He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up in the last day. For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me and I in him. As the living Father has sent Me and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me , he also shall alive because of Me. [John 6:54-57]
I am the vine; you are the branches. He who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing. If one does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is dried up; and they gather them and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me and My words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you. In this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and so you will become My disciples. [John 15:5-8]
Taste and see that the Lord is good; [Psalms 34:8]
It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words which I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. [John 6:63]
But He answered and said, It is written, “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out through the mouth of God.” [Matthew 4:4]
Dear saints, I want to emphasize how important eating and drinking is. If we don’t eat and drink, we will grow weak and die. If someone eats once a day, surely he won’t have enough strength. Such a person will be weak and sickly.
Many want to abide in the Lord and bear fruit for the Lord. But few care for eating and drinking the Lord. We need to be the ones who eat and drink Christ many times each day. If we are always eating a drinking Christ, we will live because of Him; we will abide in Him and He will abide in us; and we will bear much fruit.
In order to eat something, that thing must die to enter into us. Then that food is metabolized. Our body is filled and saturated by the food we eat. We even become what we eat, because our body becomes saturated with it’s nutrients. If you just eat fish every day, you will smell like fish. Everyone will know you eat fish, because you will have a fishy aroma.
So it is with Christ. But, how do we eat Christ? Eating Christ is related to the Spirit and to the Word. The Word is the Food itself and the Spirit is the Life. No one goes to the store and says, “I don’t want the vegetable, I just want the life in it”. The Word is for us to take in the Life.
Yet, there is the danger that the Word could just be dead letters to us. If we just take it in with our mind, then there’s no spiritual Food. The only way to eat spiritual Food is with our spirits. We must turn our mind, will, and emotions to the Spirit, who is mingled with our spirits, for the proper eating.
This was shown clearly in Jesus words to the Pharisees:
You search the Scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is these that testify concerning Me. Yet you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life. [John 5:39-40]
We shouldn’t forget that Christ is the Life within the Word. Actually, Christ is both the Word and the Life. The Word is Christ spoken forth for the transmission of Christ as Life.
Don’t think that this Food is just the Scriptures. We must also speak forth Christ to one another. We must feed each other with our experience of Christ. Ministering Christ to one another is the shepherding way.
He said to him, Feed My lambs…He said to him, Shepherd My sheep…Jesus said to him, Feed My sheep. [John 21:15-17]
And He Himself gave some as apostles and some as prophets and some as evangelists and some as shepherds and teachers, for the perfecting of the saints unto the work of the ministry, unto the building up of the Body of Christ, [Ephesians 4:11-12]
Notice here that Paul says, “some as apostles”, “some as prophets”, and “some as evangelists”. But, shepherds and teachers are linked together. There is a link between shepherding, feeding, and teaching. If we are to take the shepherding way, we must be ones who are able to feed the lambs and the sheep, by teaching the Word, both as Milk and as Meat, according to their need.
Our Lord is the Good Shepherd, who nourishes and cherishes us. Our shepherding, must be the expression of our Lord.
The matter of eating Christ is absolutely central to the Scriptures and vital to our organic Life in Christ. The Scriptures begin with eating and ends with eating and drinking. Christ is the Tree of Life for God’s growth and the River of Life for God’s flow.
It would be good if every time you ate and drank, you would remember Christ as your real Food and Drink
That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit into the inner man, [Ephesians 3:16]
I hope you all will take this to heart, eating and drinking Christ, and nourishing and cherishing one another. Then you all will be strengthened into your inner Man.
God gave His Son to man to be
The tree of life so rich and free,
That every man may taste and see
That God is good for food.
Yes, God is good for food!
Yes, God is good for food!
We’ve tasted and we testify
That God is good for food!
We eat this feast and take God in,
And as we eat we live by Him,
For all the elements within
This feast are God Himself.
Yes, Jesus is our feast!
Yes, Jesus is our feast!
We eat this feast and live by Him,
For Jesus is our feast!
Christ Jesus is the food we eat;
He is our bread, He is our meat;
He is our life-supply complete;
We daily eat of Him.
We daily eat of Him,
We daily eat of Him.
He is our life-supply complete;
We daily eat of Him.
This feast is so enjoyable;
To men it’s so available,
For God said whosoever will
May come and freely eat.
Yes, come and freely eat;
Yes, come and freely eat.
For God said whosoever will
May come and freely eat.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
The condition of your heart is so important for the Lord’s purpose.
The proper heart for the growth of Life
And not holding the Head, out from whom all the Body, being richly supplied and knit together by means of the joints and sinews, grows with the growth of God.
God’s Eternal Purpose is to head up all things in Christ and He is accomplishing His Purpose through His Economy, which is to dispense Himself into all the saints to be our Life and Life-Supply.
God’s Economy is what we see in Matthew 13. The Lord is dispensing Himself as the Seed into our hearts. He is uniting Himself with us in eternal Oneness.
In Matthew 13, the Lord gives a picture of the growth in Life concerning four heart conditions. These heart conditions are symbolized by the soils.
We see a few pictures in this parable: the Sower, the Seed(the Word), and the Life.
The Lord is the Sower.
The Lord is the Seed.
The Lord is the Word.
The Lord is the Life.
The Lord is everything for us. When we believe into the Lord, He comes into us as a small Seed. But, this Seed isn’t lacking anything. Within the Seed is the entire Tree. This Seed becomes One with the soil of our hearts. The Lord Spirit is mingled with our spirit in Oneness.
With the proper soil, water, and light this Seed will grow up to be the overcoming inner Man in us. You must understand that what grows forth from the Seed planted into our hearts is not just God, but also Man. The Plant that grows is God with us. It is God and us as One New Man. This Seed is planted in our spirit and will grow to fill and saturate our mind, will, and emotions.
I do think that we all have the experience of each of the different types of soils in Jesus’ parable. I encourage you to go read that parable now.
The Hard Soil
A hard heart is of no use to God. It gives Him no room to enter or grow.
The Rocky Soil
The rocky heart is somewhat hard and somewhat soft. It gives the Lord room to enter and grow, but the growth is too shallow.
The Thorny Soil
The thorny heart is a soft heart, but the thorns take away the nutrients for its growth.
The good soil
The good heart is gives the Lord plenty of room to growth. It receives His Living Water and His Shining Light. Root dig deeply down to strengthen the inner man. The Plant grows upward growing from glory to glory, until the ultimate expression is revealed: the glorious flower. Right now you may not look so beautiful outwardly, but if you have the proper heart for the Lord, someday you will be a glorious shining flower, displaying the beauty of the Lord Jesus Christ. We will express the fullness of God!
The proper heart for the flow of Life.
The Tree of Life grows in the River of Life. The Tree of Life is for growth of God’s Life and the River of Life is for the flow of God’s Life.
In Genesis 26, we have a picture of Isaac with his tent in Beersheba, where Abraham had planted a tamarisk tree. The Lord appears to Isaac and Isaac builds an altar and digs a well. We need to set our tents(our dwelling) in the Lord’s constant appearing by the tamarisk tree(a picture of the Tree of Life), building an altar and digging a well. The altar symbolizes the application of the cross and the well symbolizes our enjoyment of the flowing resurrection Life.
None of us have the proper heart by nature. So for God’s flow, we need to learn to be altar-builders and well-diggers.
Hidden deep beneath layers and layers of hardened dust, there is fresh Water. Every morning we must wake up and dig through our natural man to enjoy the flowing Life deep within our spirit. I just wake up in my flesh every morning. I don’t want to turn to the Lord. I don’t want to get up. I don’t want to work.
I do think that many of you have the same experience. So we must build an altar, leaving our old man there. And we must dig a well to keep our hearts soft and tender for the Lord’s flow. With such a soft heart, the Lord will be a fountain springing up within us to eternal Life. We will have the freshness of His flowing Life. He will even overflow out of us and water those around us.
But whenever their heart turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. And the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. But we all with unveiled face, beholding and reflecting like a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord Spirit.
Keep turning your hearts to the Lord by Faith, dear ones. With a pure heart, a heart that’s single for the Lord, you are free to behold the Lord within you. The more time you spend beholding the Lord within you, the more you will shine. You will be transformed into the Lord’s image, expressing His glory more and more. How gloriously blessed are the pure in heart!
Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:12 NASB
There are many aspects to and pictures of the Prize, the consummation of which is the New Jerusalem. But I want to focus on the Good Land.
Beginning with Abraham, God called out a People to take possession of the Good Land. The Good Land is a type of Christ as Everything for us. The Good Land is the All-Inclusive Christ.
Today, this Good Land is in our spirit.
Joshua the son of Nun, who stands before you, he shall enter. Encourage him, for he shall cause Israel to inherit it. And as for your little ones, who you said would become a prey, and your children, who today have no knowledge of good or evil, they shall go in there. And to them I will give it, and they shall possess it. But as for you, turn, and journey into the wilderness in the direction of the Red Sea.’ Deuteronomy 1:38-40 ESV
The first generation in the wilderness is a picture of the old man, who couldn’t overcome the flesh and experience all that Christ is for us. But second generation is a picture of the New Man. It’s the New Man, having no knowledge of good or evil, who can take possession of the Good Land.
Adam, the first Man, ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. But in Christ, the second Man, Adam has been terminated. All that is of Adam has died in the wilderness.
So the Israelites pass through the Jordan, a figure of our baptism, death, and resurrection in Christ. It’s the Ark, a type of Christ, that leads the Way. Then the Israelites are commanded to circumcise themselves.
We are the real Hebrews, which means river-crossers. We are the ones circumcised in our hearts.
“When the Lord your God cuts off before you the nations whom you go in to dispossess, and you dispossess them and dwell in their land, Deuteronomy 12:29 ESV
Not only were the Israelites to cut off their flesh in circumcision, but they were to cut off the people in the Good Land. All of the Canaanites are a type of the flesh and the kings are a type of the evil powers that govern our flesh.
Even though, objectively, we have been crucified with Christ, we must apply His finished work by the Spirit, who is the very effectiveness of His death and resurrection. This is the picture that we have of the circumcision and the cutting off of the people’s from the Good Land.
If we are to take full possession of the Good Land, we must have practical daily experience of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ by the Spirit.
In Joshua, we have some pictures to give us practical help in overcoming and taking Christ as Everything for us.
Jericho, with its high walls, is a great big picture of the flesh. The Israelites didn’t need to struggle against Jericho. They walked around it by Faith. They walked with the Ark, as a type of Christ. They blew the Ram’s Horn, a type of announcing the Gospel of Christ as the fighting power. See Overcoming Jericho.
Being right before the Lord.
After Jericho, the Israelites attacked Ai. They spied out Ai and saw that the enemies were few there, and didn’t even send all the people to fight. But, they didn’t contact God and they kept something from Jericho against God’s command. So, Israel was defeated because it wasn’t right with God.
We don’t need more introspection, but we do need to go before the Lord and allow Him to illuminate our being. We are His House and He desires to keep His House clean. Don’t take a flashlight(introspection) to look for dirt, but turn to the light switch(the Spirit) to shine. He will show you everywhere that you are not right before the Lord. Wait on Him. Don’t rush ahead. Stay in the shining of the Lord. This Life within us is the Light of men. We are men, so His Life is our Light to shine in us. Stay in the cleansing flow of His River of Life. We walk in this world it’s too easy to get dirty. Our feet are always in contact with the world. This is the reason that Jesus washed the disciples’ feet. He is the Spirit washing our dirty feet in an inward way today.
Not being deceived by the flesh.
Next is the picture of the Gibeonites. Unlike Ai, the Gibeonites did not come to fight against Israel, but came to deceive it. The Gibeonites pretended to be poor travelers from far away and convinced Israel to make a covenant with them.
In regards to your flesh, you may say that this aspect or that feature is not so bad. You consider it to be useful for the Lord. Perhaps you are naturally a great speaker. Once you used your speaking for yourself, now you will use it for the Lord. Whether your natural speaking is for yourself or for the Lord it doesn’t matter. What matters is the source. The source of your speaking is the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Only if your strong speaking is crucified, can it be useful to the Lord in resurrection. Then God will be the Source of your speaking. Then whether you speak clearly or with stuttering, God’s Life will flow through your speaking because He is your Source.
If you embrace your natural strengths, you are just like Israel. You forget your Husband and go ahead to make a covenant with your flesh. We must always wait on our Husband. The River of Life flows from the Throne, the Lord’s Headship. Only when we are living practically under our Husband’s Headship, will we enjoy the Flow of His Life.
Not taking your own choice.
The Lord desired to give the Good Land to the tribes of Israel. But, two and a half tribes didn’t want to cross the Jordan. They wanted the land before the Jordan, because it was good for their livestock. God gave them their choice and because of their choice, they would be the first tribes attacked by invaders and they wouldn’t have the protection of the Jordan.
You must not take your own choice, dear children. You must wait on the Lord. You must drop your opinions. You must be One with God’s People. As long as there is no sin or idol, be One with God’s People. If the saints are loud, be loud with them. If the saints are quiet, be quiet with them. Drop the ordinances in your heart that cause enmity between you and the Body. Water baptism by immersion or sprinkling? In a pool or in a lake? Drop your opinion in such matters. Who cares if you are right? The Oneness of the Body is far more important. We must march as One together with the Lord.
Not giving up and settling for less than God’s desire.
If you go on reading the Scriptures, you will find that the Israelites never fully cut off their enemies. They became content with the little that they had gained and gave up the fighting. Thus, they suffered. They succumbed to idolatry, to sin, and to invasions by the enemy.
I do think that many of you are defeated and accept that defeat as “this is just the way it is”. You are just waiting for Jesus to return to make everything better. But that isn’t God’s Economy. There is a reason Jesus calls for Overcomers. There is a reason Jesus warns of unfaithful servants, of virgins without Oil. God’s Economy to fulfill His Eternal Purpose is to dispense Himself into us to be our Life and Life-supply, so that He saturates us and constitutes our entire being, starting with our spirit and working His way out to our mind, will, emotions, and someday to our resurrected Body. This is why we eat His flesh and drink His blood. You are what you eat. So keep eating God in Christ. It’s the eating that gives us Strength for working and for fighting.
You must not accept defeat. We fight by turning to the Lord and continually receiving Christ and all that He is for us by Faith. Are your tired? Christ is your Energy. Are you hungry? Christ is your great Feast. The same Power that resurrected and ascended a Man to be seated in the heavenlies at the right hand of God, is now in us. This same Power is flowing towards us who believe!
All of the difficulties, the trials, the drynesses, are for our growth. If we will persevere in pursuing the Lord and enjoying Him day-by-day we will grow. It’s through the dry times that the roots of the trees dig deeper searching for Water. Dig deeper into our Lord. He is perfecting us. Keep turning to Him, loving Him, enjoying Him, all the time, and you won’t be disappointed. You will have the growth in Life and when the Lord appears in glory, so will you. What has been wrought in you in secret, will be manifested outwardly in great glory.
This post is link eleven in a chain blog initiated by Alan Knox on the topic of “one another.” You can find out how to join in the chain blog at the bottom of this post.
Therefore thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone, A costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed. He who believes in it will not be disturbed. – [Isa 28:16 NASB]
The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief corner stone. – [Psa 118:22 NASB]
Have you seen this Corner Stone, dear brothers and sisters? It is our Lord Jesus Christ! He is the costly, chief Corner Stone of the House of God. The Corner Stone is the most important stone in the House. It must be a perfect Stone. All other stones find their place based on this single Stone.
But, that’s not all this Corner Stone does.
The Corner Stone links two walls together. Once upon a time, in an old creation, there were Jews and Gentiles. The Jews were God’s people, but the Gentiles were far-off from God. One people was filled with the children of God, whereas, the other people was at best, filled up with dogs.
Then, Jesus Christ came and took the Jews and the Gentiles to the cross with and in Him, crucifying them both. Now, in the new creation, there cannot be Jew, nor Gentile. Instead, Christ is all and in all.
Christ is the Corner Stone linking the two walls of the Jews and the Gentiles together into One.
This costly, chief Corner Stone is the basis on which, we relate to one another. This Corner Stone unites us. The old creation is full of every division imaginable. But, there is no division in the new creation. In Christ, we are altogether together One.
In Christ, there are no denominations, races, cultures, religions, philosophies, or any other thing that separates us.
In Christ, we are One Body, One House. Only in Christ can we love one another. Only in Christ can we be kind and compassionate to one another. Only in Christ can we be devoted to one another. Only in Christ can we outdo one another in showing honor. Only in Christ can we encourage one another. Only in Christ can we spur one another on to acts of love and good works. Only in Christ can we submit to one another.
The old creation is summed up with slaying one another. All day, every day, the Adamic race is slaying one other, whether on the battlefield or in the workplace; whether physically or emotionally.
But, we are the new creation! We are united in Christ, our costly, chief Corner Stone! We are ministering Christ into one another! With the Triune God, we are building one another up, into the City of God!
Every time we meet with one another, let’s enjoy this Corner Stone. Please, don’t leave this blog and say, “Well, that is true, but that’s not realistic”. If we would just keep our eyes on the Corner Stone and not on our flesh, we would experience the Reality with one another.
O precious Lord Jesus, you are the Corner Stone holding us all together. We are united to the uttermost in You. Open our eyes to see that You are the Reality. Make us see that You are our Corner Stone. Make us see that You hold us all together and everything that separates us is altogether opposed to You. Enlighten the eyes of our hearts to see You in Your glorious fullness. Then we will love one another with Your Love, which You have poured into us, until we have overflowed.
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit. – [Eph 2:19-22 NASB]
This is a blog post in a Chain Blog started by Alan Knox. Read on to learn about the other links in the chain, and to find out how you can participate in this chain blog.
Links in the ‘One Another’ Chain Blog
- Chain Blog: One Another – Alan Knox
- Linking One Another – Swanny
- What Does It Mean to Love One Another? – Chuck McKnight
- The treasure of ‘One Another’ – Jim Puntney
- This is how the world shall recognise you… – Kathleen Ward
- Accepting one another in love – Chris Jefferies
- One Another: A meta-narrative for the church – Part One and Part Two by Greg Gamble
- Individualism and “One Another” – Pieter Pretorius
- All Alone with One Another – by Jeremy Myers
- When it’s OK for Christians to compete – Joshua Lawson
- Jesus Christ, the Corner Stone for One Another – Peter
- Be Superficial With One Another – Jon
- Who will write the 13th link post in the chain?
Chain Blog Rules
- If you would like to write the next blog post (link) in this chain, leave a comment stating that you would like to do so. If someone else has already requested to write the next link, then please wait for that blog post and leave a comment there requesting to write the following link.
- Feel free to leave comments here and discuss items in this blog post without taking part in the actual “chain.” Your comments and discussion are very important in this chain blog (both this post and the other link posts in the chain).
- When you write a link in this chain, please reply in the comments of the previous post to let everyone know that your link is ready. Also, please try to keep an updated list of links in the chain at the bottom of your post, and please include these rules at the bottom of your post.
- Where in the Heavenly Places are We Seated? (thekingspresence.wordpress.com)
- Creation or Evolution? An Outdated Question, in Christ (thekingspresence.wordpress.com)
 And He spoke many things to them in parables, saying, “Behold, the sower went out to sow;  and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up.  “Others fell on the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil.  “But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.  “Others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out.  “And others fell on the good soil and yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty. – Mat 13:3-8 NASB
I named this blog post “Growing in Christ”, but I want you to understand that it could equally be called “Christ Growing in You”. The two names are synonymous.
Lately, I have been impressed with the importance of the inner Life. This inner Life is the inner experience of Christ. The parable of the sower stresses upon us the need of having a deep inner experience of Christ.
You will find a better and more practical explanation of what I will talk about by a great brother in Christ, Milt Rodriguez, at The Rebuilders. His blog post is called Root Before Fruit and I highly recommend it.
Let’s begin with the Seed. The Seed contains the Life. Everything is there in the Seed. Whether it is a flower, a bush, or a great tree, it is contained within that Seed. If you have the Seed, you have the everything!
The Seed planted within us is Christ. If you have Christ you have everything. But, how small He seems at first! He starts as a little Seed inside of us. But, if we would we allow Him to grow in us, to fill and saturate us, how He would be magnified within us and through us!
A glorious mystery is that the Plant that grows forth from the Seed and the soil is our expression of Christ. That Plant is Christ. That Plant is you. That Plant is the beautiful mingling of divinity and humanity. That Plant is the enlargement of the Plant, who died to spread its Seed.
 …holding fast to the head, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments, grows with a growth which is from God. – Col 2:19 NASB
I am not talking about Christ in an objective way, but in a subjective way. I think you all know how great Christ is in a objective way, but we need to experience this Christ in a subjective way if we are going to continue on to maturity.
Back to our Lord’s parable, it is obvious that the different outcomes are due to the difference between the soils. There was no lack in the Seed. Three of the soils were lacking. The Seed must be planted in the innermost being of the soil. Then that Seed must be allowed to grow and spread in the inner being of the soil. From the inner growth of the Seed, its outward expression bursts forth.
We see this outward expression in two, maybe three of the cases. We definitely see some outward expression of the Seed in the shallow and good soil, maybe even in the thorny soil. But, I want to focus on the difference between the shallow soil and good soil. Without deep roots, the outward expression dies. It is by the inner growth of the roots that the outward expression grows. The shallow soil did not allow Christ to grow in its inner being. It tried to express Him outwardly before it had the deep inner experience of Him. With that kind of attitude, we will not experience Life, but death.
 Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him,  having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude. – Col 2:6-7 NASB
Brothers and sisters, do you see what I am getting at? Do you want to express the glory of this Seed? From the inner growth, comes the outer growth, and eventually brings forth flowers and fruit, which are the Plant’s glory!
 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,  and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might  which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,  far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.  And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church,  which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. – Eph 1:18-23 NASB
- We Bear Fruit by Abiding in Christ (thekingspresence.wordpress.com)
“How easily we make things as way, truth, and life. Or, we call hot atmosphere as life, we label clear thought as life. We consider strong emotion or outward conduct as life. In reality, though, these are not life. We ought to realize that only the Lord is life. Christ is our life. And it is the Lord who lives out this life in us. Let us ask Him to deliver us from the many external and fragmentary affairs that we may touch only Him. May we see the Lord in all things-way, truth, and life are all found in knowing Him. May we really meet the Son of God and let Him live in us. Amen.” – Watchman Nee, Christ the Sum of All Spiritual Things