25. For the Sake Of His Body
Jesus is not just Savior; He is also Salvation. The Salvation of God lives in my heart and IS there what He IS in all fullness, dynamic and filled with great energy and mighty workings.
25. For the Sake of His Body
I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church. Colossians 1:24
For the earth which drinks in the rain that often comes upon it, and bears herbs useful for those – for whose sake it is also tilled (KJV), receives blessing from God. Hebrews 6:7
The woman is in travail. The Holy is being birthed right now into the earth. People see the labor, and they do not know what it is they see. I read my friend on Facebook, Chris Welch in England, laboring to birth the holy, and some responded that he made no sense.
What sense is there in a woman screaming to give birth? There is no sense at all in travail. And if there are unwholesome sounds and smells, what is that? No one who can see the birthing pays any attention to such.
The mechanical requires reason and format; the organic operates in a whole different realm. Life follows pattern; it shows itself in story. The mechanical cannot know or understand a Living God.
Joseph Prince ministered at Lakewood recently. The first part of his word was an anecdote contrasting John and Peter, right along the lines that I like to discover and share. Then, he went on from there to illuminate the doorway into the fullness of Christ. I have rarely seen such light shining upon that door: “As He is, so are we in this world.”
But then he turned away from the door, not entering in, to point us to a “Christ” separate from us, far above us lowly humans. How my heart ached.
Joseph Prince is only a servant; God has not given him the honor of opening that door to the many; it is opened only from within. Rather, God has given Joseph Prince the task of shining the light upon the door so that when it is opened from within, many without will recognize it for what it is.
Let me share here some lines from my letter, “The Mystery of the Holy” found in The Kingdom Rising.
Here is the mystery of the holy. If God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, and if Christ is living as me in this world, then God is in me reconciling the world to Himself.
I am the intercession of Christ.
As the intercession of Christ, something beyond all belief is taking place in me as I place myself in Christ in the seeing of the spirit of my mind, and as I see Christ in every part of the human me… as I do that, the curse that sits upon this planet and all mankind IS CRACKING. It is giving way; it cannot stand or remain.
You see, Jesus is not just Savior; He is also Salvation. The Salvation of God lives in my heart and IS there what He IS in all fullness, dynamic and filled with great energy and mighty workings.
Let me give the larger passage from Paul.
I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church, of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God which was given to me for you, to fulfill the… mystery… which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily. Colossians 1:24-29
Let’s start with rest. The rest of God is filled with mighty workings and dynamic energy. Makes no sense, does it? God is not a God of sense; He is alive. Rest means that redemption is finished; it’s over with. I am not being redeemed. Redemption has only one active part in it for us right now, and that is the Blood always flowing over our eyes. We see nothing except through the Blood, new every moment.
But the finality of our redemption is the throne of God. We are seated upon that throne – the throne of heaven, the mercy seat – our hearts. That throne is our rest.
This is why it is so important to receive from the Holy Spirit a revelation of the Third Feast, the third level, fulfilled in the life of the church. So much teaching takes us to “rest” as a passive, it’s over with, nothing more, static sort of “let’s just live our lives and God takes care of the rest.” And we certainly do live our lives convinced that God takes care of everything.
But in this God who takes care of us, “rest” seems to us anything but.
The first feast is redemption. The second feast is redemption applied. The Third Feast, in finishing redemption, turns us around in the other direction. In the Third Feast, from the Day of Atonement on, we no longer approach God. No, we now live in full and dynamic union with God to prove Christ in this world.
God is more eager to prove Christ in this world than we can comprehend.
And that brings us to the second issue. Paul said that there is one God, the Father. We then see that the Father reveals Himself in the heavens as the Spirit of God and He reveals Himself in the earth as the Son of God. The physical realms are as important to God as the spiritual, maybe more important. Heaven is certainly more filled with darkness and evil than the earth.
Paul said that we do not war against the flesh, but against spiritual wickedness in heaven. Let me give four verses that show the extraordinary contradiction inside the nature and being of God.
And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God manifest in the flesh — All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away, but the word of the LORD endures forever. — And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld His glory. — Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of anti-Christ. — For we are… flesh of His flesh.
Yes, God does say that “flesh” is passing away. So is heaven – that is, spirit.
But the whole point of everything is God manifest in the flesh – Christ.
You can have God without the flesh and you can have the flesh without God. But you cannot have Christ without both flesh and God. Christ is the union of God and the flesh. Paul said, in Ephesians 5, that I am the flesh of God.
Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but a body You have prepared for Me . . . Then I said, “Behold, I have come — In the volume of the book it is written of Me — To do Your will, O God.” Hebrews 10:5-7
When I read people talking about any form of ending this “time of flesh” and going to an “eternal home of spirit,” I know they do not yet have the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Christ is all about the body. Christ, seated upon the throne (our hearts), brings God into the earth.
Now, Paul addresses both of these realities head on in this short passage from Colossians 1 regarding the mystery of Christ. But here is what I am getting at. No one who is “drawing near” to the fullness of Christ can really know or see what Paul is saying – nor any other part of the Bible.
The Bible is written for sons, seated upon the throne of heaven, coming in power and great glory to prove the will of God in the earth. God speaks to every individual heart personally at the level that one can hear, yes; He makes Christ personal in us. But the Bible in its fullness belongs to the manifest sons through whom Christ shows Himself mighty.
But we must never forget that “mighty” to God is “lowly” to man in our present foolishness.
The meek shall inherit the earth. The “bottom 1%” is “the highest” in the definitions of God. When God says: “High and mighty,” we must look down.
We cannot know the gathering together of Christ without seeing the heart of it. “For the Sake of His Body” is the heart.
I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body…
The mystery of Christ is God manifest in the flesh; every attempt to separate God from flesh is anti-Christ.
Honesty, not condemnation, requires us to face the truth that Christianity (and we ourselves in the past) has always exalted anti-Christ and denied Christ.
Perfection is to present every man in Christ.
Consider the claim of Christianity: perfection first, then Christ. In other words, sinful stupid man must find perfection, whatever that is, before he could ever be found in Christ.
Consider the claim of Christ: all things found in Christ are made brand new.
Christianity would then impose upon Paul’s words this definition. “It is only when some pagan inflicts pain upon me BECAUSE I am a Christian that I am ‘suffering’ with Christ. But when I inflict pain on myself by my own stupidity, that, by definition, must be found outside of Christ.”
To place any part of my life, my being, or my experience outside of Christ IS anti-Christ.
But to place every part of my life, my being, and my experience, including my flesh and my sin, into the Lord Jesus Christ is much more than redemption. Because the moment I place any part of myself into Christ, I am instantly caught in the dynamic passion, the energetic workings of One who by His mighty power brings all things under His sway. That is, He is now doing what He does through me, and through that part of me that I see inside of Him.
Let me give you an example to show what I am really saying.
A few weeks ago, I mentioned in a letter, “I sinned recently.” Let me share more specifically. And I do so for one purpose, and that is so that you will have the faith to do the same. (Not the sin, but what Christ does with our sin and our stupidity.)
I spent an hour, (in my defense, something I have not done often), looking at things on the Internet I should not be looking at. Even while my surface “desires” were sated, my heart was absolutely disgusted with myself. After an hour I erased all traces, utterly sick at my sin. I then turned to the Lord.
I myself felt sinful and cut-off from God. A demon spirit projected condemnation into my heart and mind. But the Lord, of course, was very close, as He always is, in my mouth and in my heart. Because I have practiced seeing myself in Christ in all things, I was able to contemplate placing even this present sin into Christ. Contemplate, yes, but not able really to do it.
So I found myself doing what I used to do, pleading, “Oh God, forgive me, forgive me, forgive me,” pleading without respite. But not for long. Here is what I heard in my heart: “I forgave you 2000 years ago; when will you forgive yourself?” I realized it was I who was embarrassed, not Christ.
So I did that. I said, “I forgive myself for the stupidity of being weak and committing sin.”
Instantly, in a flash, all sense of condemnation, all memory of sin or lust vanished from me. I knew only the sweet Spirit of Christ as if the sin had never existed.
Well, I certainly gained from that experience, yes, but it would be several days before the realization of what God was really up to dawned in my heart.
A couple of days later I received a letter from a dear brother, a confession of sorts. He shared with me the same difficulty I had spent an hour under, though as a much greater weight against his desire to know the Lord Jesus and to stand with Him in His glory.
My first surface thought was, “Oh dear, I thought this guy was ‘spiritual.’” But how could I stay with that when I had just done the same thing? But then, drawing from Christ, drawing from what I had just experienced, (in an email reply) I “sat side-by-side on a garden bench” with this dear brother and shared the goodness and glory of Christ with him. More than that, I took this brother before the Lord claiming his full release as my inheritance in the Lord.
But it was still a few more days before I understood what God had done. God lifted His keeping from me for a moment, allowing me momentarily to do stupidity, and then anointed me to bring that sin immediately into Christ. As I brought my own stupidity into Christ, Christ took possession of it, swallowing it up in His glory by His death on the cross. Then, through my act of faith, God moved to envelop one most precious to Him, but caught in a snag and unable to escape, into that same swallowing up of Christ.
I know that as I place myself in all that I am into Christ, this brother, precious also to me, will also find the fullness of deliverance coming out from within himself suddenly and unexpectedly.
Yes, I am audacious enough to boldly believe that Christ is in me reconciling the world to Himself.
You see, if I do not place my stupidity and sin into Christ, what else do I do with it? It is not sacrilegious to place my sin into Christ; it is anti-Christ to place it anywhere else, especially to place it upon myself.
We must stop immediately, however, and place the same assertion here that Paul found it necessary to say as he presented the wondrous grace of Christ. If God uses my stumbling and stupidity for His glory, turning what was evil into something good, shall I then sin and sin so that God can do more and more? God forbid. Christ is not the author of sin, though He is the ender of it.
It was not my sin that God made use of (except to allow me to be humbled in the presence of my brother), but rather my placing even that sin into Christ that He might swallow it up in His own “It is finished.” Then, with my willing participation, God took that act of Christ’s intercession in my life and enlarged it in power to include my brother in the circle of receiving the power of forgiveness.
Let’s take this truth now to the larger picture, to the gathering together, to the fullness of Christ in His BODY.
I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body… Christ in you the hope of glory… To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily.
Glory is the acclamation of God: “This is My beloved son; in him I am well-pleased.” These words received by us as ours IS the glory of Christ. But glory is what follows the WIN. Glory is what is given to the one who excels in skill above all others.
Now, the Lord Jesus is the One who wins. But He shares His win and His glory with us by living as us in this world. Thus, Christ is in us, not just as our salvation, but as Himself, reconciling the world to God, and especially His beloved woman.
Paul, the apostle of rest and Christ our life, said, “I labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily.” This is the rest of Christ. But what was Paul laboring to do? He was striving to present every man perfect in Christ. Moreover, he was presenting his own flesh as the flesh of Christ, through which Christ Himself was enlarging the sphere of salvation to include into itself first those individuals caught in Paul’s heart, and then further to every man.
Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God – that you might prove the will of God. Romans 12:1
The writer of Hebrews refers to the picture of a field being tilled for the sake of those who would eat of its fruit. That field is our outer person in this world. We are always being tilled. I was tilled again this morning by a very difficult email in a very dicey and important circumstance. I immediately wrote privately to another involved, searching through my own shifting emotions, seeking to find the redeeming love of Christ for the offender, and asking for prayer that God would surprise us all with His goodness.
Tilling cuts, and the cutting of that blade through our soil hurts. Yet the cutting is entirely of God. Because we walk in the bubble of God, filled with God, surrounded by God, carried by God, everything in our lives counts.
And because the passion of the One who fills our hearts is FOR His beloved, everything we go through counts for her, particularly for those whom we love, and then for every man.
But God has chosen to use our faith, that we might be involved with Him in this great work He does through us. As we know for ourselves that God uses every part of our life and circumstances for the sake of others, for the sake of His body, as we take what is Christ and make it personal in us, we share in His victory and we share in His glory.
When you and I present always every part of ourselves in Christ to God, then God moves through our offering to set others free.
On the one hand, I present to God all of my autistic difficulties and all my stumbling and failings, that He might move through union with me in those difficulties to touch and heal and set others free. On the other hand, I present to God my gift of hearing Him sing as I write, the He might move through union with me in that gift to touch and heal and set others free.
A body You have prepared for Me.
My body is His body, my flesh His flesh, and He fills full in my flesh that which was not complete while He walked this earth – for the sake of His body and for the sake of her gathering together unto Him.
Jesus said something very strange. “Where the dead body is, there will the birds of prey be gathered together.” Some translate the birds of prey as eagles, but eagles do not gather around corpses, vultures do. On the other hand, the Greek word translated here as “dead body” is used only for the dead bodies of John the Baptist, Jesus, and the second witness of Christ, it is used nowhere else.
My focus is on the Gathering to Life – and it is here. The heart of the gathering together is the offering of our own flesh to God, as the flesh and body of Christ, for the sake of His body, and for the sake of her gathering together.
You see, in the past we knew and served a very little Christ. We now know that He is Salvation, that He is larger than the universe, and that He extends Himself over all and swallows up all into His propitiation for sins.
And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world. 1 John 2:1
“Propitiation” is “mercy-seat,” the throne of God, upon which we sit. We sit upon His mercy-seat – in Him. And thus, Christ Himself is enlarged, from the day of Pentecost until now to include us as Himself in our lives here in this world – as that mercy seat, making our own hearts the very throne of heaven.
This is wondrous beyond our comprehension, but it is true.
And so we offer our own hearts and bodies as a living sacrifice, that Christ as us might use His throne, our hearts, to draw to Himself as the Lodestone, as the Morning Star, all those who belong to this mighty gathering together.
Now, let’s bring this truth into the present world in which we find ourselves. The world is coming apart at the seams, entirely in the purpose of God in the revelation of Jesus Christ.
You may have noticed the flood out of the serpent’s mouth, the overwhelming domination of vampires and zombies and alien visitors in the media. An excellent site that teaches concerning the mind-control techniques practiced now upon most everyone is www.vigilantcitizen.com. I certainly recommend that you visit it occasionally. There are many sites “exposing darkness” that themselves feel dark; this site does not.
The spirit of this world, moving through the minds and hearts of those who control the mass message of who and what this world is, is looking for and preparing for the open, physical manifestation of fallen angels as the “saviors” of mankind. So many movies, including more than one that was released on 11-11-11, present this message. Movies and television are only a part of that overall flood. It is a spirit that arises in the minds of everyone not sealed in Christ.
Meanwhile the top 1%, who are NOT the rich, but rather the ruthless, know exactly how to bring the “masses” to their knees and exactly how to turn every attack against them into an attack against something else. No “revolution” wins without a ruthless leader, and that ruthless leader, in slaughtering his fellow man, becomes the next cruel tyrant.
The ruthless, both human and angelic, have very dark plans for this planet. This is their hour, and God has given the world into their hands to do with it as they will.
My heart goes out to all my brethren who do not know that the entire world as we see it today, in this year of our Lord 2011, or whenever you read this letter, is now ENTIRELY inside of the fulfillment of Revelation Chapter 12.
Turn away from the “top” 1%, turn away from the 98%, the biggest thing happening right now on this planet is that bottom “1%” that no one sees or knows.
The Holy is being birthed out from God into this earth, and it will shatter all the kingdoms of this world and turn everything right-side-up – the apocalypse, the unveiling of Jesus Christ.
The woman is in travail; the Holy is birthing itself in us.
Look at these words: “And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born.” Can you believe that I once thought this represented some danger to us?
No. We must know the nature of this God who fills us full. God does not play games, but He does get a kick out of doing things a certain way. And we must concede that He has the right to do things the way He wants. You see, God doesn’t just triumph over His enemies, over those who accuse Him falsely, He also laughs at them. He allows them to puff themselves up in their pretending and pride, imagining that they are hot stuff in this world, and then He births the Holy in utter weakness before their very face.
Oh how they rage against the Holy, striking out in every direction to destroy it, but to no avail. God even lets them think they win, and then He raises the dead to life, silencing every mouth. It all happened exactly that way with Jesus, and Revelation 11 and 12 show us that it is happening in the same way now with us.
We will see evil manifest itself openly upon the earth as never before. Look at these words from Revelation 12:
(Satan) was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him — And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb — Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.
It could seem from this passage that Satan and his demons are forced out of the unseen realms into the physical. Such an idea, however, must be placed solidly on one’s shelf. It is not an interpretation to be pushed as dogma.
But then we observe the image of the Beast. Over and over, in movies, in television shows, in History Channel documentaries, from NASA and cosmology, in books and magazines, from every direction it seems, we are presented with the idea that wise alien beings are coming to “save” mankind from our folly and our self-destruction.
More than that, light shines more brightly on the “Nephilim” of ancient times, part human, part angelic people. Science reckons with the nature of psychopathy, the reality that some people lack an element that is common to almost all the rest of humanity – a conscience. A psychopath knows neither remorse nor fear. He can easily beat a lie detector. Some TV shows present the psychopath as the bottom of the barrel. That is a deliberate attempt to turn people’s eyes away from where most psychopaths are found – at the top of government, the military, and corporate power. They are what I am calling the ruthless 1%.
Now, I am utterly uninterested in exploring how these powerful and conscienceless people could be like the ancient Nephilim. They are not my concern. The woman laboring to give birth is my concern. But in light of what we are seeing, Satan and his demons showing up in visible outward form could well be our reality soon.
Here is what we MUST know, for we are assured, as evil shows itself more openly upon the earth, many of our brethren will be freaking out. Evil made visible is the very OPPOSITE of what everyone thinks. The evil has always been there all along doing what evil does, maybe even more powerfully unseen than when it becomes seen. Only LIGHT forces evil into visibility. The last thing evil wants is to be made visible, though it will make the best of it when it happens.
But here is the deal. Evil becomes visible ONLY because it is losing; it is cast down out of its preferred place in the heavens where it is unseen. And yes, godly angelic powers are doing what they do, but they are servants only of the heirs of salvation.
If evil is becoming visible, it is only because people like you and me are casting the accuser out of our heavens. We refuse for any part of ourselves to be found outside of Christ, but all things that we are, good and bad, and all things that we go through, right or wrong, we place into Christ with the fervent expectation of faith. More than that, we labor, with the mighty workings of Christ living as us in this world, to present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. This is the work of faith.
This earth is my inheritance; it belongs to me, and I will have it.
If evil is becoming visible, we are the cause of it. God birthed Jesus in the face of Herod; He births the Holy in the face of the dragon.
May I suggest that you read and write Revelation Chapter 12 over and over – and Chapter 11 as well. Not to “figure out” what these things mean, but to hide the Word God speaks, Christ, deep inside your heart. Then, as you see these things being fulfilled – and they are – you will hear God speak, “This is that.”
The Bible is not for “figuring out,” but to be believed, to be made personal and Christ inside of us, that it might birth the fullness of Life out from us into all the concourses of this world.
But the important thing is the woman – her gathering together, her protection, her nourishing, as she flees from the face of the dragon, not really understanding what is happening to her.
For the sake of His body, which is the Church.
Before her pain came, she was delivered of a manchild – And Zion shall marry her sons.(Isaiah)