our lives “in spite of” our human weakness; the perfection of God shows itself to the universe THROUGH our human weakness, simple and real. “My strength is made perfect IN your weakness.”
We carry one another in love as our very heart and nature when we know that we never have to “be somebody.” The One who is Somebody fills us full as we are and flows out from us setting all creation free.