Frameworks VII - Risen as One Man
Judges 6:16 "Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat the Midianites as One Man"
A Few Opinions about Christian Unity and how we are doing
It's time that we recognize who we are; We are One Body the Body of Christ
We have seen as we have journeyed through the Frameworks series that the enemy is well organized and appears very solid and formidable. Appearing spiritually similar to when Moses sent 12 leaders (one from each tribe) to spy out the land that God had promised to them. 10 of the twelve declared in fear "We have seen the giants in the land, we are like grasshoppers to them." Only two gave a positive report of that "We can certainly conquer it." 10 with a negative report and 2 with a positive one. That ratio seems to reflect the amount of negativity in thinking to the amount of faith thinking today. Numbers 13:21-33 It's time to see ourselves on the brink of the promised land and recognizing the fact that God has given us the spiritual promised land to us and has given us dominion and we are more than able to conquer what's ahead of us but as a united kingdom or body of Christ, for Jesus himself said "A kingdom divided against itself will not stand." Mark 3:24
A New Halleluliah! - Arise Let the Church Arise! Michael J. Smith
His Kingdom is Forever and Ever
Soundings from the Shofar
Another message to the body of Christ from:
Brother Juan Bustamante
Our nation is heading towards a one world government, just as it is written in the Book of Daniel. Little do the leaders of our country know that by Removing God and Jesus's name from public buildings that they are doing EXACTLY what the antichrist wants them to do. "ANTICHRIST means AGAINST CHRIST". This way they do not have to answer to God and Jesus and they do this by trying to eliminate his name from this world. Jesus says "Heaven and Earth will pass away; but my words shall not pass away. Luke 21:33
Concerning; abortion, adultery, lying stealing, murder, and same sex unions;
God says marriage is between a man and a woman! (Read Romans 1:26-32 and 2 Timothy 3:1-7.) We the Christian church cannot let the government officials, that is ELECTED government officials, pass laws allowing and condoning these things; (appeasing to people who are against Christ who are passing what they want and say.
Those who have been bought with "Christ's blood" (born again Christians), you must get before Almighty God. I mean on your knees and pray against Satan's influenced laws. Do not curse the leaders rather pray for our leaders. The god of this world has blinded their minds. 2 Corinthians 4:4
Darkness has invaded America and parts of the world. Yet, "There is more of us then there is with them" Satan's economy has collapsed mainly due to greed and it has effected the whole world. But, be of good cheer, Jesus has overcome the world. John 16:33
I urge all followers of Jesus Christ to pray and ask God to forgive our leaders for the sins they have committed against Him. God will hold us accountable for not praying and stopping this. We have His authority; Let all of us USE His name. So I strongly urge you to start right now!
More messages from Juan Bustamante at the-
We are of One Body- When One Member the Body Hurts
Some underlying roots of Christian division and causes of resistance to true Christian Unity
When Jesus was here on the earth one of the things He said was "I did not come to bring peace, but a sword". Matthew 10:34-38 Yet in John 14:27 Jesus speaks to His disciples about bringing peace. In John 17 He prayed to the Father asking for the body to be made as one even as He and the Father are one. John 17:21-23 So it should be seen here that it definitely was and is Jesus's present intent that we be of one body and in the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Yet why did He speak of the above mentioned division in Matthew? It appears that people and families would be divided between those that follow him and those that do not. That they also would be divided over the truths that Jesus said and divided over what the word of God says.
For instance, a very interesting doctrine of division that is put forward these days is the doctrine that is put forward by the scientific community explaining that evolution of life occurs and has occured all by itself and that there is no God or creator behind a creation and thus there is no after life. What it is is what it is and once we are dead we are dead. Contrarily however, creationist speak of the many differerent designs found in the creation and how these designs indicate and prove the existence of the Creator. A couple of good verses about this is Romans 1:20 and Psalm 53:1. This is an example of how the truth that is in the word of God and the truth that Jesus himself spoke causes the division in the world that Jesus referred to in Matthew 10:34-38.
Yet, not only is there a division over Him in general by the world but there is also an internal division over Him and certain specifics about the Word in the church. I believe this division is not from God but from man. For example, while different Pastors of differerent denominations will have many core doctrinal beliefs that are the same there are a few lesser doctrinal beliefs that are considered to be different when we go from denomination to denomination.
Church A believes in the gift of tongues. Church B believes in a thorough proving and analysis of the word. Church C believes in focusing on family, service, and love. Church D believes in being the outreach of the poor and destitute. When you look across the denominational spectrum from Church A to Z you see each of them having different strengths. One reason for this division is that we get trained up into these doctrines and these doctrines are taught sometimes as a means to protect the church and for the people in that particular church not to stray into these things. For instance I have heard that people who are believing in healing ministries are thought upon by some who do not believe that they are being "hypnotised" by the healing preachers. The Pastors that warn against these churches have not actually personally experienced the power of God touching upon their lives. When God touches you, you know of whom you have been touched. There is no real guessing about it. So partly this division occurs through a general lack of understanding, fear and most probably distrust.
I remember the church that I was in when I was in the service and how our Pastor then spoke against the gift of tongues even though there were members in that same church who had this gift of tongues. He would quote Paul saying, "I would rather speak five intellegible words to instruct the church than 10,000 words in an unknown tongue. 1 Corinthians 14:19-22 This makes good sense as understandible words being taught would do more for the church than the sounds that occur when someone speaks in tongues in which no one can understand the words being spoken. Never the less the very verse right before it says that Paul himself spoke in tongues more than any of them!
So it was not that the gift did not exists or you that you shouldn't use it rather Paul was trying to balance the use of this gift with the gathering of an understanding of the solid word of God. What effect did this have on me. I did not earnestly desire this gift and I kept away from it. So the ultimate effect of that teaching I received as a warning protected and steered me from the gift of tongues like a Father and Mother will say things to their children out of protection for them.
Only later in another church did I receive the gift of tongues and even though I am a scientist by trade, the gift of tongues is very much a true gift and viable gift available for the believer today. Yet, one only has to receive it, and see it operating in his own self to truly believe it. I remember how I chuckled at some tongue talkers inwardly because I did not understand this gift and because of the protective teaching on it I received against it. So in one church I did not believe in tongues and when I was in the other I did. The action I took in each case was based on the relative perceptions of scripture on this issue. I cannot go back to not believing in tongues because the gift is literally installed spiritually in you by God by faith.
Another source of division between the church is pride as each church tends to believe that they have found the "bestus and correctest" niche in God while opposed to "those other churches". In a sense we have immunized ourselves against being able to distinguishing the true body of Christ and are left instead with a partition perception of whose in and whose out. We critique our competion in Christ instead of recognizing that we are members one of another and looking at our collective strengths. I am not speaking of uniting all faiths and all religions like the world is attempting, I am speaking primarily of mainstream variations of Christianity.
You should come to my church because we have such a good church compared to all of those other ones. Can you see just a hint of pride in my thinking here? It is also similar too when I think I am the best one here amongst us in a conversation. I will be your friends and communicate, but when it comes down to it I am in competition with you and I am gonna win all of the points of this conversation.
Senseless controversy and division is one of Satan's chief tricks applied to the church in order to keep each part of the body separate. To keep each church thinking of itself above its other fellow churches. You don't think this is going on? It is truly happening to us all the time. He influences this mentality of conceit as primary division causer # 1 and as the second division causer #2 is the continued disagreement and discussion over minor divisional doctrinal things. Yes, we do have to be on our guard for Satan creeping in with bad doctrine, but it appears that he does very well by just keeping us occupied with minor doctrinal division. If you don't agree with me then we are separated somewhat and we cannot trust each other on the level needed to unite against the real enemy. And this is why the body of Christ is weak and cannot take a stand on issues together in the spirit and this is why many of us are wondering why we can't seem to get the victory we are supposed to be getting. It is because of or inability to agree in one accord in the spirit as we should and could.
The world is on a full speed ahead course of uniting together as a one world through all faiths and beliefs and doctrines. It is sort of an anything goes cafeteria plan of good smelling stew. Everythings is considered good and nothing is to be thrown out, so let's just love one another, shall we? Yet while this is going on, does the body of Christ sit back in a spiritually status quo, valiumized, laxidasical and laodecean mentality, barely being disturbed and collapsing quietly into a mild complaining gear mode while our surrounding freedoms erode and the very definition of marriage changes right before our eyes? Will the "In God We Trust" clause used as insignias on our money be soon removed as the Bible has been removed from our schools. How far does this go on until the body comes together and says enough is enough?!!! (There is a verse in Old testament where David was being pushed back and back by the enemy and finally he planted himself and fought and then obtained the victory-When I find verse I will post it.) We can be pushed back but if we plant ourselves in the word we can plant ourselves firmly on the ground and obtain the victory, with respect to the whole body.
I am going to ask you to really read these two following chapters in the Bible and look at it from two angles. 1 Corinthians 12:1- 13:13 The first, is to look at these two chapters from the perspective of the individual within his church own church with respect to the body of Christ, and then secondly, look at it again from the perspective of the whole body of Christ.
When I say whole body I mean all of the different denominations and members thereof, and each denomination being specialized like an organ with a specialized function in the body or as a toe, a foot, or an eye has an important function. When you really take the time to study this out and really take the word in and ponder and meditate on it, you will see that the greatest gift of the Spirit, that is the gift and fruit of love, will be the means by which the body of Christ can unite and come together as one body and thus be used by God in mighty ways and the world will know we are Christians by our love, by our love, yes they'll know we are Christians by our love. This uniting must be done as individuals and denominations decrease and allow Him to increase. It will occur but only by the true leading of the spirit.
Listen to the words on this next song and you will begin to appreciate the forknowledge of this Catholic Priest and song writer, Peter Sholte, in the 1966 song. We are one in the Spirit we are one in the Lord. What I like the most about this song is the statement, "And we pray that our unity may one day be restored".
If we are the body- Casting Crowns
An example of Christianity that has been fully matured- Richard Wurmbrand
So how does the Body of Christ activate?
The first thing that the Body of Christ must have victory in is prayer. We can pray in the spirit for victories in these seven areas. Our commitment to Jesus and our resolve will have to firm up and deepen. Kinds of activities we can partake in is that we can pray for our country, our Senators, our Representatives, our Congress, our President etc., and for our churches. We can pray that we are able to get past the pride that we have in our church and trust each other, just a little bit, that we are on the same side of this spiritual battle. The weapons of our warefare are not carnal.
We should begin to visualize the body of Christ and different Churches willing to work together in networks to confront these different issues like the homeless here in San Antonio. We can visualize, the body of Christ taking a stand togther on certain issues like abortion, evolution, marriage issues, but as a body, lovingly and led by the Spirit in the right way. How effective could we be? How fast were Israels enemies routed by God when they were being led as one man by Him.
As an example of the kind of potential we can have here in San Antonio specifically and across the United States I am going to uplift and focus on just one ministry here in San Antonio that appears to be a modest church with modest goals, but when you look at it a little closer you begin to see a marvelous undertaking that commanded in me a great respect as far as lifting itself above the usual barriers of division and just pores itself out to the benefit of the South San Antonio community. I heard one sister say "It's the best kept secret of San Antonio". I don't think it should be kept a quiet secret any longer but rather it should be lifted up so and allow it shine for the rest of the brothers and sisters here in San Antonio locally and the rest of the United States as well.
It's name is Crestholme Presybyterian Church off of Goliad road near Hot Wells. I found out about it through a friend of my wife and myself and while its looks appear simple and with little bells and whistles, the ministry that goes on here is quite uplifting. They have a church food bank where they serve many low income families with food for their households from the food bank. They have a boys and girls club and I saw many many kids getting ministered to but not just for a vacation bible school rather for the whole summer the kids are welcome. Next store to the food clinic is an area devoted to a 12 step like program, and beyond that is a program designed for the elderly called scoop. What they do there is go to the homes of the elderly and drive them to medical appointments, buy groceries and other sorts of helps as a ministering to the community.
What impressed me the most is is the fact that they were receiving monetary donations from other churches who were not set up in their own ministry for this and received bodily help from other churches and members of the body of Christ. Wow, what an example! Imagine the affect we could have on the homeless if we had 3 or four Sam shelters. 5-10 Baptist missions across San Antonio and whatever other ministeries joined in together.
Another Church that has impressed me is Jubilee Church off of WWhite. It is a growing family church and they also host a charter school there which has excellent teacher to student ratios. Yet the most interesting feature about this church is its open invitation to kids where they come to play basketball, have fun, and sit down to a teen age centered family fellowship bible study outside with their youth Pastors. I haven't seen a consistent gathering of youth every Friday in the whole of South East San Antonio. Very Impressive work for the Lord!
Another ministry that has caught my attention is a church I believe that is called Destiny Church which is a church focused on international missionary work all over the world! I went to one of there conferences because I was invited there by a minister from a Ukraine province. It was an awesome sight to see these things going on.
I am sure there is much, much, much, much more going on in our community besides all of the mega-TV ministries like Cornerstone Church and Harvest Fellowship on the North side of San Antonio. What would happen if we could get over our individual barrieres of our churches, came together, took stock of our strengths and collective knowledge of all the things available to us and this information was shared. Imagine the churches uniting and deciding over what issues to address and completely eradicate. Imagine the impact we could have in these 7 areas of dominion that were previously mentioned. Imagine the souls that would get saved if he laborers in the harvest were not few.
All of the answers is here for us to use as the body of Christ develops. A hub can develop and collective governing boards arise perhaps called The "Stephen Initiative" Stephen the brother in Acts was full of the Holy Spirit but was set apart for service. If you break up Stephen into parts like an acronymn you have STEPHEN and STEPHEN and STEPHEN. That is Steps to Ephesus like loving service that would be just Phenominal. Something wonderful can happen on a magnitude we have never seen before if we can lay down our interdenominational barriers a bit and allow the Holy Spirit to grab ahold of the body that has been gathered together in one accord. I believe if we continue to pray about it, and talk about it, we will soon see these walls come down and the manifestations of those actions of love begin.
It will take a deeper commitment and a deeper walk
Overcoming these inter-denominational divisions will not be easy. The flesh enjoys division. It feeds on division. The natural desire inside is to promote oneself above our neighbor. It is much harder to build genuine trust. It is much harder to lay down the wall of defense and protection to reach across to the other side. I believe we will have to pray about these things to occur and to ask Jesus to give us the strength and ability, for him to create open doorways and conduits into this genuine fellowship which not a buddy system or a competition or a compromise of Christian principles. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.
The words; building up, construction, strength, uplift, support, share, benefit, oneness, power, love, etc. put attention on the other person and support the other to their. If we build up our fellow churches, if we choose to reach across to the other side of the fragile and frugal walls of this division that we ourselves have put there, we will then see things from the others point of view. Once we have made this connection and have leaped over and across these small hurdles the Church will begin to see each others stengths and capabilities like a baseball team will come together and learn to work together as a team. I believe there is great power in God with this and a momemtum will begin in the Spirit that will bulldoze the world with God's love, glory, and power.
To overcome the obstacles to true Christian unity in the Spirit and in the bond of peace our thirst and hunger for it must be great. Our prayer for it must be great. Our determination for it must be great. We must seek after Jesus's definition of what kind of oneness He desires for the body. The reason for this is there must be a clear distinction between the world's idea of oneness and Jesus's idea of oneness. His ways our not our ways and are far above our ways as the heavens are above the earth.
The Love and oneness that Jesus is speaking of will always point to the fact in its midst and delivery, that He is the only way to the Father of love, and that there is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved. John said in his letters that any spirit that denies the Father and the Son (the Son of God; not just a prophet, not just a good holy man, and not the same mother son god that is found across many ancient religions) is the spirit of antichrist. 1 John 2:18-26 So Jesus ultimately brings the sword of division which is the truth of His word and is the only true way to the Father of Love, but also will usher in through the Holy Spirit a true unity amongst his true church which will emanate through his united and loving body and bride as a living loveletter of power and invitation into his kingdom. Set me as a seal upon your heart. Song of Solomon 8:6
We are One in the Spirit
There are many areas that are out there in the general community and Christian community that need to be addressed beside just needs of the homeless. There are areas in family needs, marriage counseling needs, teenage needs, activity needs, kids needs, elderly needs, prison needs, witnessing and salvation needs, etc.
As we begin to receive our restoration and rightfully stand up in Christ, we will begin to dominate areas of life that the world presently dominates in. He listed seven pillars of life, echoing off of Proverbs, where wisdom had set up her seven pillars. Proverbs 9:1 The seven major pillar areas of life lited by him are the following.
1. The Church
2. Media (all forms; books, magazines, .news, tv, internet, movies and music)
4. Business and Finance
6. Sports and Entertainment
As it stands we are not doing that well in these areas yet. A verse that illustrates a piece of this is when the Devil tempted Jesus and said "You can have all these riches and these kingdoms, (paraphrased) for they are in my power." Luke 4:5 They are not truly in his power because Jesus has already taken the keys of the kingdom. We as bothers and sisters and fellow churches and members of His body are begining to be led by the Spirit to arise, unite, and fight the enemy spiritually as one man. Once this occurs, if we are to follow the same pattern that happened with Israel as they overcame their physical enemies back then as God led them into victory and received booty from their taking the cities, so too should then should the transfer of wealth occur for us as we begin to battle these spiritual enemies in control of these domains. We are prescribed and predestined for victory!