Chapter 9

What Comes First

(7) The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; (Psa 19:8 - 10 NKJV) The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes; (9) The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. (10) More to be desired are they than gold, Yea, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.

I am going to pull up several scriptures and an example from a few pages forward and use them here to help paint the picture that God wants us as the Church, the Body of Christ, to have of ourselves. Only by being a,- truly self denied, it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me, the Lord is my Shepherd therefore I no longer have any wants but that of the Shepherd,- Christian, can you accept these scriptures at face value.

(Rom 15:1 - 2NASB

(1) Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not just please ourselves. (2) Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to his edification.

(Acts 4:33 - 35 NKJV

(Acts 4:33 NKJV) And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. (Acts 4:34 NKJV) Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, (Acts 4:35 NKJV) and laid them at the apostles' feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need.

We are all a part of the body, one body, not a lot of individual bodies running around each doing our on separate part. A body separated, as the church is in the U.S. has no power to do the perfect will of God. Even though each part is a live, it has no life to be or do the all God wants to accomplish on this earth with Jesusí body. We are just a bunch of spots and wrinkles torn apart, separated, by individualism. I am going to say that one more time but louder because this is a very important truth we must learn. We are just a bunch of spots and wrinkles torn apart, separated, by individualism. We need to be sown back together with the washing of the water by the Word.

Who is Jesus Christ the Lord.

(1 Cor 12:12 Ė 27 NKJV)

12 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. 13 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. 14 For in fact the body is not one member but many.

15 If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body," is it therefore not of the body? 16 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? 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? 18 But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased.

19 And if they were all one member, where would the body be? 20 But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. 21 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." 22 No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. 23 And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty, 24 but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, 25 that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. 26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. 27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.

We are all together Jesus Christ the Lord, if and only if it is no longer I who live, but Jesus who lives in me. If I am still in control of my life, then I am a spot or wrinkle in the Body of Christ, an individual malfunction.

When it is no longer I who Live, but Christ who lives in me, Then I personally will consider All Parts of the body of equal importance. In Godís eyes we are all equally important. He does not place one of us over another to have a greater reward on this earth. He does say if you are given much, He will ask much from you.

(Luke 12:48 NKJV)

(48) "But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.

Some where along the way individualism, from the flesh, not the Spirit of the God, took over and decided that if I do more or make more, have more, get more, I just deserve more. If I am more educated, or if I think that my position in the Body is more important, or maybe I am just More, I deserve more earthly reward than the rest of the body of Christ.

Sorry, but if you find that in the Word, you better write it down on permanent spiritual paper in big bold letter and put it in your spiritual back pocket, because you are going to need it when you stand before God.

Are you one of the self-centered I deserve more because of who I am Christian leader. Most of the get more than other people get, are leaders within. These church leaders are those that are called to train the main body of Christ to do the work of the Lord.

(Eph 4:11 - 13NKJV)

(11) And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, (12) for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, (13) till we all come to the unity of the 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;

We support those that work to equip the saints. But that is where support stops. Each individual member of the body of Christ has a ministry and must be trained for that ministry. But once they are trained, well, we wish you luck in figuring out how to support the ministry that God gives you. The only thing worth supporting is the training part. The actual go out and do the work part is not important enough to give much if any support. There should be hundreds and even thousands paid daily to be on the streets, in the communities, in the hospitals, at nursing homes, in orphanages, in the prisons, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc. But there is not. Therefore many, if not most ministries that are the actual go into the highways and byways to reach the lost for the Lord, go unsupported and therefore undone. So we have a lot of nice training facilities and some very good overseers, but outside in the world that need us, remains very, very much untouched by the Hands of Jesus.

 

Jesus said these Words as clear as it can be said in the next verses.

(Mat 20:1 - 16 NKJV)

20:1 "For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard.

2 "Now when he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard.

3 "And he went out about the third hour and saw others standing idle in the marketplace,

4 "and said to them, 'You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you.' So they went.

5 "Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, and did likewise.

6 "And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing idle, and said to them, 'Why have you been standing here idle all day?'

7 "They said to him, 'Because no one hired us.' He said to them, 'You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right you will receive.'

8 "So when evening had come, the owner of the vineyard said to his steward, 'Call the laborers and give them their wages, beginning with the last to the first.'

9 "And when those came who were hired about the eleventh hour, they each received a denarius.

10 "But when the first came, they supposed that they would receive more; and they likewise received each a denarius.

11 "And when they had received it, they complained against the landowner,

12 "saying, 'These last men have worked only one hour, and you made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the heat of the day.'

13 "But he answered one of them and said, 'Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius?

14 'Take what is yours and go your way. I wish to give to this last man the same as to you.

15 'Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things? Or is your eye evil because I am good?'

16 "So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few chosen."

You want to know what a denarius is, what Godís payment to us is? That is your God given right to give up all, deny yourself, become a part of the body of Christ and take up your cross and follow Jesus. Here is another truth that we, the body of Christ have been robbed of. It is our right as a truly born again Christian who is walking in the spirit and not the flesh to have this privilege to receive the work of the Cross of Christ manifest in our lives. To a Christian walking in the flesh, this will be a burden or a cross to hard to bare, for that person can not yet see what is really important to God. He is still caught up in the things of this world. But to those ready to receive the meat of the Word, this truth will be easy to understand.

"For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard."

This is what it is like in the Kingdom of heaven. We are all of equal importance to God. Put the previous scriptures together with the following scriptures and you have a clear picture of Gods plan for the care of the whole body of Christ.

"Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, and laid them at the apostles' feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need." (Acts 4:3 - 35 NKJV)

Now add these Scriptures

"For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened; (14) but by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may supply their lack, that their abundance also may supply your lack; that there may be equality.(15) As it is written, "He who gathered much had nothing left over, and he who gathered little had no lack."

(2 Cor 8:13 Ė 15 NKJV)

(Ex 16:16 - 19)

16 "This is the thing which the LORD has commanded: 'Let every man gather it according to each one's need, one omer for each person, according to the number of persons; let every man take for those who are in his tent.'"

17 Then the children of Israel did so and gathered, some more, some less.

18 So when they measured it by omers, he who gathered much had nothing left over, and he who gathered little had no lack. Every man had gathered according to each one's need.

  1. And Moses said, "Let no one leave any of it till morning."

 

Back then there where those filled with unbelief just as today. Individualism ruled in their hearts also. But at least they had a leader that knew the truth of the Word, in many instances in the body today the leader have their arms full of more manna than anyone else in their what ever you want to call it. It is sure not the leading and purpose of the Holy Spirit.

(Exo 16:20 NKJV)

Notwithstanding they did not heed Moses. But some of them left part of it until morning, and it bred worms and stank. And Moses was angry with them.

 

Godís Will Concerning His Family.

Would God Be Prejudice Within His Own Family???????

Do you really think that it is Godís will for two men setting on the same church pew, or two individuals working within the same church, both children of God, both members of the family of God, one is blessed with much while the other suffers much need and want??? If you are a mouth, and receive much food, you must first feed (swallow that food) the body, and there in you yourself, as the whole body does its part, will be feed. Any food that the mouth keep in selfishness for itís self, will very soon be filled with bacteria (worms) and start to stink. Yes we are talking about Manna, That which we receive to take care of our worldly needs

(1 Cor 12:22 Ė 27 NKJV)

(22) No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. (23) And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty, (24) but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, (25) that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another (26) And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. (27) Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.

 

I have written this study with the intention of using only scripture to explain that which God has place in my heart. I have tried very hard to keep personal examples and feels out of this teaching. To the best of my ability, I have tried to only intrepid the Word based on exactly what it says. But the following experience that I will share is one of the main experiences God used in my life to stir me to search the scriptures and put this study together as presented.

God knows that I only want to present the truth that is in the Word. The Word will then dictate to us individually as to how to take our place as a vital part of the Body of Christ according to the Word. Never the less we need to take a very close look at where we are and in doing so lay where we are beside the Word so we can get back on track, Being on track is, it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. As best that I can tell, this example and many others in the body of Christ in the U.S. are not examples of the life of Christ as He walked the earth. If someone came and said that they found an ancient text that gave this example of how Christ said we should care for His Body, I wonder how we would fill about that text in comparison to the Bible.

I was attending a church where I personally knew a young single lady who was working for one of the ministries within that church. I do not know exactly how much money she was paid, probably around $8,000 to $15,000 a year at the very most. I do know that because of her income she drove an older undependable car, that I would have valued at $2,000 to $4,000, in which she had had problem keeping repaired. She also lived in a part of town I would consider run down and dangers. One night her apartment was broken into and a man attempted to rape her. I know this could happen anywhere, but it is much more probable that it would occur at the location she was living. I did not hear personally, but I heard that she had requested prayer that the Lord would bless her with some additional income so she would be able to move from that location. Only a few weeks later the same church had pastor appreciation week and gave the pastor of that church a one time gift that totaled about $10,000 which was above his yearly salary. This pastor lived in a nice $150,000 dollar plus neighborhood and his family drove several fairly new, if not new, autos that I would have a total  value at $60,000 to $100,000.  Outside in the that churches parking lot were rows and rows of very expensive autos that included many $30-$50,000  SUVs, $40-$60,000 Cads, Several Vetts, and even a few $100,000 Jags.

Iím sorry to say, that if you lay this real life example, which has been in some ways repeated many, many time in the churches in the U.S., beside the scriptures that we have just been reading, this example does not Match the scriptures in the Word of God. The values that we live by for our own self satisfaction, and the value we place on certain individuals within the body are not scriptural. Christ is the only one of value and we are all apart of the one Body, His Body, the Body of Christ.  The value we place on our personal rights to use the blessings God gives to us individually are not in line with the Word. I believe with all my heart, that God is ready for the Body, the true Body of Christ to get in line with the Word. (How ridiculous a statement to even have to be made.) If you are a pastor of a Laodecian Church or a active member of a Laodecian Church, I maybe wrong, but I think that you may have "Hell to Pay". We will look closely at this later.

(Mark 9:35 NKJV)

(35) And He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, "If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all."

In the natural world, who is paid more, the servant of the one being served?

The flesh, walking in the flesh that is mentioned in the Word, will always figure out how to use the Word to get itself, the flesh more. So if your doctrine makes it OK for you to have more of this worlds good because of who you are or what you are, your doctrine is of the flesh. If your doctrine says it is no longer I who live, but it Christ who lives in me, and you have chosen to deny yourself rather than exalt yourself above others, maybe you are ready to look closely at this verse.

(1 Cor 12:12 - 27 NKJV)

12 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. 13 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. 14 For in fact the body is not one member but many. 15 If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body," is it therefore not of the body? 16 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? 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? 18 But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. 19 And if they were all one member, where would the body be? 20 But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. 21 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." 22 No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. 23 And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty, 24 but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, 25 that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. 26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. 27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.

 

(Luke 13:23 Ė 30 NKJV)

(23) Then one said to Him, "Lord, are there few who are saved?" And He said to them, (24) "Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able. (25) "When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, 'Lord, Lord, open for us,' and He will answer and say to you, 'I do not know you, where you are from,' (26) "then you will begin to say, 'We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets.' (27) "But He will say, 'I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.' (28) "There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves thrust out. (29) "They will come from the east and the west, from the north and the south, and sit down in the kingdom of God. (30) "And indeed there are last who will be first, and there are first who will be last."

 

God has many promises for us the body of Christ in the word.

We must read and understand Gods promises in the light of the Word, as one in Christ.

As we read the Bible we must remember that we are all a part of one body, the Body of Christ.

We read the scriptures in the light of being one together, not one as an individual part to be individually blessed separate from the rest of the body.

The only individual blessing there is in the gospel is the individual right that we each have to come to the cross of Christ, fall on our individual faces and accept the work of the cross individually.

In doing that you are giving up your rights as an individual and you become a part of the Whole,

Jesus.

1 Cor 12:24 but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, 25 that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. 26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. 27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.

( 2 Cor 8:13 NKJV) For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened;

(2 Cor 8:14 NKJV) but by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may supply their lack, that their abundance also may supply your lack; that there may be equality.

(Acts 2:39 NKJV) "For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call."

(Acts 2:40 NKJV) And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, "Be saved from this perverse generation."

(Acts 2:41 NKJV) Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.

(Acts 2:42 NKJV) And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.

(Acts 2:43 NKJV) Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles.

(Acts 2:44 NKJV) Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common,

(Acts 2:45 NKJV) and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.

(Acts 2:46 NKJV) So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart,

(Acts 2:47 NKJV) praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.

Only a self-centered Christian would even try to explain away the truths just presented from the Word.

 The Word Who Is 

Jesus

 

 

 

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