Upon This Rock
Most of us receive more religious material through the mail than we can read. I have reports from friends and relatives of wonderful messages that are coming through television and the Web, but my E-mail box alone furnishes me with more than an ample supply. This exchange of expression is good, but we should always, without fail or delay, compare the revelations that are sent to us with the written Word.
I have been troubled in my spirit lately by those who are teaching that the Church age has ended. I stand on the teaching of Christ. When the Lord announced that he was building his Church, He said, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood has not revealed it unto you, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto you, That you are Peter, and upon this rock (revelation from the Father) I will build my Church; and the gates of hell (sheol) shall not prevail against it,” Matthew 16:17.
Paul substantiates this statement and affirms Christ 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 him eventually abandoning his Bride—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 whole New Testament. If Christ is the Savior of his Body, this means he protects it.
In the twelfth chapter of First Corinthians, Paul was speaking of the Spirit’s administration in the Church. He 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, is 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 distributing the gifts? Am I safe in saying, it is not man, but it is the “Holy Spirit”? I am asking you to take a closer look at what Paul says here. There is not but one Body and one Spirit governing over the 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? And how long will the Spirit continue to govern over that Body? “And he 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 (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 comes right here on earth through the administration of the Spirit and not in heaven, in the grave, nor 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 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, and the congregation (the Church) displays his action. But 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 Church is fasting, praying, and travailing, 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 mature. I am speaking spiritually. The Church is not being put away; I do not care how many, so called, deep revelations are given telling the people that it is. It is not. It will be right here on this terra firma “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,” Ephesians 4:13. And if we have already done this, I would hate to think of what confusion would be like.
You might think, “But the Bible says the people in the Body only know in part and understand in part.” Which is absolutely correct. 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) vanishes and is swallowed up in his perfection. Suddenly the feminine (the Church) is giving birth to the Spirit of Christ (Truth, Light, Life) and people are enlightened. If I am the vessel who is being used at the time, I am glorified in Christ; my weakness is covered over by his strength and my lack vanishes as he momentarily appears. Out of my being flows a river of Living Water that revitalizes and spiritually energizes those present.
As we surrender to Christ, we find the carnal man (our natural thinking) is growing weaker and weaker and the Christ-mind is growing stronger and stronger, until at last we find Christ in us has become strong enough to operate through Wisdom and Love, which has taken root in us. This, my friend, is the Melchizedek Priesthood operating in Yahweh’s tried and matured vessels. Contrary to some modern teaching, the Melchizedek Priesthood was introduced to the world almost two thousand years ago and has freely operated ever since through Christ’s indwelling Spirit operating in his mature vessels.
Think. 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 a 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 that 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 will feed them.
My little great-granddaughter is very small, but she loves the Lord. She sings and prays in the church and does all that she knows to do. She blesses us, but she cannot minister in a mature realm. She will, some day, but 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 not yet born from above? 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 don’t grow from it until I experience it; until it takes root in my thinking. Can you see how important the churches are? They are places where people go to function in Christ, to have a hands-on relationship with him. 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 people are speaking of a new covenant. We know that the old Levitical Priesthood, which was passed down through the sons of Levi, was replaced by a new covenant. It was the covenant of the Melchizedek Priesthood, which 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 am 76 years old. I came into the Church almost 49 years ago. Think about this, few people are ministering in the churches today that were in the Church when I came in; many have become disabled and others have gone on to be with the Lord. But we still have the Church and a new generation has come on the scene. When I came in, the Holy Spirit was operating in the Church; he was impregnating minds to produce his fruit: love, joy, peace, goodness.
There are different people being dealt with at this time, but the Spirit that is ministering in the Church today is the same Spirit that was ministering when I first came in—he has not changed. And he does not need ministers to go about criticizing His operation in his Church.
In some letters that I have received, there is excitement about how the Holy Spirit is flowing out and blessing the congregation. Well, praise the Lord! I am too. I am very proud that the Holy Spirit of the living God is in the churches blessing his people through his members. But 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), nothing more and nothing less, whether it is in a man or in a woman.
The masculine Spirit that moves upon the intellect (the Church) is the Spirit of love, wisdom, life, truth, goodness, etc. The intellect of mankind cannot produce life without first becoming 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 of Life (manifest Yahweh) until it becomes impregnated by the Living Spirit, or the Spirit of Life.
Now to say that the woman (the Church) is ending, is to say “the operation of Yahweh in 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 foolish! That which the Spirit begets 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, fed you, and gave you proper balance of nutrients until you were no longer on the breast. Now 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 you are sitting at eye level with him-and 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 have absolutely nothing to do with me or the children that you left behind. The other children that are feeding at your Father’s table are not ready to take an eye level view at their Father’s eyes, they must remain at the table; they still have some growing to do. But some have not cut their baby teeth, they are not seated at the Father’s table, they are still feeding at the Mother’s breast. History repeats itself over and over, year after year, some graduate and become Melchizedek Priest while others are gathered around the Father’s table and some are yet being born.
My precious grandfather, born in 1861, lived a Christian life and died in 1945. Yahweh nourished him just as He has nourished you and me. If a bunch of Melchizedek priests appear on the scene in 2004, what benefit is that going to be to Grandpa? He has been dead 58 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 people are talking about when they refer to their horrid experience in Pentecost under the Levitical law. That law has nothing to do with the Ten Commandments that are still in effect, because the Lord told us to keep his commandments and wrote them in our hearts. Those ministers who refuse to teach them are least in the Kingdom realm. “Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven,” Matthew 5:19.
Notice those who preach the elimination of the Ten Commandments do it on the grounds that the Lord replaced them with one new commandment: “A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another,” St. John 13:34-35. This they say disannuls the other ten. I can find no justification for that claim. My problem is trying to figure why the Lord spoke of it in the plural “commandments,” in the following scripture if it was single. How can this statement fit: “Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven,” if it was not plural?
If he whittled the Ten Commandments down to one, how can there still be some commandments that are considered to be the least? Also consider First John 2:3-5: “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that says, I know him, and keeps not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keeps his word, in him verily is the love of Yahweh perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.”
John wrote his epistle and spoke of the commandments in the plural long after the Gentiles were received into the Body and the Church was established. Would he not have known that the Lord had disannulled the original Ten Commandments, which Yahweh had written on tables of stone and replaced with his one commandment?
The changing of the law had to do with substitution of the brute beast as a sin offering instead of the Lamb of Yahweh. It had 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 were also written in the born from above Christian’s heart by the Spirit of Truth. The only way to dodge them is to harden ones heart and stiffen ones neck. They are not carnal, but spiritual: “Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. Was then that which is good made death unto me? Yahweh forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful. For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin,” Romans 7:12-14.
I was birthed by the Spirit that operates through faith, the realm known as Passover, and nourished by Pentecost just as the multitudes are being blessed and nourished in this hour. May the Lord 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 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—I may have been lacking in revelation but I was excited, energized, and boiling hot.
The manifestation of the sons of Yahweh is produced by the Spirit of the Living God moving in and through mature minds that 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. Glory! So, let us press on.
Before you disagree with me, I hope you will, at least, study the scriptures that I have suggested; I do not ask you to follow me any farther than the scriptures.
We should 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 a hindrance to me in my life, I feel I have been fed. But if a messenger 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 they are righteous and knowledgeable—having truth above everyone else, and with the right to judge down anyone they feel has less light—I stay clear of that person.
I do not condemn the Baptist, Methodist, Pentecostal, Presbyterian, and etc.; I was converted in a Baptist church, really converted. They introduced me to Christ 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, which 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 and their streams of life flowed. Maybe it was a different ministry than Kenneth Hagan or Kenneth Copland, but it sure was a blessing that I needed at the time and it was given to me freely.
We need to learn to bless and curse not, praise and not condemn, love and not reject those that are operating differently than we operate. They are not our servants. They need only three things from us: compassion, respect, and Spirit-born love, which will help boost them on up the ladder.