WHAT IS FELLOWSHIP?
Fellowship means an association of people who share common beliefs, activities and status. It is derived from the word “fellow”, which means belonging to the same class as another.
Therefore, having fellowship with God means being in His class!
With this definition, I am tempted to ask if we can really have fellowship with God? Especially considering what John said in 1John 1:3
“That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.” – 1 John 1:3 (KJV)
John had been having meetings with these people whom he called “my little children” (1 John 2:1). But he says “that you may have fellowship with us”. What could this mean? He has been having meetings with these people but not fellowship!
So it is possible to have church meetings yet not have fellowship. You come to church, I see you, you see me, and we interact and possibly exchange pleasantries yet not have fellowship! Fellowship is deeper than meeting! Can we really have fellowship with the Father if it is possible to meet yet not have fellowship with man?
I can imagine believers meeting under a tree and a dog, perhaps seeing the owner there, lies at his side. Certainly, the dog, though there could not be said to have fellowship with the people. Why? It is not of the same nature with man! Man’s ways differ from the dog’s, so no matter how close they can’t have fellowship.
God’s ways differ from ours.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:8-9 (KJV)
God’s nature differs from ours; His is a nature of Spirit and righteousness. Man, through Adam, lost this nature, acquiring the nature of sin, wickedness and lie. Consequently, natural man cannot have fellowship with God. Nothing of man can have fellowship with God!
But this is the reason God made man, to have fellowship with him. He desires it and so, calls Man to share or partake in His divine nature.
“Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” – 2 Peter 1:4 (KJV)
Despite this awesome invitation, many even in the household of Faith – the Church, still fall short because of worldly pleasures: the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life.
It is possible for you to be at table, having a sumptuous meal and I come visiting; sincerely from the depth of your heart you invite me to share, join or “partake” in your meal, and for one reason or another I decline the offer. God desires to share His nature with us but for various reasons this offer is being declined, though we still go to church: singing, dancing, preaching and teaching nevertheless, no fellowship with God.
John made this statement because like Paul, he had turned his back on the world and all it could offer. He had “tasted” God, “seen and handled” and come to a level where he could truly share God’s nature and so could fellowship with the Father.
…..to be continued.
Generally, God loves us all; and this is recorded in John 3:16. God is not partial and does not take sides. He is not committed to people, race, colour or language. He cannot be bribed or bought over either with our tears, words, thought or deed. However, He is committed to Jesus.
“For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.” – Isaiah 66:2 (KJV)
God has a special love for Jesus so much so that He declared.
“ ……Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.” – Luke 3:22 (KJV)
This special love God has for Jesus is extended to everyone in Christ that truly trust and keep His words. This special love is in varying degrees, even for people in Christ. Jesus was anointed with the presence of God beyond measure, meaning that God without reserve, poured Himself into Jesus.
“For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell.” – Col 1:19 (KJV)
“For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” – Col 2:9 (KJV)
The preciousness of a child of God depends largely on the individual’s availability to draw nearer to God: the nearer you draw to Him, and away from the world, the nearer He draws to you. The more of yourself you yield to Him, the more of Him He gives to you. The measure with which you give is the measure with which you receive.
“Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” – Luke 6:38 (KJV)
James says “Draw nigh to God and He will nigh to you” – James 4:8a (KJV)
How much are you worth to God? How much would God pay as ransom for your life? It is religious for anyone who has not given himself to God through Jesus to demand in prayer, nations for their sake. Would God kill one person for your sake, knowing full well that He does not desire the death of sinners? Are you so precious to him that he would kill many people or even a nation for your sake? There must be something of worth in you before God would kill souls for your sake. The bible says we have treasure. 2 cor. 4:7
“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.” – 2 Cor 4:7 (KJV)
It is a complete waste of time and energy to demand lives, souls in exchange for yours if you are empty of this treasure which belongs to God and comes from God. Retaining and treasuring this treasure is what makes you treasured. It is something that came from him and not something you have done can do or will do.
“…..that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.” – 2 Cor 4:7 (KJV)
Not of us!
“And all things are of God……..” – 2 Cor 5:18a (KJV)
This treasure comes from and belongs to God! It is not our works, as Christians, preachers, teachers, intercessors or staff of Church. Nothing on earth, under the sun, moves God; be it your money (offering), your education, social status or political clout. Nothing of earth origin or native to earth moves God.
He is committed to and moved, only by His word retained by the individual in Christ Jesus. It is His word that makes you precious! His word is His treasure!
“I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.” – Psalms 138:2 (KJV)
….to be continued.
There is no time in the history of the Church as now when we need to fumigate our spiritual lives, killing of the spiritual pests that trouble us; and make straight the way of the Lord.
“And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him. 2 And Aaron said unto them, Break off the golden earrings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them unto me. 3 And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron. 4 And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. 5 And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, To morrow is a feast to the LORD. 6 And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play. 7 And the LORD said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves: 8 They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt………And when Moses saw that the people were naked; (for Aaron had made them naked unto their shame among their enemies:) 26 Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the LORD’S side? let him come unto me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him. 27 And he said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour. 28 And the children of Levi did according to the word of Moses: and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men.” -Ex. 32:1-8; 25-28
Theologians have said for centuries that Aaron lied about throwing gold in the fire and out jumped the calf. But, Moses never said he lied! Yes, to the natural man, this could be the greatest lie in the history of mankind. What if he did not lie!
There are things that we cannot see with the naked eyes, yet we cannot deny their existence. Aaron could have seen one of those. But how would he explain to people what they couldn’t see? Sometimes it is very difficult, almost impossible explain to others what they have not seen, how much more a spiritual thing!
In Psalm 22, David narrated what Jesus saw behind the actions of men.
“My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?…………He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him…………..Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round. 13 They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion. 14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels. 15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death. 16 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. 17 I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me. 18 They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture. 19 But be not thou far from me, O LORD: O my strength, haste thee to help me. 20 Deliver my soul from the sword; my darling from the power of the dog.” – Psalms 22:1,8,12-20 (KJV)
These are not the words of David but of the Lord Jesus! You see David was a prophet and one so dear to the heart of God; he was permitted a peek into what the Messiah would go through on the Cross. There is no place in Scripture where David’s garment was parted (vs. 18) or cast on lot. Neither is it recorded that his hands and feet were pierced (vs.16).
Jesus on the Cross saw “bulls of Bashan” (vs.12) and “dogs” (vs. 16), the forces of darkness that influenced man against God, prompting His prayer, “Forgive them for they know not what they do.”
There were unseen forces at play around the Cross which were also at play in the wilderness in the days of Aaron; even today those forces are still at work, which is why “we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” – Eph 6:12 (KJV) Humans are not our enemies, there are forces influencing them that cannot be seen!
Aaron saw something others did not see.
“And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, To morrow is a feast to the LORD.” – Ex 32:5 (KJV)
Look at the scenario. Aaron asked for the earrings, they brought them to him and he fashioned a calf out of it. What was so special about what he saw that the Holy Spirit would note “it” for us? “And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it.” Certainly “it” is not the people bringing their gold which at this time they had stopped. Neither would “it” be the “art” work which was always in his sight. So, what did he see?
Something else at this time had “jumped out” onto the calf to take over the image. God would not be jealous if nothing was there!
There is a law of double-identity. God spoke to the prince of Tyrus (Ezekiel 28:2) and the king of Tyrus (Ezekiel 28:12), but He referred to the entity or intelligence behind them: Lucifer – the covering cherub. People could only see the humans, not the power motivating their actions. Jesus turned to Peter but spoke to satan (Matthew 16:23), Paul spoke to a girl but addressed an unseen entity (Acts 16:18).
I remember searching through the store one day, while still living with my parents. I saw a wooden masquerade face my father bought for us as kids in one of his many tours. As I looked at it, I thought how beautiful it would be as a decorative art piece. Since it had openings where the eyes would be, I got two pieces of white paper and with a black pen drew two eyes which I pasted inside the mask where the eyes should be. I hung this mask on the wall of the living room facing the door. The eyes were so real; everyone including visitors noticed the mask and passed comments that the eyes seemed to be looking at them. Two days later my mother asked me to remove it because it was frightening and seemed to follow her every move that day. I just laughed telling her it was a harmless piece of decoration. That night with everyone sleeping, I was alone in the living room writing; gradually I began to feel uneasy and uncomfortable: I was not alone! Something was with me there! But, what or who? I raised my face and looked around. There was no one, yet I continued to feel the stare of something! The second time I raised my face, my eyes went to the mask; a pair of eyes was staring at me! A sudden fear gripped me as shivers ran down my spine! I mustered courage, and with shaky legs walked to the wooden face, took it off the wall and removed the papers I posted on it.
What happened? An entity had “jumped upon” it to reside! It would have been dangerous if I had delayed.
How did the entity get there? Collective thought energy! Everyone that came into the living room thought the mask face was real and alive!
“……..and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.” – Gen 11:6 (KJV)
We invited the entity through our thought! The fiends of hell; the powers of darkness can be drawn through thought! That is why need to think pure thoughts.
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” – Phil 4:8 (KJV)
What were the children of Israel doing when Aaron was working on the image? Excitedly preparing to receive “their god”! They gave life to the image through their collective thought energy.
…….to be continued.
WORRY THE SILENT KILLER!
“Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? 27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? 28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” – Matt 6:25-34 (KJV)
Here Jesus taught us not to worry ourselves, as on our own, we cannot change anything. He adds that something comes before worry; this something is the source of worry; it gives birth to worry!
“THEREFORE” verses 25 and 31, proves something precedes worry.
What is this thing?
“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” – Matt 6:19-21 (KJV)
On what have you put value? Where have we put worth? What attracts or carries your attention? What do you hold dear in your everyday life?
Heaven or earth?
In HEAVEN there is love, joy, peace, temperance, meekness, gentleness, goodness, faith etc.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” – Gal 5:22-23 (KJV)
Against these there is no law; no evil can prevail against these!
The Settled word of God, His plan, is also in heaven.
“Forever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.” – Psalms 119:89 (KJV)
Here on Earth there are elegant houses (but can be destroyed through fire, riot, war); there are also powerful cars (but can be lost through thieves, fire, riot, war); we have designer wears (again they can be lost through fading, fire, thieves), is it expensive colognes and perfumes? (they fade).
All for honour, fame and power; encouraged and blown out of proportion by motivational speakers who instead of pointing us to heaven point us to things on earth; which if we do not have gives birth to worry.
A lack of heavenly focus plunges one into insecurity and uncertainty. One would seek to change times and seasons.
Things that have been concluded and settled in heaven concerning you!
This thought to change things you have no power to change is the cause of worry!
“Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?” – Matt 6:27 (KJV)
What you value is certainly where your heart would be; what you will think about all day, especially if it is something you do not have!
SIX STEPS TO STOP WORRYING
(1) know God places a high value on you.
“Look at the birds. They don’t need to plant or harvest or put food in barns because your heavenly Father feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than they are.” – Matt 6:26 (NLT)
(2) Know that there is a plan for your life.
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” – Jer 29:11 (KJV)
“ (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.” – Matt 6:32 (KJV)
(3) Know that you cannot change that plan.
“Forever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.” – Psalms 119:89 (KJV)
Not even with your prayers can you change God’s plan. Ask Abraham, David, Jeremiah, Paul. Not even Jesus was able to change God’s plan for Him.
(4) Know that God cares for you.
“Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?” – Matt 6:30 (KJV)
(5) Have faith in Him.
“Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.” – Matt 6:31-32 (KJV)
(6) Keep busy with Him; the writer of your part or role in the drama of life.
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” – Matt 6:33 (KJV)
Coming out of Egypt, Israel encountered peoples and situations that were hostile; like Balak who hired Balaam to curse them.
Unknown to the Israelites, these men and the officials of Moab, were on the hill overlooking the great hoard in the valley and pronouncing curses at them. At seven different locations they raised altars, made sacrifices and Balaam made the curse.
But whom God has blessed, no man can curse!! Every opening of the mouth to curse turned into blessings to the chagrin of the Moabit King!
Indeed God makes diviners mad and frustrates the token of liars!!!
All these were unknown to the Israelites!!!
I wish Christians will focus on following God with undivided heart and stop prying into who is cursing or making enchantments against them! God knows HOW to deliver the righteous.
The bible says God did not allow any man to hurt them. Instead He rebuked Kings for their sake!
“He suffered no man to do them wrong: yea, he reproved kings for their sakes;” (Psalm 105:14).
Evil people, like their master, do not rest. Seeing they couldn’t curse Israel, Balaam advised Balak to introduce strange women into their camp as this would make God angry, remove the protection and turn against them.
And truly, God turned against them! A plague was released; 24,000 men, outside women and children died.
To stop the plague God asked Moses to hang publicly, facing the Sun all the ring leaders who frolicked with the women of Moab and joined in the worship of Baal-peor, that it may be a deterrent to others.
While that was being carried out, Moses, Aaron and the leaders sat mourning in repentance, at the entry of the Tabernacle, and behold an Israeli prince, Zimri, came into the camp with a Midianitish princess named Cozby.
Also seated with them was a young man called Phinehas the son of Eleazar and grandson of Aaron the Priest.
Like others he saw the abomination brought into the camp but couldn’t keep still. Though his father was there, his grandfather was there, even his uncle, Moses was there! They knew this was the cause of the calamity yet they sat still crying, nobody moved!!
When he couldn’t contain it any more, he rose, picked a spear and traced the couple to the man’s tent where he killed both.
Instantly the plague stopped and God reacted: He made a covenant of peace with him, and pronounced that he and his descendants would be priests forever.
God had found a servant of honour. How did he become one?
(1) He was in the camp.
Young men are always adventurous, seeking to conquer their environment. Unlike Zimri, Phinehas stayed in the camp, not venturing away and consequently, remained in the will of God. He did not join himself to strangers.
What has Christ with Beliel or the temple of God with idols. What has light with darkness.
“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” (2 Corinthians 6:14-18).
Every sheep that leaves the flock and wanders off, breaks the rule and makes itself an easy target for the wolves. Christians who wander off the fold disobey God!!!
“Be separate, come out from their midst”, He says!
(2) He saw.
There is nothing as hindering as spiritual blindness!!!
Having killed the ringleaders as instructed by God, the plague did not stop! While they all sat crying, it took one young man, possibly not yet of Levitical age (30), to discern why the plague was not stopped!
Obedience to the Word of God should bring good (Isaiah 1: 19). Where and when obedience didn’t bring good, the obedience is not complete.
Phinehas saw what others could not see.
Just as in Exodus 32, when the entire camp of Israel did not see the consequence of making the molten calf and worshipping it, the tribe of Levi saw and abstained. That was how God chose them to be His vessels and representatives in place of the first born, making them a special people of God, an Old covenant “Church of the first born sons”.
Oh that our eyes may be opened that we might see through the eyes of heaven!!! What peace shall be ours!!!
No wonder Paul prayed our eyes be opened!
“The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,” (Ephesians 1:18).
(3) He picked the spear.
The spear was a weapon of war, a rod that kills – the Word of God. Paul tells us to pick up the sword of the Spirit (Eph. 6) which is the Word of God, Phinehas armed himself with the spear and with it quenched the abomination.
The work of God can only be done right and well when done according to the Word of God. Doing God’s work without His word is not only demonic, it is devilish and deathly.
Some works may be awesomely big and we allude it to the glory of God. But no. The sons of Levi were only a remnant compared to the multitude. Whereas they had the glory, the multitude were “naked to their shame”, stripped of the glory of God. Why? They did not follow God’s will and Way. They did theirs; there is a way that seemeth right unto a man….
“There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Proverbs 16:25).
God has specifications, even where a tiny nail should be, was instructed Noah in the building of the Ark.
Let’s not just do things, let’s do them according to His specification, and we shall be SERVANTS OF HONOUR.