THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE MYSTERY OR: ALL ONE IN CHRIST JESUS—4
As we now come to the close of this message, we find it in our hearts to re-echo some of the points we
have made, -possibly amplifying them a little as the Lord leads us.
1) Regarding what we said about the GREAT IMPORTANCE OF Christian Unity, - we do well to
remember what the Lord Himself said in such verses as Mark 3:24; —"A kingdom divided against itself,
cannot stand", —likewise a city or a house (Matt.12:25). The Church, incidentally, bears each one of
these three titles, but the point is that any rift in those entities will cancel out any possibility of
permanence; -in fact it will portend looming disaster. This therefore comes as a strong warning to those
of us who are expressly called to reflect and depict on earth that Glorious Kingdom, -as we live under the
undisputed authority of our Lord. If the testimony is to have permanence, -it, too, must not be divided.
We should note also that the downfall of historical Israel was caused by idolatry AND ALSO DIVISION.
The division came when Rehoboam came to power and sought advice from two opposing "camps"; -the
older men and the younger men (!!). When he chose the policies advocated by the latter, it aggravated
Jeroboam who forthwith revolted, and formed the kingdom of Israel under his own leadership -(see 1
Kings 12:6-17). Not long afterwards, we find BOTH KINGDOMS judged, and carried, piece by piece,
into captivity in Babylon. (Perhaps the Lord had all that in mind when He spoke of a divided kingdom
being unable to stand). (See also Matt.23: 37, 38).
How good it is that God now has His TRUE Israel, -"The Israel of God" (Gal.6: 16), -His heavenly and
holy nation (1 Pet.2: 9), -a nation that inherits, in true spiritual terms, all those "shadow - promises" made
to historical Israel. This great "family of faith. is God's NEW CREATION (2 Cor.5:17), where the very
thought of" Jew" or .Gentile" is obliterated, and CHRIST IS ALL, AND IN ALL. (Gal.3: 26-29; Col.3:
11). The verses we have quoted are from the pen of the Apostle Paul, -once a forceful "Hebrew of the
Hebrews", but all those considerations are now, to him, but "refuse"(Phil.3: 4-8). Peter too, an equally
dedicated Israelite according to the flesh, had his eyes opened after that revolutionary experience in
Caesarea, and later wrote to his scattered friends, telling them that they were now part of God's new
generation, His royal priesthood, His New nation (1 Pet.2: 9). We thank God that in that new nation there
are no divisions, -but how careful we should be that Christians who are called to represent and reflect that
Heavenly Reality should show a corresponding unity.
2) Referring now to our earlier mention of gaps" and divisions which exist between old and young
Christians, -we would like to add that it is another sad example of God's people yielding to world trends,
and world control. It was the world, and its evil prince (John 14:30; Eph.2:2), that first initiated, or
introduced the trend, and then imposed it on God's unsuspecting people. That was a complete reversal of
God's order (Deut.28: 13), and it reminds us of the upside -down situation depicted in Eccles. 10:7; -a
real shame for God's people, and a great dishonour for the Lord Himself.
We suggest, too, that there is another form of separation or division that each successive generation needs
to guard against. We refer to "literature gaps" that are made when one generation of believers fails to take
advantage of anointed works produced by gifted teachers of a previous generation. Simply because they
are not "the latest". Such were fellow-members in the same Body, and we must be careful not to be cut
off from them, and their" food supplied"! We think of men like C.H. Spurgeon, Andrew Murray, A.W.
Tozer and others whose writings and "insights" are seldom matched these days.
Our final word must be a further re-echoing of those TWO IMPORT ANT PRINCIPLES essential to our
manifestation of real Christian oneness; -the way in to the real experience, and the true "testimony".
These, we said, were REVELATION AND CRUCIFIXION (bound up, of course, with Resurrection). We
must ask the Lord to shine His Mystery into our hearts, for it is only when that Vision grips us that we
shall be able to pay the inevitable price for its implementation. But God is a God Who loves to "reveal
secrets" (Dan. 2:28,29,47). And it is good to remember; too, "the secret of the Lord is with them that fear
(reverence) Him" (Psa. 25:14AV). May God help us to bow down before Him in wonder, love and praise,
and to stay thus in all situations and under all circumstances.
As for that second principle; -CRUCIFIXION, that also is an essential part of the way. Once we have
seen "the Mystery", God works it into us by way of the Cross. If we are to live in this NEW REALM of
an organic oneness with Christ and all His members, a deep death and burial must pass overall that is
only OLD and Adamic. Much of that, we might have prized very highly before, but, if it is OLD, it must
go to the Cross. We remember how Paul, had boasted in his "old" national standing, religious standing,
etc. , but, once he saw Christ he rightly counted all "old" things as loss (See Phil. 3:4-7). Revelation was
certainly followed by a crucifixion in his case, and he had to be led into Damascus like a blind beggar.
But that was the beginning of PAUL THE APOSTLE, living and serving IN UNION WITH his Risen
Lord. To some people, (specially those who have been religious leaders) it may appear costly to be parted
from that which, after all, is only Adamic, -only "Me", but that is THE WA y if we are to have a NEW
life and ministry in the realm of Christ-All in all. But what indescribable benefits! - The Fellowship of
"One Body by the Cross" Eph. 2: 16
"No Divisions among you" 1 Cor. 1: 10
"And all that believed were TOGETHER" (Acts 2:44)
YE ARE MY WITNESSES—2
The apostles were threatened for speaking about the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. But they said,
"...we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard" (Acts 4:20). You may use the Name of
the Lord Jesus Christ and talk about His miracles, but people will not be offended. Many people had seen
the miracles of the Lord Jesus Christ during His ministry upon the earth. But when He said, "Thy sins be
forgiven thee", they were angry with Him (Matt.9: 2; Luke 7:48). The same people who had seen many
miracles opposed Him (Luke4: 40; 7:21). When He performed miracles they did not question Him
saying, "How are you doing these things?" Rather, they went after Him to see more miracles, but when
He said, "Thy sins be forgiven thee", they said, "This is blasphemy". In the same way when the apostles
spoke about the resurrection opposition came. If the Apostles had said that the lame man was healed in
the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, they would not have been angry; but because they said, "...by the
name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead..."(v.1O), they
faced opposition. Thus we find that the power of resurrection working in us will bring much opposition
from the enemy. The Lord Jesus Christ performed many miracles but the miracles did not defeat the
devil. He gave many sermons and He also spoke with authority. Even through that He did not defeat the
devil. It was only when He died, was buried and rose again, that the devil was defeated. The devil made
people to say to the Lord Jesus Christ, "Come down from the Cross and we will believe in Thee". The
Mohammedans say that Jesus came down from the cross and went to heaven. The Lord Jesus died and
was buried according to the Scriptures, and rose again according to the Scriptures. That is the only power
that defeats the devil. That is why the Apostle Paul says in Phil.3: 10, "That I may know him, and the
power of his resurrection".
Many believers only think of signs, wonders and miracles. They are ignorant of the real power of the
Lord Jesus Christ given to them. When we appropriate by faith the power of resurrection, we will be
made more than conquerors over every sin. "God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any
longer therein?" (Rom.6:2). That is why we find that the apostles kept on giving the same message with
power. "And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great
grace was upon them all" (Acts 4:33). Without the power of resurrection our lives remain barren and our
ministry unfruitful. That power is manifested only when we learn to appropriate it by faith. The cross
means death, resurrection and power, and it is by identifying ourselves by faith with the Lord Jesus Christ
in a threefold manner, that we receive God's power. By the power of His death we are able to die to our
sinful thoughts, deeds and words. By the P9wer of burial, all our sinful desires are buried and forgotten,
and by the power of resurrection we go on conquering and receiving new life. All these three go together.