20.3 A Bridge to Cross
20.3 A Bridge to Cross
© 2017 Christ Revealed Bible Institute
A Bridge to Cross
This session is on the question of how do we get from our present personal limitations into the full expression of Christ in Community?
If you spoke the words of commitment in the last lesson as Christ Himself, revealed now through you, a commitment to Father, that He might be free to be Himself through you in all joy, towards all those whom He has given to Jesus, and if you spoke those words in all sincerity of heart and in all confidence, then be assured of this fact. God takes you at your word. Yet, for those whose hearts are drawn to what I share, I know of certainty that you made exactly that commitment many years ago.
What do we do now?
Christ Walks in Liberty
A commitment to Christ as Community is not a binding oath that ensnares us to someone else’s “program.” Christ walks in liberty and entirely as us. The expression of Christ is always in movement, always going forward, always new every morning, yet always from our own present hearts.
Yet the level of commitment you spoke in the last lesson does place Christian Community in front of your eyes, to take that step into a way of living that is likely very different from your present life, to take that step as Father Himself steps as one with you. You see, Father cannot be Himself except with our, “Yes.” And as a bridge for you, I want to place before you a present vision, that you might commit yourself to faith in God with me.
What I hope to do is merge the desire of my own heart together with a practical vision for you that has nothing to do with my own location or involvement.
You see, everyone get’s excited about “going to” heaven, but the real “heaven” of God is Church, that is, Christian community. You may think, “How can I be seriously thinking about such a way of living?” The answer is “Christ.”
In the expression of “My Vision,” as found in Gathering to Life, I placed the community of my own heart at a specific location, the Blair Creek Valley in northern British Columbia. Whether God ends up placing me there or elsewhere is entirely in His hands. I know that He does all things well.
Five Things Required
Community will always express itself differently from one place to the next or from one set of people to another. And community can take on a number of different forms. But the heart is always the same, the heart of Christ, and thus the gist of what I share in “My Vision” will remain wherever the Lord might place us.
All expression of Christ in community requires five things, (1) place, (2) people, (3) provision, (4) Christ, and (5) commitment. Let’s talk about each one of these five, keeping always in mind that one is not more or less important than another. If one is absent, there can be no community of Christ.
Place is property, both land and buildings, a place for God’s people. And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places (Isaiah 32:18).
Property costs money, and in many parts of the world, zoning laws must be accommodated. One way to accommodate zoning laws is to be a school; another way is to purchase several adjoining small properties or to subdivide, but keeping ownership in one entity. I prefer a rural property nearby population centers. A rural property allows for gardens, pastures, and woodlots. Being near a population center allows for life flowing out.
Places for Service
When I envision community, I see all the elements of living on this earth found in the structures and on the property. People and property are woven intrinsically together. In any gathering of 75-150 people you will find someone who loves doing nearly every different thing needed to live.
Gardeners need gardens; teachers need classrooms; carpenters need woodshops; animal herders need pastures and barns; mechanics need garages; homemakers need food preparation and craft rooms; cooks need kitchens. And everyone needs the central building, the heart of the physical community, which we called “the Tabernacle” in the move, and which I intend to continue calling the same.
Who will live and walk together with you in a community of Christ? You see, people are the problem with Church. Right from the start, the church of Christ veered off the set path of the revelation of Christ entirely because of the need felt by the “wise” leaders of the church to control all these people. I loved every part of community; it was just people that I often had a hard time dealing with.
Who would come to your community of Christ? Who would come to mine? Yet I can tell you this, the moment each ONE of God’s precious people is not the greatest treasure in your crown and the greatest joy in your life, then community has already failed.
Come and See
For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of boasting? Is it not even you in the face of our Lord Jesus in His presence? For you are our glory and joy (1 Thessalonians 2:19-20). – And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely (Revelation 22:17).
How I long to say to each one of you who reads these letters, “Come. Come and see. Come and drink. Come for a week, a month, a year, as you are able. You are so welcome here.” How I long to walk together with you as Christ Himself.
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! – For there the Lord commanded the blessing—Life forevermore (Psalm 133:1&3b).
Provision is, for the most part, money. It takes money to live and to provide for those whom God sends. I am separating between provision to live and money to purchase property and to construct buildings. Provision is ongoing and requires an outward purpose for the community. In fact, obtaining provision and the witness of Christ are closely tied together and should be considered together.
And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work (2 Corinthians 9:8). Yet in a free society, God’s order, money comes to those who give, whether goods or services.
A Teaching Community
I want to be a part of a teaching community. In fact, my present vision includes Christ Revealed Bible Institute as the central purpose of a present community. You read in “My Vision,” how teaching can reach out to include the interests and practical needs of many and be, itself, a time of recreation, even for non-Christian people, yet as a gentle witness of Christ – as well as providing an income.
I shared with you of the offer to me to take on American Seminary. That particular project turned out not to be God’s provision. The experience, however, enabled me to see how to position my online version of Christ Revealed Bible Institute. Once I have the online school ready, I will ask you to help let others know. Who knows, maybe someday you will be sitting in my classroom. Such joy we would then know together.
In the past I would have said that “the anointing” is what is needed. But I have seen that the anointing does not mean that Christ as we know Him is being preached or glorified, yet God’s presence can be mighty regardless. (The reason this is so is that God is always concerned with hearts first before He worries about all the mental nonsense.)
But for that reason I am using the word, “Christ,” in place of “anointing” to signify a Personal Spirit Word. Personal – Jesus present and revealed through each one. Spirit – the known presence of the Holy Spirit upon all. Word – the constant teaching of Christ our life in, as, and through each individual member from the least to the greatest.
Every Member Sings
—Christ—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 (Ephesians 3:16).
The depths in these words are enormous. I don’t care what ministry concept any individual sees themselves as, this is the only ministry of Christ, to make the way, the place, the tender encouragement, to be sure that every single member is free to give out from themselves into whatever function of supply to the body makes Christ in their hearts sing with joy. This is the real place of the anointing, the source of all the power to be the witness of Christ in the earth.
Community cannot exist if everyone is just doing whatever. You are a community of Christ when you have set your hearts to walk together in love. To walk together in love requires a structure or order of living.
For any structure or order of living to work, commitment to walking together, coming from each, is required. And such structure requires continual governance, that is, shepherding. Again, in “My Vision,” you read of my understanding of community governance. Although this governance will adapt itself to any situation, the essence of it remains the same.
Life Laid Down
Do you know what my trouble is? It was to this very vision to which I committed my heart in all giving of myself to God, to Christ as community. Because of my disability, I am unable to resolve my present life not being inside of that to which my heart is wholly given. Yet, because I am Asperger’s, living in the constant flux of “people” is a continual difficulty for me, a difficulty I can now bear with all joy, for I know that it is Father and I together.
This is what commitment means, on a personal level. It is not “making” others commit themselves to the group or to “the vision,” but me, laying down my life for you, sharing Heart with Father. – Father and I SENT together.
A Bridge to Cross
John 17 – that they may be one – that the world may know.
Christian community is simply the heart joy of those who know they are one and who want to live a normal Christian life as the testimony of Jesus, bearing one another’s burden, walking together as the Body of Christ, loving one another with a pure heart fervently.
Nevertheless, my expectation continues for the moment of the First Day of Tabernacles, when God becomes all our connection in all our experience together. Yet how can many rush into Tabernacles if there are no communities of Christ to welcome them? It is this bridge that you and I must first cross.
Who Will Open the Door?
Gathering together unto Christ is not pie-in-the-sky ethereal abracadabra. Gathering together unto Christ is practical and real to human life on this planet. Eternal life is knowing God. Knowing God is Christian Community forever. Do we still have anyone interested?
Yet Jesus said that even though many who have been given the invitation to enter into the full reality of Christ Together will refuse when they see what it means. And He said that God will beat the bushes to find any Tom, Dick, or Suzy who will run into His FEAST!!!
Who will open the Door? – I am willing, Lord Jesus. Be all that You are through me.
Calling Forth Christ
To prophecy Christ is to call Him forth in all that He is in the new creation into our appearance and life and experience right here on this earth.
I speak Christ; I call forth the Lord Jesus as the One who fills the fellowship of Community that is His body, the church, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.
I call forth God made visible. I call forth the Christian Community of my heart into all practical reality, life laid down and love poured out.
I call those things that “be not” as they are. I call forth “Come and See” into the human experience.