15. Church by Father
As Jesus took each step, saying continually in His own heart, “Father, for Your sake, because I love you,” inside that very HUMAN love filled with God Himself in Person, something was birthed into the universe, something that had never been, something that could come no other way. – Church!
15. Church by Father
Where two or three of you are gathered together in My name, there I am in the midst of you. Jesus.
Laying down one's life for one's friends the way Jesus did has no apparent value. ALL human argument, emotion, and action cries the opposite. Every human story says FIGHT for your own. Those who will not fight for their own in time of danger are considered by all the worst of cowards.
Jesus was under attack; His own disciples were in danger of their lives. Everything He had taught and won for the kingdom was in mortal peril. If Jesus went down, everything He had tried to establish would go down with Him as well. ALL human counsel, all human emotion would say, “NOW is the time to fight.”
I am convinced that a large part of Jesus' agony in Gethsemane was the very human question, “Father, what good is this? How will My silence and My yielding to My enemies' hatred and violence accomplish anything?”
Jesus did not fight for His own. He walked away from all those who counted on Him and allowed His enemies to win all victory against Him.
What good was that?
We cannot view this moment from hindsight. We cannot bring in all the doctrine of redemption. The only possible way we could understand the reality of Jesus in that moment is to see only out from His eyes.
Why did He do it? Why did He act, step by step, against all human reason, against all human emotion, against all outward appearance?
I know why. He did it because His Father asked Him to; He did it for Father's sake. As He walked the path of human cowardice, possessing all power to fight and to win, yet not touching that power for one moment, the only thing that kept His mind clear and His eye steady was one thought alone.
“Father, for Your sake, I lay down My life, for You, Father, because You asked Me to and because I love You.”
You see, the blood, the cross, the resurrection, these things are in some sense symbolic, or inevitable, one might say. The real transaction, the real singularity was taking place inside Jesus' heart.
As Jesus took each step, saying continually in His own heart, “Father, for Your sake, because I love you,” inside that very HUMAN love filled with God Himself in Person, something was birthed into the universe, something that had never been, something that could come no other way.
The Bride of Christ.
It was the joy of that Church that filled Jesus' heart as He rose to His feet in Gethsemane, but she herself was birthed out from “for Your sake, My Father.”
But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you may believe. John 20:33-35
That blood and water, coming out from Jesus' pierced heart, was the Church being drawn by Father out from the mightiest transaction of Heart with Heart in the universe.
The relationship between two, heart with heart, is the only thing of value or meaning in Christianity.
When there are huge problems in the church, when you are the target of the ire and frustration of many, the craziest thing in the universe is to keep your mouth shut, turn to your Father, and say, “Father, for Your sake, I lay down my life. Here I am, lay upon me their wrong in their place. For Your sake, Father, because I love You.”
The human heart wants vengeance; human reason cries out to fix the problems. Neither one will ever birth Church.
You see, Church is not some human thing; church is a Divine thing. It was the interaction between the Spirit of God and Mary that birthed Jesus, fully human and fully divine. It is the interaction between the Father and the Son living as us that births the Church.
The Church is not a bunch of people getting together once a week or so.
Where two or three of you are gathered together in My name, there I am in the midst of you.
Church is Jesus in the earth.
Church is fully human and fully divine, but the human part exists for the purpose of revealing the divine part to the universe.
Church is to reveal Father.
Yet there is no Church except there be two or three (or more) gathered together as the Lord Jesus Christ.
And there is one action alone that reveals Father – laying down one's life for one's friends.
No one is ever Church as an individual. One person, as an individual, cannot be Church. Jesus Christ walks the earth ONLY as two or three are gathered together. Inside that relationship of two, heart with heart, in mutual respect and honor, Christ Jesus lives.
You see, all those who are “building the kingdom” or “forging the vision” cannot be birthing the church. The only ones who are birthing the church are those who, in each moment, in each individual relationship, are laying down their lives for their brother or sister, refusing to “fix” the problem, taking upon themselves all fault and all blame, and who are doing so for Father's sake alone.
There is nothing more useless to the human mind, nothing. Every human inclination cries out to “fix” the problem. Yet the moment one reaches out to fix the problem, Father vanishes and Church is no more. Now you have a group of people meeting together as a church, yes, but without Church.
The most difficult thing about laying down one's life is that no one notices, including the one for whom you laid down your life. The only one who notices is Father, and Father is utterly invisible.
Now, I have shared that my condition of Asperger's meant that I could not comprehend other people. It was only in my late-twenties, as I was finding my place in the school classroom as “the teacher,” was I able to consider, for the first time in my life, what, exactly, these other entities all around me were, that they were humans just like myself. Thus, I have shared that, since comprehending people did not come naturally to me, I have spent a lifetime trying to figure them out.
But now I'm beginning to realize something else.
Most people never do. Most people seem to be completely content never to comprehend that other people are just like themselves. Now, I understand fully the zoning out when it comes to these entities all around us, the tendency to treat them as “others.” It's something I do regularly. But I guess that being bothered by who and what these “others” are is not a generally held condition, and trying to figure them out is not a generally considered practice. That's what makes it easy for men to kill one another on the battle field or for nations to think nothing of the dropping of fire and death upon millions of “those 'others' over there.”
They are just others, what is that to me?
The ability to see the heart of one's brother or sister is a capacity few desire. If it doesn't exist, neither does Church. Yet Church is more than seeing the heart of one's brother or sister, though it must begin there, but Church comes out of the action of taking upon one's self all the pain of any difficulty, allowing the other to go free in joy without any sense of loss in spite of, even contrary to, “what they deserve.” Of course, if such a thing is done in morbidity, it's completely worthless. What makes such an action Church by Father is when it is done for Father's sake, with one's eyes fixed on Father alone.
But I can assure you that such a course is completely un-human. The human may stumble along in sharing behind such a decision, but only One could ever do such a thing, only Christ. And the human can follow only as we call Christ our only Self and only after we have made His Gethsemane ours by knowing that it IS.
It is here, on this point, that the contrast between the real Christ and the Nicene Christ is made stark and complete. And when I say “the Nicene Christ,” I mean all definition of the “power” Christ. I include that definition that was thrown at me by which I wrote “Christ Versus Superman,” a definition of Christ that most deeper truth groups, including the move of God I was once a part of, share. I include that definition of a violence-wielding Christ coming someday to establish an outward kingdom by force. I include that definition of Christ as an all-pervasive spirit that awakens us to our “Christ-consciousness,” a Christ separate from Jesus, a Christ separate from a Man laying down His life for His friends.
The power Christ wants to prove God outwardly to the world.
The real Christ wants to birth Church across the earth.
Thus all emissaries of the power Christ must fix the problems of all those “others” who are ruining his grand kingdom.
But all ambassadors of the real Christ are laying down their lives in silence and ignominy for others, for Father's sake. They don't “represent” Christ; He represents them.
You will know who the power-Christ people are; they will make sure you know.
You will hardly know those who lay down their life for you. What you will know is Father upwelling within you in joy, in tears, in an outpouring of wealth and goodness.
You will know Church.
No one wants to be like Christ; it's completely unnatural, un-human, almost, to be silent, to take on one's self the hurt caused by the sins of others, that they may walk free without guilt or any shadow of loss, that they, the one's who deserve hurt and pain, can know only joy and life while you alone bear before Father your measure of the pain that they should have borne.
Surely He bears our griefs and carries our sorrows. – And we also... – Bear one another's burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.
This is the well-spring, the only source of Church by Father. This is the only thing of any value upon this earth and in the universe.
I am speaking of two walking together, heart with heart, in the highest honor and regard for one another, each one taking on one's self the pain of all the thoughtless actions of the other, yet each one knowing it is so, and honoring the other for such Father love.
Where such a relationship exists, Jesus walks the earth. Those who possess such a relationship possess the wealth of the universe, those who do not are utterly poverty-stricken.
You see, Church does not yet exist when I lay down my life for you any more than Church yet existed when Jesus walked the Path of the Atonement. Church exists only as one lays down his or her life for the other while the other is laying down his or her life for the first. Here, in this mutual relationship Jesus is made known.
We KNOW that it is God Himself in Person, the Father with us, because, I can assure you, such a thing is entirely non-human. Such a thing can only be Father revealed.
And here is the place for the mind, for the dianoia, for pure logic. Every inclination of the human cries, “NO! Fight for what is right.” Only the pure knowing that this is Father, that this is for Father's sake can counteract the utter uselessness of such a course. Only the mind of Christ, only seeing out from Jesus' eyes, nothing else will ever take us there.
Now, I have laid out the only source of Church; if this is not the source, what we have is church, not Church, regardless of any manifestation of Spirit or any eloquence of Word. Next, I want to look, briefly, at the structure of Church before touching on the fruit of Church.
God has ONE order ONLY for His Church, the order of the wineskin. Yes, the wine is found in a wineskin, but it does not come from the wineskin. The tendency of the human to call the wineskin “God” is so prevalent, so universal, and so deep, that we really must be laughingly vicious as we cast out last year's wineskin. Every Christian group I know anything about takes last year's wineskin, places it on a pedestal, and calls it “God.”
Throw it out.
No outward form ever produces wine. Come on. In the natural, what drinker of wine will enamour himself with an empty wineskin, hoping that it will produce more wine? The wine comes from the vine. Any connoisseur of wine will show up at the wine vat where wine is produced (that is, laying down one's life for each other inside of Christ-as-us) with his empty wineskin knowing that here alone comes the new wine. However, such lovers of wine (that is, God revealed) come with two kinds of wineskin. Utterly ignorant ones (most, it seems) come with their own comfortable wineskins from last season's wine. Yet, inevitably, the old wineskins break and the wine seeps out, only the drinker of wine never notices, enamored as he is by his wineskin. In fact, most groups trade the wine for the wineskin and come to hold all new wine in suspicion as an enemy since it is so destructive of their old wineskin.
I am describing the move of God, the Spirit-filled, deeper-truth fellowship I was a part of for many years, to a tee; I am also describing the Baptist church, etc.
In complete contrast, the wise ones show up empty handed, receiving the new wine in a new wineskin provided by the giver of wine.
Church is a skin-changer. She takes on a new form every season of new wine. And every season of new wine, she throws away her prior form as presently and utterly useless.
I want to talk about what is called a “hive mentality.” This is a misnomer; there is no such thing. In fact, the real “hive mentality,” that is, real mindlessness, comes from what is considered to be the opposite of this supposed “hive mentality,” and that is, command and control.
Whenever a bee hive or an ant colony is turned into a story or movie, such as the animated movie,Antz, the colony is shown as a top-down command and control class structure. The working “class” is shown as being entirely under the control of the Queen or her commanders. Yet this picture is entirely the opposite of an actual hive and indicative, rather, of violent human society, especially of socialist societies.
Every single individual ant in an ant colony, every single individual bee in a hive does ONLY what that ant or bee WANTS to do in that moment. The Queen bee or ant emanates NO authority whatsoever. There are no guard bees or ants waiting on the side to inflict pain on any ant that does what it “feels like doing.” BECAUSE all the ants and all the bees are doing ONLY what they feel like doing and nothing else. However, it is a divine law of any society that like gathers with like. Thus those who want to pack food home to the colony, congregate with those who want to pack food home to the colony. Thus each individual ant also moves together with those particular ants on each side and before and behind who are also doing exactly what they want to do.
The amazing thing is that all those who want to pack food home to the hive would be unable to do so if there were no bees or ants who WANTED to go out by themselves looking for food. These solitary individuals spend their entire lives wandering around in dangerous arenas by themselves looking for food – entirely because they want to. Yet the moment they find food, they also WANT to rush back and tell others all about this new food they have found, where they also can find it. Thus all those who simply want to carry food back to the colony rush out with this new information to find this new food to carry.
Then, the line of ants carrying food is attacked by a vicious enemy. Guess what! There is another whole group of ants who, each one individually, simply WANT to rush out and fight the enemy. No one tells them to do so. No one appoints them to a place. They simply do only what they want to do. Others want only to take care of the newborns, and they do. Others want only to provide what the Queen needs, and they do. Every single ant, every single bee does ONLY what it wants to do all the days of its life, and it does those things in a quiet, but considered relationship with those others who are wanting to do the same thing.
So the children of Israel departed from there at that time, every man to his tribe and family; they went out from there, every man to his inheritance. In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes. Judges 21:24-25
Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah, and said to him, “Look, you are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.” But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” So Samuel prayed to the Lord. And the Lord said to Samuel, “Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them. 1 Samuel 8:4-7
A true “hive mentality” is the complete honoring of each individual person who, in complete freedom, does what is right in his own eyes. This is God's kingdom; this is God's order.
The serpent hates such freedom because it is the presence of Christ AS each individual member of His body and including all that individual's outward mess. Thus the serpent is always whispering “command and control” into those who would judge all things by outward appearance.
In the move, we were taught that “everyone did what was right in his own eyes” was anti-Christ, the opposite of God's order. Thus a particular form of command and control was structured into the order of church in the move fellowships. Like all wineskins, this form of command and control contained much that was purely of God, but like all lovers of wineskins, when the season of new wine came, the new wine was rejected and the form was honored as “God's order.” This is utterly human and normal.
Look at the words, “every man to his inheritance.” Every individual person was honored in his or her own individual inheritance. In fact, under Joshua, women were granted the same honor, and though that was only a partial granting of honor, yet it pre-figured the full inclusion of Christ.
Look at a flock of birds flying. Each individual bird does only what is right in its own eyes in conjunction with those individual birds close by. Yet the flock moves in beautiful formation, in an endlessly fluid order. More than that, the other individual birds close by each one change all the time, yet the same order prevails, each one does only what it wants in full conjunction with whichever other birds happen to be close by at the moment. There is no command and control, no orders flowing out of one bird's mind controlling all the others.
This is God's order and it works amazingly well. Yet in the Church, only utter faith in God would ever allow such an order to prevail. “Fixing people's problems” is a universal lust of envy; it is the endless cry of Marx we hear all around us in our world today.
Such an order for human life happened only twice in the human experience. The first time was under Moses, Joshua, and some of the judges. The second time was in the early years of the American experience. Yet in both experiments, the lust of envy weighed both down into oblivion. Such an order of human life, complete freedom, that is, complete honor and respect for each individual person with zero command and control, zero “governmental regulation” apart from those few laws of liberty, do not steal, do not kill, that is, the non-initiation of violence except to stop such initiation of violence, is attacked right from the start by those who cannot live without pushing their neighbors around.
In the American experience, the first major blow against such a way of living was the adoption of the Constitution, allowing the formation of the great Beast that rules America today. The second blow was Abraham Lincoln and his violent destruction of voluntary union. Most people do not understand that Federal tax money came mostly from the labor of slaves; Lincoln stated clearly that he invaded the South solely to secure the profits from slave labor. The third blow was the creation of the Federal Reserve Board and the implementation of the income tax in 1913, along with the triumph of Marxism over education around the same time.
The reaction of the American people and government to the events of September 11, 2001 was not the “final blow,” rather, it was the unveiling of the complete loss of any concept of freedom in the American mind.
The free market ended in 1913. All economic problems we see in our world today are entirely the fruits of socialism, that is, of command and control. Yet we see “freedom” blamed as the cause of all present woes, and the answer presented is that all flee entirely into collective obedience to wicked and violent individuals masquerading behind the fiction of “human society.” Even the Pope has been singing this Marxist envy lately.
Command and control is what causes mindlessness and ruin, poverty and war. The world is lying. When they say, “Give to your neighbor by paying us taxes first,” they are lying. It's called power, and most humans, wanting to participate in plundering their neighbors, give their power to the Marxist psychopaths who know exactly how to play the envy in non-thinking humans.
Complete freedom, that is, holding each individual person in the highest regard, is the only order that brings wealth and abundance for all.
And that is why CHURCH is the ONLY hope for mankind and the future of human history upon this earth.
Now, ALL command and control gains its power by using “the boogeyman.” “The boogeyman will get you if you don't do what I say.” The Russians will get you, the terrorists will get you, the Muslims will get you; the only hope you have to survive is to do what you're told by your own “government.” The heretics will get you, the demons will get you, if you don't stay “under your covering,” that is, if you don't keep yourself pliable to “my control over you.” Some religionists turn even God into just another “boogeyman.”
And that is why CHURCH is the ONLY hope for mankind and the future of human history upon this earth. The only ones who will break the endless cycle of Cain killing Abel are those who lay down their lives for their enemies, making their enemies their close and dear friends.
But one final thing concerning the structure of Church before we look at the fruit of Church by Father.
Here is a reality of church. You cannot gather together with others without regular governmental meetings to discuss the issues in a formal setting and to agree upon rules, which are then clearly presented to all. Then, for it to be a God-ly church, the leadership must make sure NO one is enforcing those rules (leaving the parental role free). At the same time, the true leaders will be laying down their lives as the Lord leads whenever someone does break the rules. A laid-down life is a continual personal loss; it is never an imposition on others.
Rules, agreed upon together and clearly delineated, are essential to any kind of life together.
Enforcing rules has destroyed more people than anything I know.
God is our only example. He gave a bunch of rules, then bore all rule-breaking and consequence inside Himself so that His friends could be forever free of the death of rules. Yet – as we live in Him, we find those same "rules" arising in our own hearts without condemnation, gently guiding our lives as we do entirely what we want to do in conjunction with those around us.
The “rules” of any gathering together have to do, not with God's order, but with moving together in the present moment with those immediately in conjunction with us in that moment.
You cannot have any Church except with regular governmental meetings. In a community, those meetings must be at least once a week; in a church where members live on differing properties, those meetings must be at least once a month. That governmental meeting must be conducted in a formal sense, with only governmental issues brought up, with time to speak kept short, with every adult being granted the opportunity to speak if they wish, and with every one's speaking listened to quietly and highly regarded by all.
Some issues can be decided by majority vote, other issues require a 100% consensus. Then the decisions arrived at by all, with everyone satisfied in their spirits with the outcomes must be written down so that they can be referenced and clearly understood. (It is possible to disagree with a minor decision while being fully able to flow with it in full unity of spirit.)
If this kind of governmental occurrence does not take place, then, invariably, the controllers will win control and the majority will either be subdued or driven away.
Let me give an example. Every rural community will quickly make a rule for the common dining room, that no outside shoes be worn into the dining room, but that each person will exchange outside shoes for inside shoes before entering. Thus each community hall will have a “bootroom.” You simply cannot have kids running across the dining room floor with muddy shoes. It doesn't work.
But what if some kid does break “the rule?” Well, let those who are spiritual go clean up the mess so that whoever keeps the dining floor swept doesn't have to, the opposite of telling the kid that he is disobeying God and punishing him for doing so. Yes, I believe in a parental discipline of children, but not in the church. In Church, we lay down our lives for those who offend, without saying a word, so that they can walk free in life and joy. It is the goodness of God that leads to repentance.
Yet we never call any agreed upon rule, “God,” but we are ready with joy to change the rules in a heartbeat, should it be convenient and agreeable to do so. You see, Christ having become His Church MEANS that Christ is doing all things well regardless of any outward appearance.
Let me dare, here, a completely different definition of “the return of the Lord” than any you may have heard. I dare this different definition only because the Father is whispering it right now in my heart.
Here it is.
Where two or three of you are gathered together in My name, there I am in the midst of you.
Let us take this word as literal. Let us take it as the actual fulfillment of the return of the Lord at this end of the age of human folly.
By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
“And we also” and “in My name” are the same thing.
By this we know God because God. And we also ought to God.
Church by Father.
And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. John 17:22-23
In move community we tried one with “the group” in our desire to see God fulfill Jesus' prayer in our lives. God taught me two important things through being intimately acquainted with such a “oneness.” First, being one with the group ALWAYS stood in-between any two people. One person could not relate with one other person except through the “group.” Second, as I was leaving that fellowship, I learned that the friendship of one heart with one heart was the only thing real.
If one and one walk together heart with heart, then the whole Body is one. But if there are no one-with-one's, neither is there a Body.
As I consider my present relationships with many who read this letter, those relationships vary considerably from one to the next. Yet I am beginning to consider each one of them individually. I see that, even though each relationship is different, some I communicate with often, some seldom. Some relate with me in one manner, others in a different manner. Yet each individual relationship is special and unique, precious and particular in God. Thus, I desire not to write for a “group,” but for many individual people who share heart with me.
Move community mentality revolved around what was good for the group and sometimes the individual was sacrificed for the sake of the group – I'm speaking of a group filled with the Spirit and moving in genuine love.
Church, on the other hand, is all about one-with-one relationships, allowing their addition and multiplication, subtraction and division, to take place entirely as the wind blows without anyone putting his or her hand out to control.
And now, for the first time, I understand something I wanted to comprehend, but simply did not, and that is how we can know Christian community without any hint of socialism. The foundation of Church is a leadership always laying down their lives for each individual person. Socialism is disrespecting the individual for the sake of the group.
Always, it is “greed” and “selfishness” that is attacked by those crying for socialism, whether in the move or in the world. But that's only a smoke screen. Rather, the target is each individual person, that each one would be viewed as a liability and thus subject to control or, if need be, elimination. The other monster lurking behind the smoke is that there is no such thing as a group. Individual persons will ALWAYS be in control of the levers of power over any so-called group. I saw that working in benign ways in Christian community, truly good people moving in sincerely wrong ways. In the world, those individuals are always psychopaths and usually pedophiles.
God's Church is the opposite. In God's Church, Cain lays down his life for Abel AND Abel lays down his life for Cain. Some claim that's what happens on a battlefield, that fellow soldiers become such “brethren.” NO!!! I am speaking of the men on one side laying down their lives to preserve the life of the men on the other side and vice versa – and presto, wars are eliminated from the human experience.
But such kingdom-living cannot be legislated or even taught. It comes only by example, many examples, scattered across the earth, of Christians loving one another at that level.
– That they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me. –
I have always believed that this prayer of Jesus MUST BE fulfilled literally and completely here in the blood and sweat and tears of this life, among a simple people, little groups scattered across the whole earth, BEFORE the world will know that the Father has sent the Lord Jesus.
I look for no other kind of return.
And I know now that it is fulfilled by a people who live in John 14:20, having entered by Galatians 2:20, and who live out from 1 John 3:16.
There is no other gospel; there is no other revelation of Jesus Christ.