| The two classes of Christian|
I want to speak about the differences within genuine Christianity and the basic theme of this message is to all genuine saints " seek the Lord while He may be found with your whole heart." And so, I would like to suggest that there are two broad categories of saints. Now, remember, these are broad categories and within these categories are degrees and measures and overlaps. But for the sake of clarity I want to speak about the two broad categories to bring understanding to who we are as a Body right now and what that means moving forward as the darkness continues to descend and the evil one is mustering all of his forces for his last stand before the Lord comes back.
Andrew Murray writes in "The Two Covenants,".................
Not only among the Galatians but throughout the Church there are to be found two classes of Christians. Some are content with the mingled life, half flesh and half spirit, half self-effort and half grace. Others are not content with this but are seeking with their whole heart to know full deliverance from sin and the abiding power for a walk in God's presence that the New Covenant has brought and can give. May God help us all to be satisfied with nothing less.
Can you see what brother Andrew is saying? He mentions the Galatians who of course had begun in the Spirit but were now attempting to walk out their salvation in the flesh, good works, ordinances , special days and weeks and sabbaths and so on. These were Christians all right, but Christians who had not continued in the Spirit but now walked in the flesh. I want to suggest that a great deal of Christendom is walking in the flesh, trying to figure things out in their own wisdom, falling back upon what they know. If we go back to the father of faith, Abraham, we see an insight into what it means to try to figure things out for yourself. We have Issac and we have Ishmael. One is the child of the flesh the other is the child of the Spirit. One is an attempted answer to the promise figured out by natural means, the other is the answer to the promise delivered by supernatural means. One gives life and birth to a blessing for all the nations, the other is separated and cast out and becomes an enemy to the child of promise.
The question then to you saint, how do you live? Do you live by the Spirit and follow after God with your whole heart? Or are you, as Murray puts it " content with the mingled life?" The reason I believe this to be important above all questions is because I believe this generation will experience pressures that no generation ever has before. There is a time coming soon such as has never been before. These pressures will bear down on every genuine saint whatever of the two broad categories you belong to. Can I suggest that the saints who belonged in the mingled life category spoken of above in times past were very fortunate people. Not having to endure the pressures of a society that had turned against them, they were able, for the most part to muddle along. They were never really a powerful voice or witness for Christ but simply flew under the radar so to speak because of the times in which they lived which were not particularly unfriendly to their lukewarmness.
I want to suggest now, that with no great revelation, our times are rapidly changing. There was a time that Jesus and all of His disciples were warmly welcomed and those He sent out were well received everywhere they went. Yet of course, that all changed and Jesus told them so. He had sent them out with nothing because all of their needs would be met by a welcoming crowd, now they had to equip themselves because that same crowd, the people in general had turned against them and they would now be hated. Our paradigm is changing brothers and sisters. This hatred that the early Church faced as Jesus revealed more and more of who He was and perhaps more to the point who He was not, is now beginning to turn on the saints today. And I might add for the same reasons. As circumstances change and the culture changes, it is what we are not that is bringing the attention of the world. We are not of them, our ways are not their ways. What we love is not what they love. Our priorities are not their priorities and so on. You might argue and I would agree that this is the way it should always have been, but in all of our religiosity, that was mostly hidden.
Now we are in a time when nothing will be left hidden, nothing will be left unshaken. He is coming back for a pure spotless Bride, He expects to find faith in the saints. Now to the point of this message. Since I believe that one can lose their salvation, then this second broad category of saints, the ones who " are content with the mingled life," are in great danger. These are the ones who will fall away and not only fall away but become the enemies of those who do not. The mingled life will not stand in the coming days, only those who seek the Lord with their whole hearts and walk in the Spirit will stand. The world will not be content with something mingled, it will demand absolute loyalty or nothing at all. You will either be with the world of be with Christ and there will be and can be no middle ground. So now is the time to seek the Lord with our whole hearts. Now is the time to fill our vessels with the oil that represents the Holy Spirit. Many are called indeed but few are chosen, narrow is the path that leads to life. To follow Christ with your whole heart requires being completely sold out to Him. If the world is being shaken and the foundation of Christ cannot be moved then how can one possibly stand if one has one foot on the world and one foot on the unmovable rock?
Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. (Isa 55:6-8)
And to those saints brothers and sisters and His faithful remnant they shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. (Isa 55:12) There is joy and peace with God for those who seek Him with their whole hearts and praises shall be in their hearts and in their mouths no matter the circumstances and in this God will be glorified.
| 2015/12/22 14:02||Profile|
| Re: The two classes of Christian|
A very timely admonishment for the hour the church now finds itself in. May the Lord quicken this word to each and everyone of us for the time is drawing very nigh and is even at the door.
If we will walk in the Spirit we will not fulfill the lust of the flesh and through the power Spirit we can crucify the flesh. Fortunately I have many dear brethren and a church I attend that are of the same mindset, opinion, and vision.
We can see the whole of creation as well as those of us which have the first fruits of the Spirit longeth and waiteth for His return. We are groaning and travailing within ourselves in pain waiting for the adoption and redemption of our bodies.
There is a strong opposition between the two saints mentioned as there is also a strong opposition between the flesh and the Spirit. I believe and agree as you allude to that the scriptures are clear that those saints who are content with living a mingled life, will be putting the saints who are seeking to be separated from this world and all of its allure, to death.
John 16:2-3 They (the mingled life christian)shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. (3) And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor Me.
It is amazing the hatred that many Christians have toward those who walk in the Spirit and choose to live a separate and sanctified life, may the Lord have mercy upon them.
Brother I have to say I bear witness with all that you share here. Jesus says we shall know one another by our fruit. So thank you for being led of the Holy Spirit.
I have a portion of scripture I have been pondering and would value your opinion. This portion speaks of the Lords advent and taking on flesh, but as I was pondering this one morning I saw these scriptures in a different light.
It is no secret that the Holy Spirit is very special and dear to many of the people I am in fellowship with. He is not optional, but a necessity. One will never live the separated life apart from Him. So here is the portion:
1 John 4:1-6 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. (2) Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: (3) And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. (4) Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He THAT IS IN YOU, than he that is in the world. (5) They are of the world (fleshly): therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. (6) We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.
I believe this portion also speaks of the indwelling Holy Spirit of God who comes to set up residence within our flesh. When he says that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, I believe this to mean that when Jesus went to the Father He would send us the Holy Spirit to baptize, fill, and indwell the flesh of men. Those who are filled with the Holy Spirit of God overcome those who are not and who also deny the Baptism and filling with Gods Spirit.
He says greater is He that is IN YOU than he that is in the world (fleshly/mingled). One who rejects the Holy Spirit and the fact that He was sent to dwell in our flesh is a spirit of antichrist and a spirit of error.
I am not denying the main interpretation of this portion of scripture that the church has held as well as myself, but in light of all the opposition and denial I encounter regarding the Holy Spirit with those who profess to know Him this was a portion the Lord used to comfort and encourage me.
I have not shared this with anyone really but would be interested in your thoughts on it.
| 2015/12/22 21:55||Profile|
| Re: The two classes of Christian|
Thank you brothers for your responses on the two types of Christians. Andrew Murray was used by the Lord in a tremendous way to show the Body of Christ what it really means to be a spiritual Christian.
There are many that have received Jesus Christ as their savior, but relatively few that have made a total surrender to the Lord and are true disciples.
There is a big debate on whether or not a Christian can be carnal, but yet the Apostle Paul called the Corinthian believers carnal, and because of this he was not able to feed them with meat, but they were still on the bottle, spiritual babes.
Many Christians are no longer walking in gross sin, but nevertheless they are walking in the flesh, because they have not allowed the Lord to deal with their self life.
The believer that is growing in the Lord is allowing the Word of God to divide his spirit and soul, so that he is aware when he walking in the spirit, and also knows when he is walking according to his soul life, allowing his mind, will, and emotions to be in control.
God is not only displeased with the sins of the flesh, but He also rejects the good that is done in the flesh.
It will always be that in my flesh there dwells no good thing. The believer that is pleasing to God has seen the truth that "it is no longer I that lives but Christ lives in me."
God has provided total deliverance from the life of sin, the flesh, and the self life.
God is not pleased with our independence in trying to live the Christian life out of our own strength.
Only the branch that abides in the vine will receive life from above and will bring forth fruit without struggling or striving.
| 2015/12/23 20:10||Profile|
| Re: |
I really appreciated your points and I do agree with the interpretation you stated. Jesus has indeed come in the flesh. Of course He came to earth and walked amongst us, but He also stated that He was leaving but would not leave us as orphans, He would send His Spirit and in doing that He and the Father would take up residence in our hearts, each one of us being a living stone which makes up the temple of the Living God.
In John 14 Jesus also talks about receiving the Spirit of truth. Yes He is the way and the truth and the life but unless we receive the Spirit of the truth then we will undoubtedly walk in error, we will be without discernment and be like men tossed by every wave and moved by every wind of doctrine. Yet those of the Spirit are led and guided into all truth. He went to prepare a place for us and that has always typically had future application which is correct, but it also has present application. That place is a place within the Father's heart. We in His and He in ours made possible by Jesus and the Holy Spirit. At the beginning of John 14 Jesus starts by saying " Let not your hearts be troubled." This place that Jesus was going to prepare for His children by dying and rising again and reconciling us is a place that we have been called to walk in. It was and is and is to be. It is a place of peace, it is a Kingdom walk. To walk in the Kingdom is to walk in the Spirit, to walk in the Spirit is to walk in the Kingdom. The Kingdom walk is real and we are called to walk in it and it is a place of power and overcoming.........bro Frank
| 2015/12/24 8:37||Profile|
| Re: The two classes of Christian|
"Not only among the Galatians but throughout the Church there are to be found two classes of Christians. Some are content with the mingled life, half flesh and half spirit, half self-effort and half grace. Others are not content with this but are seeking with their whole heart to know full deliverance from sin and the abiding power for a walk in God's presence that the New Covenant has brought and can give. May God help us all to be satisfied with nothing less."
There is no satisfaction for a Christian that is living a life of mixture, sometimes in the spirit, but most of the time in the flesh.
If we could only have our spiritual eyes open to see that nothing in this world compares to knowing Jesus and living in fellowship and communion with Him. There is a high price to be paid for obtaining the Pearl of Great Price, but it is worth it all.
Like the song says: "Take The World But Give Me Jesus."
"Take the world, but give me Jesus, All its joys are but a name; But His love abideth ever, Through eternal years the same. Oh, the height and depth of mercy! Oh, the length and breadth of love! Oh, the fullness of redemption, Pledge of endless life above!
Take the world, but give me Jesus, Sweetest comfort of my soul; With my Savior watching o'er me, I can sing though billows roll."
Take the world, but give me Jesus,
Let me view His constant smile;
Then throughout my pilgrim journey
Light will cheer me all the while. [Refrain]
Take the world, but give me Jesus;
In His cross my trust shall be,
Till, with clearer, brighter vision,
Face to face my Lord I see.".... Fannie Crosby
| 2015/12/24 10:58||Profile|