Hos. 9:7 π Mt. 4:19 π Mt. 5:13-14 π Mt. 7:2 π Mt. 7:13-14 π Mt. 7:23 π Mt. 16:18 π Mt. 18:20 π Mt. 24:4 π Mt. 24:10 π Mk. 3:35 π Jn. 7:38 π Rom. 8:9 π Rom. 8:14 π Rom. 10:13 π 1 Cor. 5:11-12 π 2 Cor. 11:3 π 2 Cor. 11:4 π Gal. 3:3 π Gal. 5:22-23 π Gal. 6:2 π Eph. 4:12 π Eph. 4:14 π Eph. 4:16 π Col. 2:6 π 2 Ths. 2:3 π 2 Ths. 2:10 π 1 Tim. 4:1 π 2 Tim. 3:5 π Tit. 3:14 π Heb. 5:9 π 2 Pet. 1:5 π 2 Pet. 3:16 π Jude 22-23 π Rev. 17:5
Just what is the true body of Christ? If ever a question held tantalizing depths, this would be it. On one hand, we cannot answer (by ourselves, that is) just who is and who is not in the body of Christ – most often, we can only make educated guesses and have to leave those people whose lives demonstrate questionable qualities (bad fruit) in a category we have to label “God knows.” On another hand, we dare not judge (by our own reasonings, that is) just who and who is not in Christ’s body “For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.” ( Mt. 7:2 ) Yet if we do not judge those who claim to be a part of Christ’s body and separate ourselves from those who refuse to step away from their sins, we are disobedient to the instructions of the New Testament! (see 1 Cor. 5:11-12; top )
If we turn to the traditions of men (various “theologies”), we will find a conflicting barrage of ideas that quite often fail to plumb the depths of the realities. Some equate salvation with a “sinner’s prayer” (which cannot be found anywhere in the New Testament) followed up with “church” attendance (which cannot be found anywhere in the New Testament either) that leads people to sit passively and idly in pews while they give their money (“tithes” and “offerings” which also cannot, as usually practiced, be found anywhere in the New Testament) to support the “work of the Lord” as done by the “man of God” (an idea and practice antithetical to the New Testament) who stands in front of and over a crowd of people who sit at his feet every few days (mostly so that he can feel significant and empowered). This sick abomination is not the body of Christ but is rather the epitome of the apostasy, the great falling away from the faith that comes just before Christ’s return. ( Mt. 24:10 , 2 Ths. 2:3; top )
But when we turn to the Scriptures with an understanding that the true body of Christ is a spiritual thing, we find very illuminating statements from the writers of the New Testament. Paul wrote, “Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.” ( Rom. 8:9 ) This simple, straightforward statement tells us much. If we do not have the Spirit of Christ within us, we simply are not His. If we are not His, we are not part of the true body of Christ. It does not matter what religious rituals we practice or how many “correct” “theologies” we agree with, if we do not have the Spirit of Christ within us, we simply are not His. No matter how many wonderful things we’ve done in His name, if we are not His, on the day of judgment He will say, “Depart from Me – I never knew you. You only did what was right in your own eyes.” ( Mt. 7:23; top )
How will we know if we have the Spirit of Christ within us? A spirit is an unseen and unsee-able entity. We cannot normally taste, touch, feel or hear a spirit – and if a spirit does enable us to experience it with our natural senses, it is most likely not going to be God! God is not particularly interested in providing us with tangible proofs that the spiritual realm exists because those intellectual proofs could very well war against our spiritual faith. So, if a spirit is virtually undetectable by our five senses and God is not overtly demonstrating Himself so as to prove Himself to us, how are we to know whether we have the Spirit of Christ within us?
Our spirit, like our heart, is found within us, that is, somewhere “inside” our physical being. It does not need a physical place because it is our spirit but it is “there” nonetheless – as surely as our heart is within us. We do not normally take our heart out of our body to see if it is working properly but instead, we feel for a pulse at places where arteries come near the surface of the skin. In the same way, our spirit produces a “pulse” – we normally call them attitudes. It is our attitudes that produce our behaviors and it is in our attitudes that we can detect which spirit – our own, a demonic spirit or the Spirit of the Lord – is producing the results and behaviors we are observing.
Again, the Scriptures when viewed with an understanding of spiritual reality, provides clear illumination. Paul wrote, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” ( Gal. 5:22-23 ) These attitudes are the proof that Christ’s Spirit is within us. These are not one-time occurrences but are the ongoing, underlying attitudes that are progressively and routinely displayed from within the depths of our innermost being. ( Jn. 7:38 ) It is these that are to replace our previous fleshly attitudes of selfishness, sourness, sadness, depression, fearfulness, timidity, short-temper, meanness, fickleness, roughness and rudeness. This is not a one-time, for all-time event but is an ongoing, perpetual process that demonstrates daily that our feet truly are on the road that leads to life and not on the broad path that leads to destruction. (see Mt. 7:13-14; top )
If Christ’s Spirit is within us, how do we progressively display these attitudes? Not by the flesh for that is self-defeating foolishness. ( Gal. 3:3 ) These are spiritual fruit produced by our spirit in co-operation with His Spirit. In a word, we obey. Jesus is “the author (or source) of eternal salvation for all who obey Him.” ( Heb. 5:9 - emphasis added) As Peter wrote, “Make every effort to add to your faith goodness…” ( 2 Pet. 1:5 ) Yes, the Lord progressively saves all who call on His name ( Rom. 10:13; top ) but He does not save those who will not obey the One upon whom they call!
And this obedience is not focused primarily on outward activities but on the inward dealings of His Spirit with our heart. That one is not a true follower of Christ who takes on a mere outward form of godliness that lacks the power to change the inward bent and nature of the fallen heart. ( 2 Tim. 3:5; top ) The true body (people) of Christ is those who love the truth (even at the expense of their own opinions and beliefs) and who seek the will of God (even at the expense of their own lives) and who are committed to attaining to the genuine life of Christ in and by His Spirit.
Let those who would “theologically” try to refute this definition consider that those who do not love the truth do not receive salvation ( 2 Ths. 2:10 ), only those who do the will of God are Christ’s family ( Mk. 3:35 ) and only those who are “led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God.” ( Rom. 8:14 ) Those who are untaught (by the Spirit of truth, that is) and unstable (tossed around by the cunning deceptions of mere men – see Eph. 4:14 - or demons – see 1 Tim. 4:1 ) are always able to twist and distort the plain meanings of the Scriptures into a way to enable the flesh to disobey God. ( 2 Pet. 3:16; top ) Cast your life upon the living and true God – don’t gamble your eternal life on what some “theologian” is saying.
Now that we know something of what the true body of Christ is like, we must also recognize – as was touched upon at the beginning of this article – that there is also a counterfeit masquerading as the body of Christ. This prostitute – a descendent of the mother of abominations or of one of her religion-for-profit daughters (the Catholic “church” or any of the denominational, sub-denominational or even many so-called “non-denominational” “churches” – see Rev. 17:5 ) – attempts to lure followers of Christ away from Him and into herself. As genuine followers of Christ seeking to avoid deception ( Mt. 24:4; top ) and seeking to walk only in truth and light, in what manner does one go about seeking to find those that are like-minded?
Paul summed up the Christian life in a very few words when he wrote, “Just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him.” ( Col. 2:6; top ) How did we receive Christ Jesus as Lord? We received Him in our spirits through obedience and faith. How do we continue to live out our life even to the end of our days? We interact with Him in our spirits through obedience and faith. It is supposed to always be that simple!
Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds should be led astray from the simplicity that is in Christ.” ( 2 Cor. 11:3 ) How were the Corinthians having their minds led astray from the simplicity that is in Christ? Paul goes on to say, “For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.” ( 2 Cor. 11:4; top ) They tolerated a different Jesus, a different gospel or a different spirit.
Hear this well! It is a major scheme of the devil today to use men in pulpits to preach a close rendition of the facts of the gospel and the historical facts of Jesus. But all this does is lure people away from the simplicity of following Christ in spirit and in truth. The spirit by which men preach from pulpits is far too often a demonic spirit lurking behind the preacher’s own dysfunctional attitudes toward his own father or hiding behind the preacher’s childhood desires and determinations to be significant, to live differently than his parents did. Men who need public adulation and accreditation several times a week (though in public they will deny they even have this need, their routine appearance in front of crowds speaks much louder than their words - to those who have ears to hear!) have serious issues with their father that need dealt with or else they are under some form of deep demonic deception and bondage that enables them to routinely stand in a place that is supposed to belong to God alone. Either way, such men, who have successfully jockeyed for the carnal power to remain in this position of preeminence, are only and completely disqualified and simply not fit to lead others in the true kingdom of Christ and God.
Nor does it truly make any difference which “church” one attends. The non-denominational mega-“church,” the Messianic synagogue-“church,” the apostolic and prophetic tainted house “church” – all these most often have something beyond “just Jesus.” This is because obeying Jesus is all about two or three people coming together in His name and accomplishing His purpose by His authority ( Mt. 18:20 ) and building the body of Christ is all about having every part of the body taking what it has received from Christ and doing it’s own part to build up the body in love. ( Eph. 4:16; top ) When the function of body building at this most basic level is completely replaced by the larger scale, passive audience mode of existence, abomination and apostasy are not far behind. Usually, the body building at what we could think of as the “microscopic” or “molecular” level (because Christ’s work of building His ekklesia – Mt. 16:18 - is never stopped or even interrupted by the actions and foolishness of men) is not completely replaced but only added to or covered over and any credit for growth, progress, etc. is deceptively given to the larger scale activities of men. Thus at nearly every “church” – to the extent that the fellowship has absorbed or is modeled on the “church” paradigm – we will always find Jesus plus “something else.”
That “something else” that taints and pollutes the spiritual fellowship is the “church” paradigm and it is always an add-on to the pure and simple fellowship one can have in the Spirit when one simply comes together spirit to spirit to Spirit. In today’s environment of deception and even counterfeit assembly, this true interaction and fellowship is most readily called “ekklesia” (the Greek word which is poorly translated as “church” in most English versions of the Bible). The “church” paradigm operates on hidden, buried levels and it works precisely and effectively to prevent ekklesia, the spiritual interaction with God and with one another. This is how we can know with certainty that the “church” paradigm is in reality a devilish, demonic scheme against the body, the people, of Christ. Many true individual followers of Christ are still trapped within these “churches” because they still believe it to be the right way of following Christ and God. Unfortunately, these are deceived into practicing what is right in their own eyes (lawlessness) in the name of Christ and God.
Many are those who have abandoned the “church” precisely because they were not finding “God alone” (but rather God plus “something else”) in their midst. Those who recognize the “church” paradigm as an error must then be aware of the next snare set for those who would try to exit the “church,” the counterfeit of the true body of Christ. It is not enough to simply exit the “church” doors and start looking around for those who are like-minded, that is, those who see the errors and fallacies of “church.” We must press on to actually be those who bear the fruit of the Spirit of God.
To do this requires a “detox” period from all the “church” poisons we’ve allowed to get into our spirits, souls and bodies. We must stop all our routine religious activities and simply allow the Spirit to direct and guide us as we allow Him to wash away all the filthy contaminants of “church” we so routinely and willfully partook of. And be prepared – every “church” leader will decry this as insanity, heresy and blasphemy (see Hos. 9:7; top ) because it calls into question everything they do to be significant and wealthy. This detoxing is usually the beginning of what many call a “wilderness” period in which one is isolated away from nearly everyone else as the Lord trains us to refocus on the inward aspects of our walk with Him. Those who opt out of the detox and wilderness process have disqualified themselves for any place of true leadership in the real body of Christ though they will always be welcomed back and perhaps even exalted at most “churches.”
When we have submitted to the detox and wilderness process, then we will no longer need to look for those who are “like-minded” or “on the same page” as we are. We will know when we come into contact with those who are like-spirited, that is, those who are committed to the truth, will and way of Christ and God at all cost. We will no longer need to see or find the body of Christ – we will be the body of Christ and then it will not matter what anyone else around us is or does. We will know, by the leading of the Spirit of Christ, whether to receive each one as friend or foe, whether to snatch one as from the fire or to forebear with their sins until Christ is formed in them. ( Jude 22-23 , Gal. 6:2 , etc.; top)
The real and true body of Christ is like salt spread across a piece of meat to preserve its freshness and flavor and to retard rot and decay. It is like light that shines across a dark place. ( Mt. 5:13-14 ) It is like a net tied together with cords of two and three knotted together. Where the salt is conglomerated into a container, where the light is covered over by a box, where the knots are untied, the result is a spiritual disaster of immense proportions. The salt has no interaction with the meat and the world devolves into evil and decay and death gain the ascendancy. The light has no confrontation with darkness and the darkness grows darker and the evil that lurks in the darkness draws nearer. The net that has no knots is merely a tangled clump of strings that can never catch the souls of men. ( Mt. 4:19; top ) It does not require much thought or imagination to grasp why the enemy of our souls might want to dismantle this net and replace it with a tangled ball of knots that serves no eternally useful purpose.
All of the true functions of the true body of Christ are lost when the body is not built up on the “molecular” level of every individual presenting Christ to the one or two others in whatever circle(s) he finds himself in any and every day of the week. For too long the people of Christ have believed that the work belongs to the professional staff and that they alone had the wisdom and knowledge required to do the work. (see Eph. 4:12 , Tit. 3:14 , etc.; top) Now however, when the man upon whom a particular “church” kingdom is built dies or moves on, the “fellowship” dissolves and few, if any, have ever been successfully trained to personally rely on the one Man who alone is able to be Head over the ekklesia. This is the crisis of faith that is upon the people of Christ in these last days before the great and terrible day of the Lord.
Let he who has ears hear.
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