February 21, 2014
Before we get started with today's discussion, let me invite you to participate via conference phone in our spontaneous worship gatherings on Sundays, along with the time of sharing, teaching and fellowship. A few weeks ago, we started making our gatherings available by telephone where folks could call a designated number and listen in. What prompted this move was the fact that we have folks spread out across well over two hundred miles who don't always have the opportunity to be with us in person.
As most of you already know, we gather from house to house on Sundays, meeting in a different home each Sunday reaching from Prosser to Ellensburg. The spiritual dynamic in the home setting far transcends anything you'll ever get in a traditional "church" setting. That said, the number to call (should you like to join us) is (559) 726-1300, and the access code is: 308640#.
We've been discussing the significance of Jesus' Blood, the transformation that is taking place in us at the Table of the Lord, the connection between light flowing in our veins and the transition taking place in us each time we remember Jesus' sacrifice, His death on the Cross and His resurrection. Today, let's revisit Jesus’ statement to the disciples as they sat at the Last Supper:
Matthew 26:26-28: "And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins."
Microsoft's Encarta Encyclopedia provides us with an explanation and a rather detailed description of blood showing the many purposes it serves. Once you see this description you can't help but recognize the spiritual parallels.
1. Blood carries oxygen from the lungs to all parts of the body.
2. Blood washes the body of waste products, (a) dispersing carbon dioxide out of the body through the exhaling of breath from the lungs, and (b) sending urea and uric acid to the kidneys where they are converted to urine and eliminated.
3. Blood serves as a means of transporting life throughout the body.
4. Blood becomes the vehicle by which chemicals and hormones are moved throughout the body to regulate the function of the various organs.
5. Blood fights disease, resists infection and keeps the body’s immune system operating properly.
6. The flow of blood throughout the body keeps one part of the body from becoming overactive and overheated by triggering the enlargement or shrinkage of blood vessels in order to regulate our body’s temperature and keep things in balance.
Now are you seeing the spiritual parallels?
1. The Blood of Jesus carries with it the breath of God to all parts of the Body.
2. The Blood of Jesus washes our spirits and our souls of those things that contaminate our daily walk with God. Consider these following Scriptures for a minute:
Revelation 1:5: And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
Revelation 7:14: And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
3. The Blood of Jesus – when shed on the Cross for our sins – canceled out the curse of death and restored eternal life for us.
Hebrews 9:27-28: And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once [and for all time] offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
4. The Blood of Jesus is the means by which we as believers in Christ Jesus become one Body. The Blood of Jesus (now, the light and life of Jesus) regulates the development of the Body through the transport and movement of “spiritual chemicals and hormones” and ensures proper growth and development.
Let me pause in this illustration to remind you of a point that we’ve discussed in previous times of sharing – namely, that when Jesus shed His Blood and died, He was raised from the dead by the Spirit of God. Paul, writing to the Romans, said:
Romans 8:11: But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you.
Notice that when Jesus rose from the dead it was because He was raised by the Spirit. There was no fresh infusion of blood to make Him alive. He was alive now by Holy Spirit. We, likewise, are made alive in Christ Jesus by the Spirit of God. It is the Spirit – replacing the Blood, and acting in the place of the Blood – that flows through the Body of Christ.
That same Spirit regulates the growth and development of the Body of Christ by His choice – not ours. That same Spirit appoints and moves throughout the Body, apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors (shepherds) and teachers for the regulation and upbuilding and strengthening of the Body as a whole.
Ephesians 4:11-16: And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:
“That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
“From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
From this picture, Holy Spirit becomes the blood-flow of the Lord Jesus Christ – the light-flow and life-flow – that regulates and stimulates growth through the five facets of Jesus’ ministry character and makeup.
5. The Blood of Jesus provides the legal means by which we fight off the infection of sin and iniquity. The Blood of Jesus legally provides us our immunity – both from Satan’s contamination and in a literal sense from disease, sickness and infirmity, weakness, poverty and everything that renders us powerless against the infection of sin.
The apostle Paul put it like this: Romans 8:1-2: There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
6. Just as blood in a natural sense regulates the body’s temperature by increasing its flow when certain parts of the body become too overheated, and restricting its flow by shrinking the size of the blood vessels in order to cause the body to warm, the Holy Spirit regulates the temperature of the Body of Christ by moving throughout with what we’ve come to refer to as “moves of the Spirit.” The regulation of the body’s temperature – in a natural or physical sense – enables us to walk and live healthy lives.
As we all know from history, the Body of Christ became extremely ill – virtually dormant – for centuries. The Dark Ages, with religion that had all but snuffed out the flow of the Holy Spirit, was very properly named as such since it was a dark and sick time for God’s people. The body of Christ was, for all intents and purposes, in a coma. Watch the sequence of events that began to take place as the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus began the process of restoring life into the comatose body:
(a) The Reformation was the beginning of a new flow of life within the Body as the Holy Spirit began to transport some life and heat back with the revelation that “the just shall live by faith.”
(b) The Reformation was followed by several sequential “moves” as the sovereignty of God was revealed, water baptism by immersion; and next, a crack in the Nicolaitan doctrine of “power over the people” by an elite few began to widen into a complete break with “high church” (or hierarchical) structure, as well as with "democratic" church structure or the congregational form of ministry where leaders were "elected by the people".
(c) A “Great Awakening” to salvation through Jesus Christ by grace and faith began in Ireland and England in the early-to-mid 1700's and came to full flower in America (exhibited in the ministries of John Wesley and George Whitfield) just as the United States became a cohesive nation.
(d) That was followed by a second “Great Awakening in the 1800’s in which evangelism began to flourish as never before in history.
(e) At the turn of the 20th Century, we saw the Azusa Street Revival and an outpouring of the Holy Spirit with speaking in tongues and the gifts of the Spirit in full manifestation. A young generation of spirit-filled believers were nurtured in the midst of a visible cloud of Glory that lasted for days, weeks and even months.
(f) The Azusa Street Revival caused a flame of the Holy Spirit to begin spreading throughout virtually every denomination and church association, altering forever the lives of pastors, priests, bishops and other titled leaders such that they either voluntarily left their organizations because of opposition and persecution or (as was the case of my grandfather, Howard Capener, who was a Methodist preacher) they were summarily removed as heretics because they began exhibiting the gifts and miracles of the Holy Spirit, including speaking in tongues.
(g) By the 1940’s and 50’s, the Latter Rain movement took hold with miracles on display such as the world has never known.
(h) During the 1950’s and 60’s and 70’s we saw great evangelical moves with individuals like William Branham, A. A. Allen, (both of whom were intrinsic to the Latter Rain movement) Oral Roberts, Billy Graham, T. L. Osborn and others. Mass evangelism began to be seen on a scale the Body of Christ had not previously seen. (My mother's best friend became the interpreter for William Branham when he traveled abroad in the Scandinavian countries, and my father was a classmate of A.A. Allen.)
(i) The early 60’s and throughout the 70’s brought the Charismatic Renewal, and in the 1980’s, there began to be heard a depth of teaching and a flowering of understanding of “the five-fold ministries" including the apostolic and prophetic with folks like Bob Mumford, Derek Prince, Ern Baxter, Charles Simpson, and many others.
(j) The late 1970's brought the advent of Christian television via satellite and global evangelism on a scale hitherto unseen. It was my great privilege to be associated with the Christian Broadcasting Network for seven years during this period to bring the ministry of Christian television into remote bush communities throughout Alaska.
(k) The late 1980’s saw the development of ministries such as IHOP and Morningstar with an accent on the Tabernacle of David and 24-hour praise, worship, prayer and intercession.
(l) At the same time folks like Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland, Fred Price and Charles Capps (men who already had proven and seasoned ministries) emerged as powerful teachers and proponents of God’s people being restored to prosperous living. In many ways, Kenneth Hagin and Charles Capps fathered and fostered the explosion of this revelation.
(m) Concurrent with the message of prosperous living for God's people, a prophetic call began to go forth in the earth for a people willing to pay whatever price necessary who would come far beyond the traditional foundational teaching into an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ so as to become a part of a fully mature, seasoned body of believers walking in and demonstrating the realm of the miraculous, known as the Bride of Christ.
(n) In the past decade and a half we have seen prophetic and apostolic ministries flourish as the Body of Christ has once again begun to come alive and assert the anointing and authority of the Kingdom of God in the earth. Folks like Bob Jones, Bobby Connor, Paul Keith Davis, Chuck Pierce, Rick Joyner, Steven Shelley (just to name a few) and many others too numerous to identify here have become prominent voices in the sharing of what God is doing and saying to the Bride of Christ in the earth today.
Throughout the ages there have always been a tiny remnant of God’s people keeping the blood-flow of the Lord Jesus Christ alive and moving; and despite numerous attempts of Satan to snuff out the life of the Spirit, the flame of the Holy Spirit has continued to burn and move from place to place.
There have always been teachers, preachers, evangelists and missionaries throughout the centuries who have had personal visitations from the Lord and have been faithful to the Word God has given them in order to keep the blood-flow and the life-flow of the Holy Spirit alive and moving throughout the Body of Christ. Many of them have been virtually unknown “no-names” whose faithfulness in sharing the life and revelation of the Holy Spirit has led to other, more prominent teachers and leaders – apostles and prophets and evangelists – restoring the life-flow of the Holy Spirit to the body at large.
We’ve seen an ebb and flow, but the life of the Body of Christ has continued to grow, mature and take hold in the world as the original vision and purpose of God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit has been being brought to fruition.
The Body of Christ IS growing up into HIM – a whole body, a living body, a ruling body; and it all began to happen when Jesus shed His Blood for us.
Jesus' Blood did a whole lot more than simply remitting our sins. It forever restored our access to the same relationship with the Father that Adam and Eve once enjoyed. It restored our access to the Heavenlies. It took away the penalty for death and restored eternity.
Jesus' Blood eradicated death and the dying process. Along with the dying process went all sickness, all disease, all bondage to Satan (no matter what form that bondage takes), and all weakness or infirmity.
Jesus' Blood restored the Abrahamic Covenant -- and the Blessing of Abraham.
Jesus' Blood canceled the curse of the Law.
Jesus' Blood canceled poverty. Jesus' Blood canceled the need to work for a living and redeemed work so that we can now "work for a giving" instead -- just like He did!
"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."(Galatians 2:20)
"For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death." (Romans 8:2)
Are we good? Excellent! See you next week.
If you are in need of healing please join our prayer conference calls on either Monday, Wednesday or Friday of each week at 7:00 PM Eastern. Once again, the number to call is (805) 399-1000. Then enter the access code: 124763#. Let us minister to your need for healing!
Blessings on you!
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