Conforming to His Image
I have been troubled in spirit lately by those who are teaching that the Church-age has ended. I stand on the teaching of the Bible. When our Savior announced that he was building his Church, he said, “…I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it,” Matthew 16:17.
Paul substantiates this statement and affirms our Lord is the head and Savior of the Body (the Church). “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the Church: and he is the Savior of the body,” Ephesians 5:23. This says nothing about abandoning his wife—his own body. Read the whole fourth and fifth chapters of Ephesians. There is no hint of abandonment or ending of the Church in the entire New Testament. Yasha is the Savior of his body, this means he protects it.
In the twelfth chapter of First Corinthians, in speaking of the Spirit’s administration in the Church, Paul says, “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit (Please notice this is not talking about confused thoughts and actions of the carnal mind, it is Yahweh that is ministering to his people, the Church). And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord (in operation: teaching, leading, guiding, and healing). And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same ‘God’ which works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal (everyone). For to one is given ‘by the Spirit’ the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these works that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will (notice how many times Paul repeats his statement that it is the Spirit, not man, that works through the Church. Who can find fault with the operation of Yahweh?). For as the Body is one, and has many members, and all the members of that one Body, being many, are one Body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one Body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the Body is not one member, but many,” 1 Corinthians 12:4-14.
Who is responsible for the power and distribution of the gift realm? Am I safe in saying, It is not man, it is the Holy Spirit?
I am asking you to take a close look at what Paul says here. There is not but one Body, and there is one Spirit governing over that one Body. There is not one Christian on this earth that is anything more than a member of that one Body—I don’t care how great they think they are.
How long will we continue to be one Body? How long will the Spirit continue to govern over that body? “And he (Holy Spirit) gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the ‘body’ (Church) of Christ: Till we “all” come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of Yahweh, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all (things was added here by translators, the all was people, not things), which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplies, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, makes increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love,” Ephesians 4:11-16.
The perfecting of the Body must come right here on earth, through the administration of the Spirit and not in heaven, in the grave, or while we are disembodied spirits.
Please notice that the Church is first spoken of here as a many-membered Body, each contributing some essential part to the whole. The Church is always spoken of in the feminine gender. Yet notice, the Holy Spirit continues operating in the Church until we all come unto a perfect ‘man,’ unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ (masculine). Christ is always spoken of in the masculine gender.
Now think! The Church is actually the womb of Christ. He is the “Head.” He supplies the heavenly sperm of life, that is, the quickened Word of Life, in the earthly vessels of clay. We become vessels that birth the expression of the righteousness and Love of the invisible God. When that Spirit is expressed, it is in the masculine gender.
The Holy Spirit moves upon the Church (the congregation) and displays Yahweh’s actions. What actually happens is, the Spirit of the living God is reproduced through human minds, or in an imperfect substance that dwells in the flesh-realm.
Many times we see flaws in the substance’s reaction, but there is never a flaw in the actions of the Spirit. As you see this happening in your city, you can be assured that the same thing is happening all over the world. The Body fasts, prays, and travails, conditioning itself to yield to the Spirit. And in so doing, a masculine Spirit is birthed in the flesh that has the power to beget spiritual life and truth in the Church (people). This Spirit feeds the infants, the children, the youths and the more mature Christians. I am speaking spiritually.
The Church (the body of believers) is not being put away; I do not care how many people are proclaiming its abandonment and telling the people that it is outdated, it is not. It will be right here on the terra firma until we come into the “unity of the faith.” And if we have already done that, I would hate to think of what confusion would be like.
The Bible says the members of the Body know in part and understand in part. I know in part and I understand in part. But when the Holy Spirit, that which is perfect, comes on the scene, my part understanding, my lack, though still there, is swallowed up in his perfection. The feminine (the Church) is filled with the Holy Spirit (Truth, Light, Life) and people are enlightened.
When I am a vessel that is being used, I am glorified in Christ because my weakness is overpowered by the strength of the Holy Spirit and my lack vanishes at his appearing, and out of my being flows a River of Living Water that revitalizes and spiritually energizes those present. Though the need was met, too often, after the Anointing has lifted, we do not hold on to the wisdom and the light that was given. But again and again we receive from him, until our head understands what our spirit is hearing and our light become single.
As we surrender to Christ, we find the carnal man (our natural thinking) is growing weaker and weaker and the new man is growing stronger and stronger until at last we find Christ in us has become strong enough to operate through his wisdom and love that has taken root in us—this is the Melchizedek Priesthood operating in his tried and matured vessels.
Contrary to some modern teaching, the Melchizedek Priesthood was introduced to the world almost 2000 years ago and has freely operated ever since through Christ’s indwelling Spirit operating through his mature vessels.
The Church is made up of old and young people, many of them are children, some are youth, some are mature, and some are immature. They are people that have come together to share in the magic of their faith, in the range of their comprehension or understanding. They cannot operate above their ability to conceive seed-thoughts. They must operate in the light they are able to receive. They are not Yahweh’s enemies; they are Yahweh’s children—they have been birthed by his Spirit. He knows where they are, and he will feed them.
My little great-granddaughter is very small, but she loves the Lord. She sings and prays in the church. She does all that she knows to do, she blesses us. But, she can not minister in a mature realm—she will one day. She, as all other children, must be taught and strengthened in her understanding of spiritual truth.
If the church-realm is smitten, what becomes of my little granddaughter and those other souls who are immature and those that have not received their new birth? Where will the Holy Spirit take his operation?
I don’t grow by hearing someone preach. I hear greater truth when someone preaches Divine revelation to me, but I do not grow from it until I experience it—until it takes root in my thinking.
Can you see how vital it is for us to gather together and how important the churches are is? It is a place where people with all levels of understanding go to function in Christ, to have a “hands on” relationship with him—a place where they are free to make mistakes and to excel. A thousand great preachers would do me no good if they preach at me, but refuse to allow me to have a hands-on relationship with Christ in the operation of the Spirit.
Some ministers are speaking of a new covenant; we know that the old Levitical priesthood that was passed down through the sons of Levi was replaced by a new covenant. It was the covenant of the Melchizedek Priesthood that was birthed almost two thousand years ago. But where does the Bible speak of a third covenant that replaces the present administration? Christ will cleanse his Church through the washing of the water by the Word.
I came into the church fifty years ago. Think about this, few people are ministering in the churches today that were ministering when I came in. Many have become disabled and many of them have gone on to be with the Lord, but we still have the churches—a new generation has come on the scene.
When I came in, the Holy Spirit was operating in the churches. He was impregnating minds to produce his fruit (Spirit). There are different people being dealt with at this time, but the Spirit that is ministering in the churches today is the same Spirit that was ministering when I first came in. Yahweh has not changed, and he does not need ministers to go about criticizing his operation.
We all get excited when the Melchizedek Priesthood moves in our midst. He comes on the scene and flows out—blessing the congregation. Well, praise the Lord! I am energized. I am very proud that the Holy Spirit of the living God functions the same in America, Africa, Europe, and over the whole earth. He is blessing creation through his believers.
We need to understand this one fact—the Church, the woman, the womb, the Body of Christ, or the Bride (she is called all these things) is the human intellect (spirit, Eve)—nothing more and nothing less, whether it is in a man’s head or in a woman’s head. The masculine Spirit (Christ) that moves upon the intellect (the Church) is the Spirit of love, wisdom, life, truth, goodness, cleanliness, etc.
The intellect of mankind cannot produce life until it becomes impregnated with the sperm of Truth and Life no more than a woman can become pregnant without first being impregnated by the sperm of a man. And so it is, the intellect cannot produce the Revelation and Spirit-Life (manifest Yahweh or reveal Yahweh) until it becomes impregnated by the Living Spirit, or the Spirit of Life.
Now to say the woman (the Church) is ending, is to say that the operation of Yahweh on the human intellect is ending. If we should say this, we would be saying that Yahweh now has all full-grown mature children and he is no longer moving on the intellect to produce his fruit. That is silly! What the Spirit produces in my life (my learning) affects me. Then you come along years later and the same sweet Spirit that loved me and nourished me in his Church embraced you, feeds you, gives you proper feedings of milk until you are no longer on the breast. Soon you are sitting at the table eating the delicious meat your Father has provided. You will be blessed at your Father’s table until one day you look into your Father’s eyes and realize that you are sitting at eye-level with him. Then off you go to spread your table and beget children by the sperm of Truth that has developed in your intellect as you heard and responded to the Word.
Your development and maturity had absolutely nothing to do with me or the children that you left behind—the other children that are feeding at your Father’s table. They are not ready to take an eye-level view at their Father’s eyes. They must remain at the table; they yet have some growing to do. Some have not cut their baby teeth, they are not seated at the Father’s table; they are still feeding at Mother’s breast.
History repeats itself over and over, year after year. Some graduate and function in the Melchizedek Priest order, while others are gathered around the Father’s table and some are yet being born.
My precious grandfather lived a Christian life and died in 1945. Yahweh nourished him just as he has nourished you and me. If a group of Melchizedek priest appears on the scene in 2004, what benefit is that going to be to Grandpa? He’s been dead fifty-eight years. He needed and received the Melchizedek Priesthood ministry while he was living in the flesh. If the Melchizedek Priesthood ministry is just now surfacing, who has been standing before the throne of Yahweh ministering to us all these many years? Christ in his Melchizedek Priesthood has, of course.
I do not know what these people are talking about when they refer to their horrid experience in Pentecost under the Levitical law. The Levitical law had nothing to do with the Pentecostal movement nor did its fulfillment do away with the Ten Commandments, which are still in effect because the Lord told us to keep his commandments and wrote them in our hearts. It has to do with substitution of the brute beast as a sin offering instead of the Lamb of Yahweh. The law has to do with an eye for an eye and a hundred other things, but Yahweh does not now permit us to be lawless.
The Ten Commandments are not the laws of Moses—they were written on the tables of stone by the finger of Yahweh. They are written in the born-from-above Christians’ heart by the Spirit of Truth. The only way to dodge them is to harden ones heart and stiffen ones neck.
I was birthed by the Spirit that operated through the faith-realm known as Passover and nourished by Pentecost, just as the multitudes are being blessed and nourished in this hour. May the Father bless us and deliver us out of the spirit of ignorance. We cannot come to Tabernacles unless we first attend the Feast of Passover and then the Feast of Pentecost.
We are all born with a lack; we need the operation of the Spirit. I preached all over the place in my infancy and youth, only the Lord knows what I preached then. I may have been lacking in revelation but I was excited and energized.
The manifestation of the Sons of Yahweh are produced by the Spirit of the Living God moving in and through mature minds, which have been transformed and renewed by the Truth being revealed through the administration of the Spirit. That same Spirit will make alive those that dare to mortify the deeds of the flesh, presenting themselves wholly to the leadership of the Spirit. That which is called immortality (sonship, adoption, redemption of the body, etc.) will take place one of these days. So let us press on.
We should always be careful to pray and seek until the Father reveals his truth to us personally. Smooth, eloquent speakers can easily deceive us if we are not fully alert. We must measure the messages by the transforming effect it has on our lives. If a message strengthens my desire to grow in Spirit and at the same time gives me a burning desire to do more about crucifying my old nature, while it is revealing some of the things that are hindering me, I feel like I have been fed. But I stay clear of a messenger that brags on me and yet condemns the operation of the Holy Spirit in Yahweh’s whole congregation, and at the same time cleverly suggests that he is righteous and has truth above everyone else.
I do not condemn the Baptist, Methodist, Pentecostal, Presbyterian, etc. I was converted in a Baptist church—really converted. They introduced me to my Savior and I am indebted to them. I love them and I am proud that most of them are dedicated to the truth they see. The Pentecostal brethren helped me learn to chew meat. I thank Yahweh for their light; it did wonders for me. I never attended the Methodist church, but some of the precious sisters from that realm of light came to minister to my physical needs while I was in the hospital. They were so good to me—their stream of love flowed. Maybe it was a different ministry than Oral Robert’s or Kenneth Copland’s, but it sure was a blessing that I needed at the time and was given to me freely.
We need to learn to bless and not curse, praise and not condemn, love and not reject those that are operating differently than we do. We need only three things from each other: compassion, respect, and Spirit-born love, which will help boost us and them on up the ladder to maturity.