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Bible Study Ten

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Don’t separate from the Head or the body part is dead

Did you know that it is good to give thanks to the Lord and to sing praises to His name? It is also good to declare the loving kindness of the Lord in the morning and to express His faithfulness every night concerning you and me. “For you O Lord have made me glad through your work; I will triumph in the works of your hands. O Lord how great is Your works! Your thoughts are very deep. A senseless man does not know; nor does a fool understand this. But you, Lord are on High forevermore. My horn you have exalted like a wild ox; I have been anointed with fresh oil. The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree; He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bear fruit in old age; they shall be fresh and flourishing, to declare that the Lord is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.”  Psalm 92.

What an awesome word for those who are in Christ and who are growing older and spiritually wiser in this flesh and still remain in the House of the Living God, the place of refuge designed by Christ Jesus and for the benefit of man to learn and to grow and to work together in love, peace, and harmony. May and let the name of Jesus be forever praised.

It is a relief to know that our God will not ever forget about us, nor will He ever fail nor forsake us, may His name be praised forever. Today’s Study is called “Don’t separate from the Head or the body part is dead”. The scriptural reference for this study can be found in Ephesians Chapter 1 and versus 15 – 23

 

There is nothing like dwelling within the house of God and growing together with everyone we are going to spend eternity with. In reality the house of God is similar to the home we grew up in since we were little. We have a father and mother, brother and sisters. Even though there may be differences between the siblings, we are still family, except the church is called the family of God and it is God who is the Father of that household. The house of God offers a place for accountability, growth, maturity, peace and safety. Our Father in Heaven is nothing like the dads we have known here on earth, for our Father in Heaven is perfect and filled with an unconditional love, and this is something no man has ever perfectly attained in their life time. Again the house of God offers a place of security, which cannot be found anywhere else. It is Jesus who designed the Church or the house of the Lord in order for people of the same nature to get together to grow together and to come together in such a phenomenal way that the world remains envious of such unity and closeness.  For the house of God are a unique and chosen people, blessed and anointed, filled with the power of the Spirit of the Living God Who is a help in times of all trouble concerning the life of man.

Christ who is the head of the Church or Who is head of the body says that the members or His children are all parts of that body and until all the children come in, the body is not complete. Let’s consider a scripture found in Ephesians, so turn with me please to the book of Ephesians chapter one and verses 15 to 23. Ephesians 1:15-23 - Personally I am reading from the NKJV.

“Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places. Far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all”.

One thing for sure that needs to be strongly recommended to any believer who claims Jesus Christ as Personal Lord, God, and Savior is that Christ is the Head of the body. The body is called the Church or the Bride. It is God who initiated and instituted the Church and desires to prepare the body (Church) that is the Bride for the bridegroom, which is Christ Jesus. We who are believers in Christ are that bride. And we the redeemed of the Lord are a bride that is being prepared for the wedding day. In today’s world it is not uncommon for the open rebellion of saints to actively partake in the separation from the body or from the Head whom is Christ and think they maintain an effective and strong relationship with God.

In other words, they have walked away from the church body for whatever reason they have chosen to do so. Hebrews 10:23-25. Now many of these so called believers are choosing to separate themselves or to leave the body; use excuse after excuse to do so, and they teach and tell others to do the same since they now believe that they do not need the church in order to be an active and accountable Christian unto Christ. Hmmm, so let’s examine this theory and see if there are any problems with this so called mindset. What should be noted from this very statement is that all in all the very act of separation is based on a spirit known as “Rebellion” and Rebellion is accompanied by the spirit of unforgiveness.

That last statement in it self should be a sign enough to know something is very wrong with the thinking of these particular “Saved Ones” to be acknowledging, living, preaching and teaching to others that the body of Christ is not needed. With the common statement “You don’t need a church to be saved,” this in itself is a very true statement. However, another view point is; “You don’t need Christ to be saved either”. But this statement is not a true statement, not at all! Why would I say such a thing in comparison from one to the other? First of all, let us consider what the scripture is saying. God says that Christ is the head, and we are members of a body. The best way to analyze a situation is to look at the issue in a different light, so let’s do that very thing in regards to this question. For example - if I take and cut my arm off because I feel I don’t need it anymore, after all I do not need an arm to remain living right? Does the arm that has now been severed from my body and taken away from the mind function of the head, which contains the brain, cease to function? Or can I still use the arm effectively even though it is no longer attached to the body, but is sitting beside but away from me and no longer attached to my physical being? I don’t think it takes a scholar to figure this question out. However, for some of you this has to be spelled out in such a very clear, simple, and understandable method in order for you to accept the truth of the statements being made. And really that’s okay, I don’t mind. Praise the Lord.

God in His own way says things in such a way that there is no way on God’s green earth that men can live by their excuses anymore, nor will they continue to teach and to preach open rebellion causing death and not life if they truly want to be servants of the Living God. And many of you who preach and teach and live this life style, outside of the church because of whatever reason you like to attempt to convince yourself of in order to continue to do your sin without reproach. I mean come on now, let’s face facts here people. Why beat around the bush, why not get right down to the source and down to the point of why you do what it is you do? I know it’s easy to make excuses to do things we are not supposed to do, when in fact all people do it. In one way or another we are all guilty of this very act. We deliberately make excuses and argue with ourselves in order to justify a sin or wrongdoing we desire and want to do.

So no one stands alone even though they sometimes feel they do. Those who are living and preaching that church is not required or needed are sadly mistaken and are making a grave mistake in their personal judgment. Simply because no matter what the situation is at hand in anyone’s life, it is God who is in control all of the time and knows what’s going on and knows exactly how to deal with the situation appropriately when the time is right and has been prepared to do by His own hand.  But these people need to realize that they are walking, talking, and living in rebellion against God separated from the will of God by their own choice.  I did not say that they were separated from God the Father. Let’s keep focused here. But I did say they are separated from the blessing and from the will of the Living God.

In the same essence as in the analogy we used prior to this, the man who separates himself/herself from the church has done so on their own means and by their own will and desire, filled with what they call a reason to do so. So just like the arm that has been severed from my body is completely ineffective and considered absolutely useless unless it is connected once again and grafted to the body and connected and plugged in once again to the brain functions in order to use the arm in a useful way once more; the separated arm remains dead and useless.  So is the man who is without the call, will and desire of Christ Jesus in their lives. For Christ called the Church His body, so either you are apart of the body or you are not. But no matter what your decision is, remember it’s your decision, done by your own will and desire and not by the will and desire of God, because God shows favoritism to no one, but all are equal in His sight and God commands we unite together in unity, love, peace, and brotherhood, and in His name, in His glory, filled with His Spirit and understanding, not with personal pride and arrogance and with personal self gratification and pompous roles that benefit no one not even the deceived who play with such nonsense. Would you not agree with this analogy? “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious oil upon the head, running down on the beard, the beard of Aaron, running down on the edge of his garments. It is like the dew of Harmon, descending upon the mountains of Zion; for there the LORD commanded the blessing – Life forevermore. Psalm 133

“I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” Ephesians 4: 1-6.

“And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is head – Christ – from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.” Ephesians 4: 11 -16. If you were to keep reading that very chapter with this subject in mind, and with prayer, filled with supplication and requests to the Lord, I am more than confidant that these words will speak volumes on this subject matter. May the Lord our God bless and fill you with His peace and grace.

So if you being the arm, the toe, the foot, the hand, the chest, the neck, or whatever part God has made and inclined you to be in the body; but you have chosen to be willingly severed from the body. How in God’s name do you seriously think that you are an effective witness for God when you are lying there dormant and severed from use?  You first left the church out of anger and bitterness, inspired from a spirit found outside of God to separate yourself from the sanctity, fellowship, and growth of Gods people who are just as much a sinner as you yourself are; and yet many claim it’s full of hypocrites, and the church is full of sinners so why would anyone want to attend such a place? Oh My God can you imagine the church is full of hypocrites and sinners! “Now it happened, as Jesus sat at the table in the house, that behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to His disciples, “Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners? When Jesus heard that, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. But go and learn what this means: I desire Mercy and not sacrifice.” For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

Now that’s a major eye opener in regards to the rebellious thoughts and acts toward those who are in the church concerning you and I whom are founded in Christ Jesus, and His Mercy, Grace and Love toward us, fallen and sinful man. They the people founded in the church are not the problem, YOU ARE! And its still remains to be you who chooses to remain in the act of rebellion against God and His righteousness that is supposed to be infiltrating your every fiber and being, but is being neglected by you, and this in itself is a sure sign and symptom of “Unforgiveness founded within your own heart against God and against the Children of God”.

To what and to whom do you stand accountable? You might say God and very well so. But God has once again initiated and established the church for a very good reason. The word Church derives from the Greek word “Ekklesia,” which means a group of people, a company assembled together for a certain purpose. The biggest problem with people and the church is mostly their own attitudes, and again this is based on human standards and not on biblical standards. It was Jesus who designed and formed the church and desires its existence and importance in the life of man. A person always takes was is good and holy and corrupts it with worldly thoughts and meanings that hold absolutely no value what so ever.

Accountability and personal growth both spiritually and physically are some of those reasons that an assembly is called forth, but also because the church is the very same body you are going to be and spend eternity with. Many people leave the church over an “Iron Sharpens Iron” issue and refuse to be sharpened themselves. So if you are thinking that you will be in eternity with the body you are now severed from how is that possible when you are obviously living in some kind of unforgiveness toward that body? Not only do you stand in rebellion but you stand opposed to the very will and desire of God and against the very children of God whether you approve of them or not. It is not your approval that is required for people to qualify for the Life in Christ promised to all people who would willingly call upon His great name. And it is you who is in your rebellion because you choose to speak against, call down, belittle, and it is you yourself who will not return to or attend a church because you think and feel that you do not need to be apart of it in order to be a good steward in and under Christ; and because the church is full of sinners and hypocrites you have absolutely no desire or will to be apart of it, because you are too holy and to righteous for fallen man, Pharisee, and yet you have the audacity to place yourself on some kind of pedestal attempting to inform all and any who will listen to your foolishness that you are far better off than other Christians are! You call down the very thing God has ordained and anointed, meaning the Church, and become a high roller all on your own, but little man filled with ungodly foolishness, it is you, your soul that stands in danger, and this by your own doings by your own understandings founded in this flesh that is futile and left without hope.

It is Christ who commands us to unite together in unity and in love for one another? The church is the bride, and one thing that needs to be strongly addressed is; God has not called individuals to be Christian warriors on their own. That is just not scriptural. God says to join together, to be grafted into one body, being in unity, coming together and working together for the common good.  Be accountable to one another.

Now let’s go deeper into this idea of not needing the church, but being in the will of God without the Church and/or Christ’s body in our dedicated walks with Him. Turn with me please to the book of Ephesians 5:22-30, but reading verse 30, which states; “For we are members of His body (Christ), of His flesh and of His bones.” This is not just talking about the marriage between man and woman, but also and more importantly of marriage between man and Christ.

Commitment is absolutely necessary for all believers. Now I want to get something incredibly straight and clear here. Personally I am a pastor of love and Grace and believe very much in the love and grace of God, for I am saved by Grace and am thankful for the grace of the living God provided for me daily by His great love and mercy toward me. Even though grace has no boundaries, because grace is sufficient and grace is complete. There is still the art of accountability and the act of commitment involved in the lives of all believers. This is not a legalistic point of view, but a view based on scripture and on the very word of God. Again in Colossians 1:21-23 is a remarkable scripture written with depth to be considered by all. It states; “And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight – if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard.”

First of all it states we have been reconciled in the body of His flesh, which is the church, through death, He died, so we all need to die to our flesh. With this procedure in place, Holy Spirit is the one who is continually working within us, and Who is enabling us to present us Holy, blameless and above reproach in Gods sight, all this by the precious blood of Jesus the Christ Who willingly gave His life in ransom for all mankind; who would humble themselves and pray, asking Him for mercy and His grace in their life. If they are willing to Admit and confess to God that they are sinful, and are sinners without end who is in need of His help and Life giving blood covenant. Jesus will honor that covenant and move into that house, and begin to clean that house up by the power of Holy Spirit granted access into - at one time an unholy house that could not be used or touched because of sin and unrighteousness within the person’s heart and personal desire. But because a contract was offered agreed upon and done, the Seal to that Spiritual Covenant can now be established. Holy Spirit is the Seal to the New Covenant Agreement. And once a heart has been signed and sealed by Holy Spirit then there is nothing one can do to break that contract. Even though man may attempt to break covenant and walk away, it is God who will remain faithful, even when we are faithless. That’s the Love, Mercy, and Grace of God in the lives of men. What a great and awesome God we serve.

We are not reconciled in the sight of man to do the will of man, but to do and act as Holy Spirit would lead show and teach us in and by faith, committed and accountable to one another and not moved away from the body of Christ. That is a paraphrased statement of what we just read, so pray and consider what it is the Spirit is saying to the people. Now let us consider what is written in Colossians 2:20-23, now listen and read carefully people, “Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world. why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations – do not touch, do not taste, do not handle, which all concern things which perish with the using – according to the commandments and doctrines of men?” These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh. Did you get that people? In other words it can be said, that neglect of the body of Christ is nothing more than a self-imposed religion based on false humility which holds no value in the flesh. Wow, amazing isn’t it. Consider what is written in Proverbs 18:1. “A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire; he rages against all wise judgment.” In all truth, it is because of the politics in churches that cause a lot of problems when the politics should be somewhat plain and simple and that is - Jesus Christ Is Lord! He is Savior of the World! It’s all about Jesus, and what Jesus would do, does do, and will continue to do! And he/she that is not for the Lord stands against the Lord, he/she who does not build – simply scatters.

Turn with me to the book of 1 Corinthians 12:12-22. “For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body – whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free – and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. For in fact the body is not one member but many. If the foot should say, because I am not a hand, I am not of the body, is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear should say, because I am not an eye, I am not of the body, is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. And if they were all one member, where would the body be? But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, I have no need of you; nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. No much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary.” And believe me there are many other scriptures referring to the necessity of being in the body, you can do a search of your own if you so choose on the matter, and it would be in your better interest to do so.

Indeed, not all people are able to partake of church for many different reasons that our Father is well aware of. But there are still many mediums in order to get involved and partake of a God given Ministry, thus putting your God given piece of the puzzle into action and allowing the God of Faithfulness to remain Faithful in your life by allowing Holy Spirit to teach, preach and minister to you daily, and maintain open communication with Jesus Christ our Lord, to grow in all things with our brethren whom we are to unite with in and under Christ. May the Peace and Grace of our God forever reign in the lives of those who have called upon our Lord, God and Savior Jesus the Christ. Amen.

But now let’s look at the consequences for the acts of open rebellion found within the hearts of so-called believers who have willingly separated themselves from the body of Christ. Are you ready for this? Turn with me to the book of Matthew 25:1-13.

Before we read this I want to clarify something about the word that is written here, and that is, this is written not only to the body of believers but also to those who claim to have a belief in Christ and are not part of a body. The lamps represent light, truth, and faithfulness, the oil represents Holy Spirit, keeping watch means to be accountable and committed. And finally to slumber and sleep means to fall or walk away. Now get this in your heads and hearts people; this word was not written for the world, but for those who claim Christ as personal Lord, God and Savior. Let’s begin. Matthew 25:1-13 which states; “Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight a cry was heard: Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet Him! Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps and the foolish said to the wise, give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out. But the wise answered, saying, No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us! But he answered and said, Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you. Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming”. Even though I do not believe that this is talking about the actual fact of salvation founded within the life of any human being; If indeed the Spirit of God is in you...but it’s a WAKE UP CALL to those who claim to be Christian or to have relationship with Christ in a personal and intimate way, but do not have that relationship with Jesus, but with words alone! I do believe that this scripture is talking about blessing, peace, and life in abundance will be lacking in the ones who rebel against the will and desire of God for whatever reason they are doing what they are doing. Remembering that our God is a gentleman all of the time and His patience continually filled with unconditional love toward us, and God does not react toward rejection the same way that we do. For He sees the whole picture, not just pieces of it as we all do. The complete tapestry of man is laid out in full view before His eyes.

Now if this scripture alone is not sobering and alerting to many who claim that they do not need the body, your spirituality and walk in Christ is in more trouble than you want to truthfully admit at this time, and that is okay. But know this; Holy Spirit is speaking to you again… In regards to this matter, just listen to Him, He is your Guide and will show you the Way to go. Learn to Trust Him and to be Dependant on Him in every area of your life.

John 14:23-24 makes a powerful statement concerning believers, which states; “Jesus answered and said to him, If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Fathers who sent Me.” God’s word is to be part of the church body, to be a part of the inspired fellowship with other believers. That is the word of God. For there is one Spirit and one body, and Christ is the head of that body. If you choose to separate yourself from the head, than you have severed yourself from the rights of the promises and blessings that come from the Head. So once again, if you separate from the head, you the body part become dead. Nothing is going to change that for it is the written word of God. If you love God than keep His word, get back into the church body where God can use you, where you can grow spiritually, physically, and emotionally strong and useful in Christ. Lose the unforgiveness toward your brethren and the ignorance held you now claim as wisdom, for you now know you are not walking in wisdom of what it is you are doing.  We all have stories to tell, we all have crisis and chaos to face, endure, and come to terms with. We all have trials and tribulations, we face encounters of different circumstances and we all do this daily. But the truth is we have Jesus through each and every one of these things if we choose to invite Him and our brethren in to help us along the way. Because its not easy, its not simple, and its not always fun, thus the Lord has given us one another, to help one another, to understand one another, and to unite in one mind in and under Christ Jesus, thus strengthening and encouraging one another in all hope, filled with faith, love, mercy, grace, and His forgiveness.

Many may use the argument, well I would go to church but it is filled with so many hypocrites. Well my friend if the truth be known, consider this, alcoholics look for other alcoholics for the fact they feel justified and accepted in the art they choose to partake of. And drug addicts and users look for other drug addicts and users so they too feel that they are accepted and are once again justified in the act they partake of. So as it is with these types and many other types of people. And because birds of a feather flock together, it is hypocrites who look for hypocrites and find them without end. When in reality the biggest hypocrite that can be found is staring right back at you in any mirror you choose to look into. That is where the truth starts and ends and that is with you! Accept this testimony or not, the truth remains to be the truth. Another point I would like to make, if you feel that hypocrites fill the churches, than maybe it should be you who goes and shows them all how to do it right, what do you think? Now the onus has been put back onto you, so what will you do with it?

To end this study I would like to close with a scripture found in John 10:1- 6. And I suggest you seriously consider what is written here in this most prominent word concerning you who feel they do not need to be part of the body of Christ in which God has ordained. As the scripture says, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, (Sheepfold is the church), but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers. Jesus used this illustration, but they did not understand the things, which He spoke to them.” So my question to you is - do you understand what Jesus is saying?  May the Peace and Grace of our God in the name of Jesus Christ forever bless you all.

Shalom!

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Fellowship is good for the soul, for growth, and for spiritual opportunity... come partake of brothers and sisters found in Jesus, no body is complete with members missing.