Not many think about the fact that our Father in Heaven has great plans for the Body of Christ here on Earth … right now … BEFORE our resurrection!
Literally millions of Christians around the world attend “church” on Saturday, Sunday or whatever day they choose. They enter a building … saying “hi” and “hugging” one another as they enter.
They all take their seats … sing some praise and worship songs … listen to the announcements … take up an offering … hear a message from the “leader” up front … sing some more songs … and then say “bye” and “hug” one another as they leave.
Granted, that’s a rather simplistic view; but, this scenario replays itself over and over again, year after year all across the world in one form or another.
Now there’s nothing wrong with this, of course, in and of itself. It provides a platform to at least hear a “portion” of the Word while engaging in some degree of Christian “fellowship” … which are both necessary ingredients for Christian growth.
However, if that is all the average Christian’s experience is in the Lord (in terms of what He is accomplishing in their lives), then they are “selling God short” in a most extreme way!
OUR FATHER HAS MUCH MORE PLANNED FOR US BEFORE THE RETURN OF HIS SON JESUS CHRIST!
Here’s just one simple example. Using the love between a man and his wife as a real-life allegory of the Father’s love towards us, Paul states:
“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” (Ephesians 5:25-27)
Then he proceeds to describe and amplify the relationship between a husband and a wife. But he concludes the allegory with this:
“This is a great MYSTERY: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.” (Ephesians 5:32)
And indeed it is!
You see, the Father isn’t going to wait to “perfect” the church (His Body) in some “by and by” at the resurrection … He’s in the process of doing it RIGHT NOW!
He’s cleansing and washing us right now with His Word (as we fellowship and worship together in His Spirit and in truth). And He’s going to keep on doing it until we are “without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing”!
Just going to a building for two hours a week and being entertained by the “dancers and the prancers” on a smoke-filled stage cannot accomplish this!
It goes much deeper! We have to possess a deep, personal relationship with our Father in Heaven RIGHT NOW … 24/7.
“God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God.” (Psalms53:2)
“For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.” (2 Chronicles 16:9)
To express our love to the Lord in all of our daily endeavors … seeking His Will in all things and guarding our hearts from the entrance of any evil intentions … all the while maintaining a worshipful, reverential and prayerful attitude towards Him in all things is what it is to have a “perfect heart”.
It does not mean that we will never sin, but we will certainly turn from them immediately with a heart that desires a total and complete “cleansing” of the “filth of the flesh”!
We cannot do this in our own strength by a deliberate exercise of our will. It takes the power of Christ within us through His mercy and grace to change us.
“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2Corinthians 3:18)
As we seek the Lord through His Word and our personal prayer closets, we encounter God in all His glory. And as we behold His image (as in a mirror), we not only behold who we are in Christ right now, but who we will become as we are miraculously transformed into that very same image day-by-day … “from glory to glory”!
If this becomes second nature to us, then all of us who participate and are disciplined by such a process (when we come together in whatever number and manner), then we are going to partake of the presence of the Holy Spirit in a real and tangible manifestation (not the superficial imitation of the presence of God so readily manufactured by fleshly men in the lukewarm churches of today)!
“But IF we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” (1John 1:7)
In other words, true fellowship with one another in the Spirit of the Lord (i.e. “light”) actually PERFECTS US!
But the members of a church cannot have true fellowship one with another if the members are individually walking in the darkness of their own carnal desires. It’s better to walk in the light with a couple of true believers than to jump up and down with 5,000 church goers, supposedly worshipping the Lord by the beat of semi-professional drummers, guitar players, piano and band musicians and solo worship leaders singing into a microphone like Hollywood performers!
Do you understand the difference?
There is a promise for the true believer today. It is the “endgame” for the Body of Christ on Earth.
And it is recorded in all its glory in Ephesians Chapter 4.
“Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.” (Ephesians 4:8)
What are those gifts?
“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers” (Ephesians 4:11)
These are not the false, self-proclaimed apostles and prophets of the past 70 years. These are the true gifts to the Body of Christ … called and chosen by God (NOT by men)!
And why are these gifts given to the true Church?
“For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12)
At this point in time, where is the perfecting of the saints? Have you beheld any coming out of those weekly Christian rock concerts? Where is the edifying of the saints … in other words, the kind of edifying that leads to strong and victorious Christians?
It doesn’t exist!
Because, as of now, those “gifts” have not yet manifested themselves within the church. With the possible exception of some sincere evangelists, pastors and teachers, all the church has witnessed so far (other than the first church in the Book of Acts) are cheap imitations of the true … appointed by man, rather than God!
But don’t sell God short, because the TRUE GIFTS ARE COMING SOON! And they will work within their Spirit-appointed ministries until…
“…we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13)
So, knowing this…
“…be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine (or worship group, mega pastor or Christian celebrity) by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, … grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ” (Ephesians 4:14-15)
As this dynamic begins to unfold upon the Earth, we are going to participate in a wonderful and peculiar operation of the Holy Spirit. Because of the operation of Christ within us as a whole body, we are going to be…
“…fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, (making) increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” (Ephesians 4:16)
Did you catch that?
As individuals, we are all going to have a part to play in the transfiguration of the Body of Christ into the perfect image of the glory of God! And the exciting part will be that we all will have a measure of grace (talent, specific gift, etc.) that is “effectually working” in each one of us in order to minister (i.e. “supply”) that particular grace one to another. And the combined “working in the measure of every part” will continuously multiply and increase until the whole Body of Christ on Earth is TOTALLY edified in LOVE!
THAT’S THE PROMISE! THAT’S THE ENDGAME!
So, those precious gifts that are chosen, equipped and sent from our Father on “high” to the Church are not going to be from the mega-church ministers or TV personalities of today with their glitzy concert-like musicals and fireworks. But rather they are going to be “chosen” from among a humble group of ordinary Christians whose only desire, hope and motivation is to witness the true Body come into the fullness of Christ … and “unto a PERFECT MAN“!
That’s also why the “…glory of this latter house (i.e. the “last” church) shall be greater than of the former (i.e. the “first” church in the Book of Acts).” (Haggai 2:9)
Because the “last” church will BECOME a “perfect man” … something the “first” church did not accomplish.
Finally, for all of those who would appreciate a revelation “teaser”, the author is just throwing these in for free. Do with them what you will. 🙂 🙂 🙂
“And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.” (Revelation 12:5)
“Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (1Thessalonians 4:17)
“…and they lived and reigned (i.e “ruled all nations”) with Christ a thousand years.” (Revelation 20:4)
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