Praise the Lord, Grace & Peace great people of our “Great God”…JESUS!
As this year comes to a close, I reminisce on all the blessings that Jesus has bestowed upon many of us! Yet, I have also observed the division and fragmentation that is among many of the brethren who claim to be in Jesus Christ. I believe much of it is due to narcissism, insecurities, jealousy, hatred, entitlement, bitterness, etc.; which most definitely reflects the works of the flesh, that which the Apostle Paul so fervently reveals to us in the fifth chapter of Galatians. When we truly study the book of Ephesians its theme is Unity in the Body of Christ; Hence, Satan knows if he can divide and fragment us, we become non effective and powerless, in REFLECTING the essence of God’s purpose and power as a united front! Reflection is defined as the change in direction of a wave front at an interface between two different media so that the wave front returns into the medium from which it originated. Just based on this definition, our reflection should not be less than the medium from which our light has originated from…which is JESUS CHRIST! Hence for this Golden Nugget I would like to provoke the thought “A Unity In Christ That Is a Reflective Directive”
My premise scriptures to provoke further gospel provocation are as follows:
Psa. 133:1-3 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.
Eph. 4:1-7 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.
The expression “the dew of Hermon” is a beautiful figure of expression. Mount Hermon was a snowcapped ridge on the Lebanon-Syria border west of Damascus. It elevated to 9,232 feet and was the highest point on the east coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The moisture that came from its snow caps, rendered dew to the surrounding country when it was dried out from heat. This refreshing dew descended upon the mountains of Zion. The Holy Spirit chose to use this illustration to reflect the beauty and pleasantness when brethren dwell together in unity!
It also expresses that unity among brethren is like ointment descending from the head of the high priest to the skirts of his garment; and we know that Jesus is our High Priest now!
But my question to all is how can this unity to be exemplified? I say it is by living fervently close to our great High Priest, so that we can continue to be covered with the fragrant ointment that descends from Him! This allows the refreshing dew of grace to perpetually bless our souls, so that we can maintain our position in Him, and in doing so, we can render back a fruitful and fragrant praise. GOLDEN NUGGET!
My brothers and sisters, this is the way to dwell in unity with our brethren. It is one thing to talk about unity, yet another thing altogether to dwell in it. We often profess to hold “the unity of the body,” and “the unity of the Spirit” But at the same time it appears that we are guilty of walking in selfishness, and with sectarian agendas; that have proven to be very destructive in practical unity and fellowship. If brethren are to dwell together in unity, we must strive to receive the ointment from our High Priest, and the refreshing showers from the true Mount Hermon. We must live in the very presence of Christ Jesus, so that all our rough and jagged edges are removed and smoothed to an acceptable level.When this has taken place, we can experience an open heart, an strengthen of mind, and a deeper depth of sympathy for one another. Hence, when we truly experience the aforementioned, we can truly be in position to bear and forbear one another in love. GOLDEN NUGGET!
Saints, Jesus loves His body, and if we are hydrating from His spirit, and if we are learning of Him, we shall love His body also. There is no doubt, that those who walk in His WORD enjoy His special love; a love that renders complacency and compels us to dwell together in unity!
Let’s reflect on what the Apostle Paul penned in Philippians chapter 2. We see Jesus our divine Head, and from Him the ointment descending to the skirts of His garments. Where did Paul get the grace to enable him to be poured out, as a drink offering upon the sacrifice of his brethren? What was it that made Timothy care for other people? What led Epaphroditus to put his life in his hand to supply his brethren lack in delivering the epistle? What is the answer to all these questions? It is simply this; these servants of Christ dwelt in the Master’s presence, and hydrated from His Spirit. They dwelt so close to Jesus Christ, that the fragrant ointment, and the refreshing dew, fell upon their souls abundantly, and made them to be a channel of blessings to others. Lord please help us all to strive to be as impactful! GOLDEN NUGGET!
This, my brothers and sisters I can assure you is the revelation in coming together in unity! If brethren are to dwell together in unity, they must have the “ointment” and the “dew” dropping perpetually upon them; so that they can reflect His virtues, and His image.
The Lord delights to see His children walking in this love. It is He who says, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” Surely this ought to stir our hearts to seek any opportunity possible to promote this lovely unity. It should inspire us to strive to be selfless, and strive to be in pursuit, to surrender everything that might alienate our hearts from Jesus Christ, and from one another. Note, that the Holy Spirits exhorts us “ endeavouring “ (meaning we must make an assertive effort) to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Let us remember this. It is the unity of the Spirit, not the unity of the body, we are told to keep in the uniting bond of peace. From my own experience, I can tell you that it is going to cost you something! The word “endeavouring” shows that it cannot be done without sacrifice. But the One who so graciously exhorts us to render this service, will supply us with the grace as deemed necessary. This ointment and the dew flows down from Him in refreshing power, knitting our hearts together in His agape love; enabling us to deny ourselves, hence we are to strive to surrender everything that may hinder the essence of true unity that we have been called upon to maintain.
My brothers and sisters, I find it very interesting how Jesus Christ is presented in the New Testament by the four Gospels, and Epistle writers under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. All of them represent a perfect common center in the blessed One who is the essence of absolute truth. Each of the gospel writers, under the direct guidance and power of the Holy Spirit, gives us a distinct view of Jesus Christ. Matthew presents Him in His Jewish ancestry relations as the “Messiah,” (King) the “Son of David,” “Son of Abraham,” heir of the promises made to their forefathers. Mark presents Him as the “Earnest Workman,” (Ox) the “Diligent Servant,” the “Laborious Minister,” the “Incessant Preacher and Teacher.” Luke presents Him as “The Man Christ Jesus,”(a Man) in His human relations, “Son of man,” “Son of Adam.” John presents Him as “the Son of God,” (an Eagle, God) “Son of the Father,” the “Heavenly Man,” in His heavenly relationships.
Hence, each one them gives a different perspective of Jesus Christ. No two are alike, but all agree; and therefore are mutually inclusive! There is perfect harmony; yet there is diversity and unity. Matthew does not interfere with Mark; nor Mark with Luke; nor Luke with John. There is no collision, because each move in their own appointed task, as delegated by the Holy Spirit!
Please know that we could not do without any one of the four. There would be a serious void if one of the gospels according to each writer was omitted. It was the Holy Spirit’s purpose to reflect every ray of light to show the glory of the Son of God, hence the Gospel fulfills this.
It is the same in the Epistles. Paul’s revelation of things are distinct from Peter’s, as Peter’s revelation is distinct from John’s, and John’s from James’. No two are alike, but all agree in unity. There is no collision, because, like the four Gospel writers, each one moves in his own delegated assignment, and all revolve around the one common center, Jesus Christ. Their assignments are distinct, but their purpose is one. Paul gives us the great truth of man’s relation with God, on the ground of accomplished redemption, together with the counsels of God as to Israel and the Church. Peter gives us the Christian pilgrimage and God’s government of the world. James insists upon practical righteousness. John opens up the grand theme concerning eternal life; presented first with the Father as manifested in the Son communicated to us, and finally displayed in the glorious future.
Now, it would be the very stupid on our part to institute any invidious comparison between these various revelations of truth, and who presents them to us! How silly it would be to pit Matthew against Mark, Mark against Luke, Luke against John, or John against all the rest! How puerile it would be for anyone to say, “I agree with Paul’s revelation of things, only.” Or that James seems below the mark because he did not receive what Paul received! “Nor can I receive or appreciate Peter and John, because Paul is the man for me; His ministry only suits me.” This is expressed in the Word of God in 1Co. 1:11-13 For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? 1Co. 3:3-7 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.
These documented truths should denounce any sinful foolish action to promote division and fragmentation among the brethren, and hence; will not be tolerated by Jesus Christ! I blame many of our leaders in the Body of Christ who thirst for power, who walk in narrow mindedness not to build the body of Christ through mentorship, but have their own agendas to supplement their egocentric warped values, which they erroneously present in the Name of Jesus! God forbid!; while opposing all who appear to detract from their non God agenda! GOLDEN NUGGET!
Hence we should all remain cognizant that real truth in unity will always converge upon the only one who should receive the full essence of glory, and that is Christ! We are no more than the various instruments employed to operate as one by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. We have to work together for the objectives set forth in Jesus Christ. As I forestated, we could not afford to do without Matthew or Mark, than we could do without Luke or John; nor can we undervalue Peter or James, because they did not have the abundance of revelation that Paul had concerning the mystery of the Church, and John concerning the future! Each was needful in his assignment. Each one had their work to do, based on what was delegated without marring the integrity of the divine revelation!
Please note what the Apostle Paul conveys in 1Co. 12:12-27 For as the body is one, and hath 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. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
The early Corinthians fell into this grave error, and therefore they required a sharp rebuke from the Apostle Paul. Some were of Paul; some of Apollos, some of Cephas; some of Christ. All were wrong; and those who said they were of Christ were quite as wrong as any of the others. They were carnal, and walked as men. It was foolish to be puffed up for one against another, inasmuch as they were all Christ’s servants, and all belonged to the whole Body of Christ.
Saints the same applies to the Body of Christ today. There are various kinds of workmen, and roles that have been delegated; and we should be honored, concerning the privilege to serve in these holy duties, as we rejoice with all who do as well! To be puffed up, and operate one against another, is to be “carnal and walk as men.” Please be cognizant of the fact my brothers and sisters, when we depreciate any of Christ servants, we also depreciate the truth which they carry. Let us not forsake our own mercies. “All things are yours; whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; and ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.”
I believe this is the true and the divine perspective in staying united as a body of believers. Hence, we should strive to avoid sects, parties, cliques and coteries in the Body of Christ. There is one body, one Head, one Spirit, one divine and perfect revelation, i.e. the Holy Scriptures. There are many members, many gifts, many assigned duties, many distinct characters of ministry. We need them all, because God has given them to His Church.
Saints, God has not given us these various gifts and ministries to be separated from the reflective source! Do not allow Satan to set us one against another, but let us humbly and thankfully avail ourselves for the work of ministry set before us in these last and evil days! The Lord wants all to profit by His gifts to the body, according to His divine will. If all were Paul’s, where were the Peters? If all were Peters, where were the Johns?
We should delight in the absoluteness of truth afforded us, and thank the Lord for every true vessel or instrument, which our God ordains to use, in ministering His truth to the souls of men and women. Walking with the Lord for almost 40 years, I know that to be puffed up one against another, reveals that we are more occupied with the vessel, and less with the truth, which the vessel contains; which basically proves that we are more occupied with the man than with God! Saints, this is a grievous mistake! “Who then is Paul, or who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man.”
My brothers and sisters, it is Satan’s objective to lead the Lord’s people to set up heads of schools, leaders of parties, and centers of cliques; to try to split up the Body of Christ into sects, to destroy its ordained and visible unity. Let us not be ignorant of Satan’s devices; but in every possible way “endeavour to keep the unity of the Spirit in the uniting bond of peace.”
I know we can obtain our objectives in Christ by making sure He is the central point, by abiding in Him as an habitual occupation, while working for Him; as we hydrate deeply into His spirit, while we endeavor to walk in His footsteps. As members of His Body, I’ve learned that we must constantly lie at His feet, with a true broken and contrite spirit, endeavoring to stay humble (which ain’t always easy when flesh wants to rule) in mind.
My brothers and sisters when we make these efforts we will be delivered from strife, contention, from the discussion of profitless questions and baseless theories, from partiality, prejudice, and predilection. I believe only then will we be able to see and appreciate all the things each one of us brings to the table to complete the whole; because we converge upon the essence of truth, which is Jesus Christ, who is the head of this glorious body! The rays of light that are reflective emanate from this one eternal source. Hence, as a body of believers we shall rejoice in the great fact that, in all the ways and works of God, that every member of His body, by the grace of God; has been placed to work united for the things on earth, and things in Heaven as ordained in time and through eternity. Eph. 5:30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. I beseech you brethren to remember where the Lord has brought all of us from. We all have crossed bridges that others have built for us, we all have stood upon the shoulders of those before us, to give us an opportunity to receive enhanced illumination in the things of God. For me it has been Claude Allen Sr. (Papa Allen) my beloved father in the gospel, Pastor Claude Allen Jr., and Elder Johnnie James! Those who helped us in the construction of things, did not build to separate, but to bring us closer together. Believe me, it is not always easy to deal with the things that go on among us, but we have to keep our eyes on the focal point, Christ Jesus; lest Satan take advantage of us! If we strive to be and stay united, we will truly exemplify “A Unity In Christ That Is a Reflective Directive” Strive to have a “JESUS DAY”