Blessed First Resurrection
By Mitch Kuhn
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As I’ve been doing some more evangelism in recent months, I’ve come across a spirit in others that does not recognize the benefit of obeying God’s commands now; once they learn that everyone is going to be saved in the end. We all experience this spirit and it is called “turning grace into lasciviousness”.
(Jud 1:4 KJV) For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
The grace of God is his chastening that will save everyone in due time.
(Tit 2:11 KJV) For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
(Tit 2:12 KJV) Teaching (chastening) us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
I was talking to a friend of mine about obeying God’s commands while she was doing something that she knew was wrong but enjoyed in the flesh. Here response was, “Well, I’ll just burn an extra 5 minutes then” referring to the lake of fire.
This is such a good representation of the flippant attitude that the carnal mind has towards God’s commands. So I wanted to share some thoughts and scriptures about why delaying obedience makes things so much worse.
Let’s start with this parable:
(Luk 12:47 NKJV) And that servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.
(Luk 12:48 NKJV) But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.
The fact that someone is even asking this question demonstrates that they KNOW they are doing something wrong. If you have no knowledge of your master’s will, you won’t be talking about the consequences of not obeying him. Once we are aware of his will, the punishment becomes far more severe…many stripes.
If you know what to do and do not do it, then it is sin:
(Jas 4:17 NKJV) Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.
When we say, “yeah I know it’s sin but…it’s fun”, or if we just don’t want to go through the pain of giving up our sinful idol, we are in for a much stricter judgment that we have ever experience before.
(Heb 10:29 NKJV) Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?
(Heb 10:30 NKJV) For we know Him who said, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says the Lord. And again, “THE LORD WILL JUDGE HIS PEOPLE.”
(Heb 10:31 NKJV) It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
If we know what to do and willfully disobey, then we are trampling the son of God underfoot and counting the blood of the covenant as something common. We have no value for God’s commands or Christ’s work in our life. Bottom line- we are ungrateful and do not fear God.
(Pro 9:10 NKJV) “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
When we find out that we are disobeying God, it should be absolutely terrifying. It should drive us to get on our knees and beg and plead for mercy.
We naturally fear men and love pleasure far more than we fear God and love Him.
(Mat 10:28 NKJV) And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
The word for “soul” above is the Greek word “psuche” which is often translated as “life”.
(Luk 17:33 NKJV) Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.
Matthew 10:28 is saying to not fear man who can only harm our physical body, but fear GOD who will destroy your entire old life. Our life is everything we think, believe, love, and cherish. We first have an old life that is sinful and idolatrous. God is going to utterly destroy that old life to make way for the new man within, the new life of Christ.
God can take away our very desire to even continue living. He knows how to cause everything around us and inside of us to crumble in such a way that we despair for life.
When we disobey God, what happens is the judgment is so severe that we will want to die, but cannot carry it out.
(Rev 9:6 NKJV) In those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will desire to die, and death will flee from them.
Even if one does commit suicide, there is no relief there either. We will be raised up in the second resurrection and cast into the lake of fire exactly where we left off, as if no time has passed at all.
I’m saying all of this to point out that the only way to get peace is to go through the fire. The more we try to avoid it or delay it, the worse it gets until we are finally crushed to powder and submit to God’s ways.
(Gal 6:7 NKJV) Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.
(Gal 6:8 NKJV) For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.
It is written in everyone’s book the day and hour that we will all repent of every evil action and thought and learn to do things God’s way. Nevertheless, it is still good to admonish and encourage one anther to not despise the chastening of the Lord.
(Heb 12:5 NKJV) And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: “MY SON, DO NOT DESPISE THE CHASTENING OF THE LORD, NOR BE DISCOURAGED WHEN YOU ARE REBUKED BY HIM;
(Heb 12:6 NKJV) FOR WHOM THE LORD LOVES HE CHASTENS, AND SCOURGES EVERY SON WHOM HE RECEIVES.”
The quickest path to peace, joy, and all the other fruits of the spirit is obedience. His commands are not a burden, but disobedience is a huge burden.
(1Jn 5:3 NKJV) For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.
(Mat 11:28 NKJV) Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
(Mat 11:29 NKJV) Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
(Mat 11:30 NKJV) For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.
This is the burden of sin:
(Rom 6:23 KJV) For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
(Rom 8:6 KJV) For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
(Gal 5:19 KJV) Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
(Gal 5:20 KJV) Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
(Gal 5:21 KJV) Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
When we know that we are sinning and continue down that path, the only thing we have to look forward to is judgment and fiery wrath of God.
(Heb 10:26 KJV) For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
(Heb 10:27 KJV) But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
The world preaches smooth things that sound so nice. Just follow the world and life will be easy, you’ll be healthy, wealthy, blessed, and just enjoy life and have fun. That delusion only lasts for a short season and then the judgment comes.
(Mat 7:24 NKJV) “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock:
(Mat 7:25 NKJV) and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
(Mat 7:26 NKJV) “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand:
(Mat 7:27 NKJV) and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”
The price for disobedience is great. We all are caused by God to err from his ways and we will incur judgment to make us righteous. Once we see the right way, let us not delay in obeying, because only more and worse judgment awaits.
Just like Paul we should admonish everyone to work out their own salvation knowing that God is the one working within you to give you the strength to obey.
(Php 2:12 NKJV) Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;
(Php 2:13 NKJV) for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
There is no benefit in delaying obedience. We will curse any momentary pleasure we experienced when we are in the midst of the fire and looking back.
Regardless of your circumstances, the only right thing to do is beg God for mercy and the strength to obey. Any thoughts of running to idols of the world to get temporary satisfaction or avoid persecution are lies from the devil.
The way is narrow and full of persecution, but there is no other way to life. You will either go down it now or you will go down it later. The longer you wait, the worse the judgment, because you are like the servant who knows his master’s will and does not do it….many stripes await.
(Mar 10:29 NKJV) So Jesus answered and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s,
(Mar 10:30 NKJV) who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life.
I say all of this with the knowledge that only God can give anyone the ability to repent and obey his commands. Nevertheless we are saved through the foolishness of preaching, so I am now preaching.
(1Co 1:21 KJV) For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
So why is the 1st resurrection blessed and holy?
(Rev 20:6 KJV) Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
Because it is the quickest path to all the fruits of the spirit, God’s elect go through judgment now. So there is no fearful expectation of future judgment, instead we have a bright future of saving others as we have been saved.
(1Jn 4:17 KJV) Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.
(1Jn 4:18 KJV) There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
Love is to obey God’s commands, so when we obey him, the fear is driven out of our lives.
(1Jn 5:3 KJV) For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
All the rest of the world only has judgment to look forward to, because their own conscience convicts them that their actions are evil. Everyone is without excuse.
(Rom 2:12 KJV) For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;
(Rom 2:13 KJV) (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.
(Rom 2:14 KJV) For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:
(Rom 2:15 KJV) Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)
If judgment is upon our lives now, then we are blessed of all men. If we are being given the knowledge of Christ’s command and the ability to obey, then we should be filled with endless praise and rejoicing.
Do not envy the wicked. Do not envy those that prosper through disobedience. Do not envy those who gain wealth through disobedience to God and lusting after riches of the world. Do not envy those that are sexually promiscuous, enjoying the pleasures of the flesh, drinking wine and making merry. Do not envy those that worship false gods and carry on with the pagan celebrations of the world.
God WILL NOT be mocked. All of the works of the flesh will come under judgment and no amount of pleasure will seem worth it in that day. We will count all of our days of disobedience but dung and thank God from the depths of our heart that we have been delivered from that miserable bondage.
Psalms 73 explains this so well:
(Psa 73:2 NKJV) But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled; My steps had nearly slipped.
(Psa 73:3 NKJV) For I was envious of the boastful, When I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
(Psa 73:4 NKJV) For there are no pangs in their death, But their strength is firm.
(Psa 73:5 NKJV) They are not in trouble as other men, Nor are they plagued like other men.
(Psa 73:6 NKJV) Therefore pride serves as their necklace; Violence covers them like a garment.
(Psa 73:7 NKJV) Their eyes bulge with abundance; They have more than heart could wish.
(Psa 73:8 NKJV) They scoff and speak wickedly concerning oppression; They speak loftily.
(Psa 73:9 NKJV) They set their mouth against the heavens, And their tongue walks through the earth.
(Psa 73:10 NKJV) Therefore his people return here, And waters of a full cup are drained by them.
(Psa 73:11 NKJV) And they say, “How does God know? And is there knowledge in the Most High?”
(Psa 73:12 NKJV) Behold, these are the ungodly, Who are always at ease; They increase in riches.
(Psa 73:13 NKJV) Surely I have cleansed my heart in vain, And washed my hands in innocence.
(Psa 73:14 NKJV) For all day long I have been plagued, And chastened every morning.
(Psa 73:15 NKJV) If I had said, “I will speak thus,” Behold, I would have been untrue to the generation of Your children.
(Psa 73:16 NKJV) When I thought how to understand this, It was too painful for me
(Psa 73:17 NKJV) Until I went into the sanctuary of God; Then I understood their end.
(Psa 73:18 NKJV) Surely You set them in slippery places; You cast them down to destruction.
(Psa 73:19 NKJV) Oh, how they are brought to desolation, as in a moment! They are utterly consumed with terrors.
(Psa 73:20 NKJV) As a dream when one awakes, So, Lord, when You awake, You shall despise their image.
(Psa 73:21 NKJV) Thus my heart was grieved, And I was vexed in my mind.
(Psa 73:22 NKJV) I was so foolish and ignorant; I was like a beast before You.
(Psa 73:23 NKJV) Nevertheless I am continually with You; You hold me by my right hand.
(Psa 73:24 NKJV) You will guide me with Your counsel, And afterward receive me to glory.
(Psa 73:25 NKJV) Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You.
(Psa 73:26 NKJV) My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
(Psa 73:27 NKJV) For indeed, those who are far from You shall perish; You have destroyed all those who desert You for harlotry.
(Psa 73:28 NKJV) But it is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, That I may declare all Your works.
After sending out this brief study to those in our fellowship, I received a response from Nicholas Bogosian that I’m compelled to include in this article, because it reveals the impact of our obedience or disobedience for others.
Thank you so much, Mitch. Disobedience, knowing what we know, is also a form of hating others it seems (if love is obedience)…..it is like saying that we have this expectation within us, but are not willing to become that fire that cleanses others There is no expectation or love there. Disobedience is like happily getting out of line for the first resurrection and abandoning the Body and the world, too. When I disobey, I not only feel guilt, but I also feel like a traitor to the fellowship and the world.
(Tit 2:6 CLV) The younger men, similarly, entreat to be sane as to all things,
Tit 2:7 tendering yourself a model of ideal acts, in teaching with uncorruptness, gravity,
Tit 2:8 with words sound, uncensurable, that the contrary one may be abashed, having nothing bad to say concerning us.”
Tit 2:9 Slaves are to be subject to their own owners, to be well-pleasing in all things, not contradicting;”
Tit 2:10 not embezzling, but displaying all good faithfulness, that they may be adorning the teaching that is of God, our Saviour, in all things.”
Tit 2:11 For the saving grace of God made its advent to all humanity,
Tit 2:12 training us that, disowning irreverence and worldly desires, we should be living sanely and justly and devoutly in the current eon,
Tit 2:13 anticipating that happy expectation, even the advent of the glory of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ,
Tit 2:14 Who gives Himself for us, that He should be redeeming us from all lawlessness and be cleansing for Himself a people to be about Him, zealous for ideal acts.”
Tit 2:15 Speak of these things and entreat and expose with every injunction. Let no one slight you.
Our zeal is becoming like Christ, though not in the fullness and clearly not in His perfect ability – it is certainly zeal to complete a mission in the flesh though, just like Him, “in all things”.
In this life, God’s elect are used to carry the message of the Gospel to others, and then to become the saving lake of fire in the resurrection.
For this to take place we must become like Christ, which is to be perfected in love.
(1Jn 4:17 NKJV) Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world.
(Joh 20:21 NKJV) So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”
Christ did exactly what the Father told him to do, and that is why he was the savior of the world.
(Joh 5:19 NKJV) Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.
(Joh 6:38 NKJV) For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.
What is the will of God?
God’s will is to save all men and this is accomplished through Jesus Christ.
(Joh 3:16 NKJV) For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
(Joh 3:17 NKJV) For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
Christ knew that his death and resurrection would draw all men unto Himself and thus the Father.
His obedience to the Father had an effect on every person that would ever live. Just imagine, if rather staying in the Garden to be apprehended and crucified, he decided to head over to Mary Magdalene’s house for a couple of drinks and a nice time.
Christ obviously did not do that, because first of all, he was given the ability to obey and please his father, but also he knew that he was laying down his life for his friends.
The salvation of all is accomplished not only through Jesus Christ, the man who lived 2000 years ago, but also his body.
(Luk 22:19 NKJV) And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”
(Eph 5:30 NKJV) For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones.
(1Co 12:27 NKJV) Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.
Just as Jesus Christ was crucified physically, so too shall his whole body be crucified spiritually.
(Gal 2:20 NKJV) I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
The Apostle Paul understood quite well that as a part of Christ’s body, his job was to lay down his life for others just as Christ did.
(2Co 12:15 NKJV) And I will very gladly spend and be spent for your souls; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I am loved.
(Col 1:24 NKJV) I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church,
(Col 1:25 NKJV) of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God which was given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God,
(Col 1:26 NKJV) the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints.
(Col 1:27 NKJV) To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory
(Col 1:28 NKJV) Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.
(Col 1:29 NKJV) To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily.
The false doctrine of Substitutionary Atonement hides the fact that Christ’s body plays a critical role in others salvation. It is far more than just speaking mere words to others, but actually suffering for others like Christ.
This study explains further: http://tryingthespirits.com/2013-01/the-mystery-of-the-kingdom-of-god/
We are also called to be Ambassadors for Christ:
(2Co 5:20 NKJV) Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.
If we ignore this great calling to be in the first resurrection and bring salvation to others, then we are actually hating others. Love is to obey the commands of God, so hate is to disobey the commands of God.
Let’s look at the example of Joseph in the Old Testament, who is a type of Christ. Joseph was called by God to be the savior of all the people in Egypt. From a young age he was given a dream of rulership and then his brothers cast him in a pit, because he was their father’s favorite and he reported their evil deeds.
Then Joseph goes on this incredible journey of being sold into slavery, working in Potiphar’s house faithfully, until falsely accused by his wife, then he is thrown into prison, where he again is faithful and made ruler of the jail.
(Gen 39:21 NKJV) But the LORD was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison.
(Gen 39:22 NKJV) And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph’s hand all the prisoners who were in the prison; whatever they did there, it was his doing.
(Gen 39:23 NKJV) The keeper of the prison did not look into anything that was under Joseph’s authority, because the LORD was with him; and whatever he did, the LORD made it prosper.
Joseph is then given the opportunity to interpret Pharaoh’s dream. After interpreting the dream and revealing that there will be 7 years of plenty followed by 7 years of famine, Joseph is appointed ruler of Egypt.
(Gen 41:33 NKJV) “Now therefore, let Pharaoh select a discerning and wise man, and set him over the land of Egypt.
(Gen 41:34 NKJV) Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint officers over the land, to collect one-fifth of the produce of the land of Egypt in the seven plentiful years.
(Gen 41:35 NKJV) And let them gather all the food of those good years that are coming, and store up grain under the authority of Pharaoh, and let them keep food in the cities.
(Gen 41:36 NKJV) Then that food shall be as a reserve for the land for the seven years of famine which shall be in the land of Egypt, that the land may not perish during the famine.”
(Gen 41:37 NKJV) So the advice was good in the eyes of Pharaoh and in the eyes of all his servants.
(Gen 41:38 NKJV) And Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom is the Spirit of God?”
(Gen 41:39 NKJV) Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Inasmuch as God has shown you all this, there is no one as discerning and wise as you.
(Gen 41:40 NKJV) You shall be over my house, and all my people shall be ruled according to your word; only in regard to the throne will I be greater than you.”
(Gen 41:41 NKJV) And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.”
(Gen 41:42 NKJV) Then Pharaoh took his signet ring off his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand; and he clothed him in garments of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck.
(Gen 41:43 NKJV) And he had him ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried out before him, “Bow the knee!” So he set him over all the land of Egypt.
(Gen 41:44 NKJV) Pharaoh also said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, and without your consent no man may lift his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.”
If Joseph would have been unfaithful in any of the trials God sent to him, then he would not have been in the position to be given rulership and save many people. Joseph was faithful, because it was the will of God of course.
Joseph also knew that God caused his brothers to do evil against him for a good purpose, so after their father dies, he reassures his brothers and comforted them. God caused Joseph to lay down his life for his brothers, just as he causes Christ and his body to lay down their lives for others.
(Gen 50:15 NKJV) When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “Perhaps Joseph will hate us, and may actually repay us for all the evil which we did to him.”
(Gen 50:16 NKJV) So they sent messengers to Joseph, saying, “Before your father died he commanded, saying,
(Gen 50:17 NKJV) Thus you shall say to Joseph: “I beg you, please forgive the trespass of your brothers and their sin; for they did evil to you.” Now, please, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of your father.” And Joseph wept when they spoke to him.
(Gen 50:18 NKJV) Then his brothers also went and fell down before his face, and they said, “Behold, we are your servants.”
(Gen 50:19 NKJV) Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God?
(Gen 50:20 NKJV) But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.
Joseph was a faithful ruler of Egypt. He was diligent to oversee the work and do what was necessary, because he knew that many people’s lives depended on it. What if Joseph would have abused his power and spent his time partying and running around with women instead of doing his job? There would have been terrible consequences for Joseph and others, leading to many deaths. God caused all of this to happen, so that we would learn the importance of being faithful and obedient.
There is a great famine upon us now and a great famine to come, this famine is of the Word of God.
(Amo 8:11 NKJV) “Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord GOD, “That I will send a famine on the land, Not a famine of bread, Nor a thirst for water, But of hearing the words of the LORD.
(Amo 8:12 NKJV) They shall wander from sea to sea, And from north to east; They shall run to and fro, seeking the word of the LORD, But shall not find it.
The Lord has taken from Israel (the Church of today) the truth of God’s word.
(Isa 3:1 NKJV) For behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts, Takes away from Jerusalem and from Judah The stock and the store, The whole supply of bread and the whole supply of water;
When the trials come, they will find that there is no food for them and they will die spiritually. We as a type of Joseph should be storing up the grain of God’s Word for the famine by being faithful now, so when the trials come, we will be able to share the truth with others and give them life.
(Joh 6:35 NKJV) And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.
There are so few faithful laborers working in the fields to store up grain and save others. Pray that the Lord sends laborers and that you are one of them.
(Mat 9:37 NKJV) Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few.
(Mat 9:38 NKJV) Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”
God uses the analogy of the body to describe the Church, because every part is important. If one part of the body is sick, it affects the whole body.
(Eph 4:16 NKJV) from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
(1Co 12:26 NKJV) And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.
When we are disobedient, we are harming the ENTIRE body. It may not be evident to us right away, but anytime we are sacrificing to devils and wasting our goods on evil, we are depriving the body of much needed nourishment.
It would be a like a family living together and the father goes out and spends the grocery money on prostitutes and alcohol…it effects the whole family. Even if one of the children is working and could contribute to the household bills, but instead wastes it on partying, that child is adding to the burden of the parents and the others.
We are all a body. There are those that God has given the strength and wisdom to labor in the word of God like an ox. We should be grateful to them and do whatever we can to help out in any way.
(1Ti 5:17 NKJV) Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine.
(1Ti 5:18 NKJV) For the Scripture says, “YOU SHALL NOT MUZZLE AN OX WHILE IT TREADS OUT THE GRAIN,” and, “THE LABORER IS WORTHY OF HIS WAGES.”
(1Th 5:12 NKJV) And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you,
(1Th 5:13 NKJV) and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. Be at peace among yourselves.
This is like being grateful to our physical parents who provide for us while we are yet children and cannot feed ourselves, and then continue to teach us as we grow, until we are able to contribute something to the family.
There is a time that all we can do is be a babe in Christ and drink the milk that others provide for us. We cry and complain and make a mess of things, but our parents love us and help us grow up. There is no shame in acknowledging that we all have to be there for a season.
However we all have to be admonished to grow up and start eating the meat of the word. We should all at least bear our own burden as best we can, and then in due time contribute something to the family of God.
(Heb 5:12 NKJV) For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food.
(Heb 5:13 NKJV) For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe.
(Heb 5:14 NKJV) But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
In a physical family there are both physical needs and spiritual needs. As the body of Christ there are both physical and spiritual needs as well.
(Php 2:4 NKJV) Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
(Gal 6:2 NKJV) Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
(1Ti 6:17 NKJV) Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy.
(1Ti 6:18 NKJV) Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share,
(1Ti 6:19 NKJV) storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.
These are spiritual and physical statements. If you are spiritually rich, then share with others, if you are physically rich, share with others. The same is true if you are poor. Remember the widow’s mite.
Paul admonishes the Corinthians to give physically, which is a shadow of how we are to give spiritually to others as well. He uses the example of the Church in Macedonia to make his point.
(2Co 8:1 NKJV) Moreover, brethren, we make known to you the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia:
(2Co 8:2 NKJV) that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded in the riches of their liberality.
(2Co 8:3 NKJV) For I bear witness that according to their ability, yes, and beyond their ability, they were freely willing,
(2Co 8:4 NKJV) imploring us with much urgency that we would receive the gift and the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.
If we cannot take care of one another in the Body of Christ physically, how will we ever be able to do it spiritually?
(Luk 16:10 NKJV) He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much.
(Luk 16:11 NKJV) Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?
(Luk 16:12 NKJV) And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?
This is all a part of being in the first resurrection. We must learn to do all of these things now, so that we are able to share them with others when the time comes. We must remove the plank from our own eye, so we can take the speck from our brother’s eye.
Christ has a body and within that body everyone is in a different place spiritually. Some are quite mature and bearing the burdens of others as they press on to perfection. Some are doing well to just be faithful themselves and contribute a little here and there as their Lord provides. Some are babes that need to be admonished to grow up and others are just newborns that need to be patiently fed while they grow. Regardless of where you are, there is something we all need to do to take the next step on our way to perfection and Lord willing, that blessed and holy first resurrection.