MESSAGE TWO

Unity in the body of Christ and the
Relationship of Unity to Obedience to God



        Good evening, tonight is the second of three messages on
UNITY in the body of Christ.  These three messages have been
placed in my heart by His Holy Spirit, and they have so inflamed
my heart that I must speak them to His church.  I believe that
God through His Spirit has given me this word, and I have read
the part of His Word where it says that if you go around saying
that God told you to say something and God did not tell you,
then you are in deep trouble. As I said, I have read that part, and
I am still here in front of you.  Therefore I know in my heart that
this word is from God, but also I know that John chapter 7 verse
17 says that if you desire God's will in your life that He will give
you instant confirmation whether what you are hearing is from
Him or not.  This discernment is not only promised in this verse,
it is also important that each of us practice using discernment in
our lives.  Turn with me to Hebrews chapter 5 and let's read
verses 12 through 14:
	         “For though by this time you ought to be teachers,
                you need someone to teach you again the first
                principles of the oracles of God; and you have
                come to need milk and not solid food.
                For everyone who partakes only of milk is
                unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a
                babe.
                But solid food belongs to those who are of full age,
                that is, those who by reason of use have their senses
                exercised to discern both good and evil.”
        Discernment is promised in John 7:17, but it is developed
by use.  Please determine to have it in use as you hear my words
this evening.
        "Let him who has ears, hear".  I am sure that each of you
has read these words in the Bible, they appear eight times in the
Gospels and eight times in the book of Revelation.  Now I don't
think that any of us would doubt that the "ears" which Jesus
refers to are spiritual ears.  The question then becomes - do we
have spiritual ears?  Good question!  And there is a good
answer, if you were here last night, you already know the
answer,  if you were not here I encourage you to get a tape of
last night from your church's tape ministry.
        The answer as to whether we have spiritual ears can be
found in whether we have His Spirit in us or not.
The way we can know beyond doubt is revealed in 1 Corinthians
12:3:
                “Therefore I make known to you that no one
                speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed,
                and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the
                Holy Spirit.”
        If you can say that Jesus Christ is the Lord of your life you
know that His Spirit is in you, if His Spirit is in you, then you
have spiritual ears.  "Those who have ears to hear, hear". Turn
your spiritual ears on, turn to your neighbor and tell them " Jesus
is the Lord of my life".
        Now that you know that your spiritual ears are tuned in,
let's pray.....
        Last night we went into some detail of John chapter 17, the
Lord's Prayer,  Matthew chapter 6 verses 9-13, Our Prayer, and
the relationship between the two and the UNITY of the body of
Christ.  Let's review a moment what we covered last night.  Five
times in His prayer to His Father He ask that we, His church, be
UNITED into one, as He and the Father are one.  Then nine
times in that prayer He alluded to the UNITY of Himself and the
Father.  Then we saw in Our Prayer that we were instructed to
pray for God's will to be done on earth as it was in heaven.
Since the nine times the UNITY of the Son and the Father are
probably the most repeated aspect of how things are in heaven, I
believe that it is clear that Jesus was teaching us to pray for the
same thing he prayed for - UNITY in His body!
         Before we head into new territory concerning UNITY in
the body of Christ, let's talk for a minute about God's plan for
mankind.  How many of you believe that God had enough
foreknowledge that He knew what was going to happen, and
How He was going to provide for the salvation of man from
before He even created Adam and Eve?  I do too, I don't
pretend to understand such knowledge, but I do believe He has
had a plan since before the beginning of time.  Not only do I
believe He has a plan, I believe He has revealed His plan in and
through His Word, and that it will come to pass.
Now turn with me to Ephesians chapter 1 verses 9-10:
                “having made known to us the mystery of His will
                according to His good pleasure which he purposed in
                Himself,
                that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times he
                might gather in one all things in Christ, both which are
                in heaven and which are on earth in Him.
        Here we see that Paul not only understood that it was the
will of God for things to come into UNITY at the fullness of
time, but he also declared it.  I guess this proves that I am not
the first one that God has shown the connection of John chapter
17 and Matthew chapter 6 to.
        Now let's look at Matthew chapter 25 verses 31-40:
                "When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the
                holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of
                His glory.
                All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He
                will separate them one from another, as a shepherd
                divides his sheep from the goats.  And He will set the
                sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left.
                Then the King will say to those on His right hand,
                ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom
                prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
                for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty
                and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took
                Me in;
                I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you
                visited Me; I was in prison and you came to me.'
                Then the righteous will anwer him, saying, 'Lord,
                when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty
                and give You drink?
                When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or
                naked and clothe You?
                Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come
                to You?'
                And the King will answer and say to them 'Assuredly,
                I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least
                of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'"
        Here we find Jesus speaking prophetically about what is
going to take place in the future.  This event is still a future
event, that means that those he is speaking to on His "right"
hand includes us.  So let's look again at just what He is going to
say to us - "I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty
and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I
was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I
was in prison and you came to Me."
        Our response will be - "Lord when did we see You hungry
and feed You; or thirsty and give You drink?  When did we see
You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You?  Or
when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?
        Do you remember His answer?  "Assuredly I say to you,
inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My Brethren,
you did it to Me."  Who did those on His right hand do all those
things unto?  The least of His brethren!!  I am sure that we
have all known this, but in the light of what he has been showing
us concerning His heart's desire for UNITY in His body, this
answer takes  on a whole new meaning for me.
        Now turn with me to John chapter 13 verses 34-35:
                "A new commandment I give to you, that you love
                one another; as I have loved you, that you also love
                one another,
                By this all will know that you are My  disciples,
                if you have love for one another."
        Here Jesus clearly establishes that those who are His should
love one another so that the world will know who belongs to
Him!   Sounds like a plan to me.  Turn to chapter 15 verses
7-12:
                "’If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you,
	         you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for
                you.  By this My Father is glorified, that you bear
                much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
                As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide
                in My love.
                If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My
                love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments
                and abide in His love.
                These things I have spoken to you that My joy may
                remain in you, and that your joy may be full.  This is
                My commandment, that you love one another as I
                have loved you.’”
        And in verse 17 we read - "These things I command you,
that you love one another."
        Look back in verse 7 where we see "abide in Me", just who
is Me?  Jesus is His church on the earth today!  How do we
abide in His love?  See verse 10 - "If you keep my
commandments"  and what does he command us to do? - "love
one another".  Now it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see what
Jesus is telling us here.
        The question is - Does the Bible give us any instructions as
to how we are to love one another?  Turn to the book of James,
the second chapter and verses 14-17:
                 “What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he
                 has faith but does not have works?  Can faith save
                 him?
                 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily
                 food,
                 and one of you says to them, "Depart in peace, be
                 warmed and filled," but you do not give them the
                 things which are needed for the body, what does it
                 profit?
                 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is
                 dead.”
        Here again we see that it is our actions towards our
"brothers and sisters" that is of importance, this time it
constitutes fulfilling faith.
        In conclusion, turn to Matthew chapter 26 verses 6-13:
                “And when Jesus was in Bethany at the house of
                Simon the leper,
                a woman came to Him having an alabaster flask of
                very costly fragrant oil, and she poured it on His head
                as he sat at the table.
                But when his disciples saw it, they were indignant,
                saying, ‘why this waste?
                For this fragrant oil might have been sold for much
                and given to the poor.’
                But when Jesus was aware of it, He said to them,
                ‘Why do you trouble the woman?  For she has done a
                good work for Me.
                For you have the poor with you always, but Me you
                do not have always.
                For in pouring this fragrant oil on My body, she did it
                for My burial.
                Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is
                preached in the whole world, what this woman has
                done will also be told as a memorial to her.’"
        I confess to you that up until the Lord gave me this
message, I had never understood this verse.  In fact, I even tried
to avoid it.  On the surface it looks like a perfect Jesus was
actually selfish on this occasion, and the part about the woman's
actions being told wherever the gospel was to be preached as a
memorial to her completely mystified me.  But as the Lord
revealed some things about this scripture to me, it became clear
to me what was meant.  First of all, if it was God's plan for his
resources in our stewardship to be used on the poor of the
world, Jesus would have followed that plan.  But the fact is that
Jesus and the woman provided a demonstration of what God's
plan was, that His resources in our stewardship are to be used in
taking care of Him, that is His body on the earth today.  Jesus
said as much about the woman's action, and if it was TRUTH
then, then it is TRUTH now.  After all, if we are obedient and
love our brothers and sisters to the point that we take care of the
true widows and orphans, and help and encourage the other
brothers and sisters in needto learn to walk in God's way so that
their needs are met, don't you think that when the world sees the
degree of cooperation, support and love demonstrated in the
body of Christ that they will genuinely desire to be included in
that body?  Didn't Jesus say "If I be lifted up I will draw all men
unto Me"?
        Bow your heads please.....
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This site was published on 12 June, 2000.