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“He’s Dead Jim”

December 21, 2014

Greetings,

Alright, I will just put it right out there….  Jesus wants us dead!  If we truly want to follow Him we will need to die.  What the hell am I talking about?  I am talking about denying ourselves to the point that we no longer live and it is HE who then lives in us.  Jesus said it this way, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.  For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Me will find it.” (Matthew 16:24-25)

Denying ourselves is an extremely difficult thing to do.  Because Jesus is not talking about denying ourselves mere things that we need or desire like food, water, clothing and entertainment.  That is part of it, but HE wants us to deny ourselves at our very core of being.  Like Paul where he wrote, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.  The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)

You see Jesus died for us, so we must also die for Him.  This is not an easy concept to grasp or live up to.  Jesus Himself even struggled with obeying The Father where it came to His own death.  Jesus said, ” My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death” and ” My Father if it is possible, may this cup (death) be taken from me.  Yet not as I will, but as You will.”  He even pleaded with The Father a second time and prayed, ” My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.” (Matthew 26: 38-42)

Many say they want to follow Jesus in their lives, but they balk where it comes to following Him even unto death.  They have no problem with the cross of Jesus and His sacrifice, but when it all comes down to their very own cross to bear and the sacrifice of their very own self and self-will they fall way short.

I know what it is like to struggle with self sacrifice.  Many times I have asked God to take my cup. (and whatever in this life it represents at the time) But that’s the easy part.  Where it gets tough is when you have to actually drink from the cup when Father choses not to remove it and a part of you has to die.  To be brutally honest I have failed that test multiple times, but in those instances I still find that His awesome grace is still there to cover me and somehow in His strength I am able to move forward.  However, as I continue to grow and mature in the Faith, I find that surrendering to my cup becomes a little easier each time.

Totally free and open, Spirit led, face to face fellowship helps a lot with this process.  Being in an open and free atmosphere where everyone can share their struggles and victories with one another really builds up one’s faith and confidence before The Father and with one another.  Sitting in rows and staring at the back of someones head while the guy up front gives a monologue seldom gives such opportunities for being real and sincere.  We grow up into Him, who is the Head, when each one is able to do their work and share their portion.  Preachers and sermons rarely allow for that.  I am so glad to be free from the Sunday morning show.  Face to face, gut level fellowship, that is what works for me, and a ton of other friends that I know very well.  Check it out sometime?

Love and……

Kirk Out !

“They overcame by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; and they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.”  Revelation 12: 11

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47 Comments
  1. Amen to you, Bother, that is the way to go, in freedom to all, what works best, planting the seed and another comes and waters it
    Bottom line as you grow, God is doing the same for all his children, He gives the increase as you just posted, thank you,
    That was Love and Mercy to all, in their free choice to see and be as led as that is what it is to be, only though when we agree to Father will it be
    Thank you

  2. Totally free and open, Spirit led, face to face fellowship helps a lot with this process. Being in an open and free atmosphere where everyone can share their struggles and victories with one another really builds up one’s faith and confidence before The Father and with one another.

    Yes, those “free and open, Spirit led” interactions MAY help in this process. SHOULD help in this process. However, in my experience, it is no guarantee. It takes much more than simply providing the right environment. How ’bout writing about your experience that actually produces the right kinds of interactions in what you definitively consider the right environment.

    T

    • volkmar1108, I do write about such experiences here on the site as led to do so by the Spirit. Each day I just surrender to writing what HE leads me to, without forcing any subject in my flesh hopefully.

      • "BK" permalink

        I think the open, free fellowship you mention is actually a part of the dying process, designed to crucify the flesh and again, set us free. I realized this as I read Romans 12. The famous verses that say present your bodies a living sacrifice DON’T say what all the sermons (including mine of yesteryear) say they do. Verses 3 on explain exactly how we do that….by not thinking of ourselves more highly than we ought to think but RECOGNIZE EVERY MEMBER and their portion as important as our own. Nothing crucifies our old man more than taking a breath and allowing their portion to be included with our own…intermingled….fellowshipped. Love, “BK”

        Romans 12: [1] I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
        [2] And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
        [3] For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
        [4] For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:
        [5] So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.

      • Yes Sister yes, and so maybe 2 Cor. 12:7-10 come home as well through tis you said and thank you

    • "BK" permalink

      Hmmmmmm, I don’t think so….”it takes much more than providing the right environment”. When I prepare my garden for planting once the environment is provided, the seeds planted, it is the Lord Who makes them grow. I keep the environment watered (Spirit) and weeded (fellowship is good for that) and the sun (Son) shines on them and they grow. I used to always dig up my greenbeans to see if they were sprouting or not (and they always were) and one day the Lord said, “Long before you see the green sprout of life above the ground, life isprouting, hidden away from your sight, but sprouting nonetheless. We have seen wickens in our midst who have responded to the environment where even they were free to express and have their questions answered; atheists the same (in both cases amazed at the life that flowed); battered people, religious people and free people…..oh yes, environment is the key, Volkmar. Respectfully, “BK”

      • That is an amazing analogy Sister, thank you loving every minute of it

      • BK,

        If you mean by “environment” that EVERYTHING is just right, then you are correct.

        However, my experience has shown me that EVERYTHING is never just right.

        Therefore, I suggest that simply gathering in a living room is good but not the definitive environment.

      • just a small bit to chew on. Wherever we are wherever we go, carry the Gospel with us, be ready in season and out of to give the account for one’s Joy, peace and righteousness in the Holy Spirit, where we hear from Father to be content in all things, whether it is good or bad where we are at. As Paul counted it all glory to be in Jail when he was, and the Jail help saw this contentment and became believers as well. Also, by him being in Jail, he has written to us in the epistles, that we read today in seeing why he was content in all things for us to see the same
        Thank you

  3. It took me years to realize that Christianity is about learning to die well.

  4. "BK" permalink

    Volkmar, it isn’t the ‘living room’ that is the environment, it is the opportunity for the Spirit to live and flow freely through the members of the body. Christopher calls it ‘free and open fellowship”. Howard, I love your examples of wherever this was, including prison, and the life that followed. Excellent. Where He is able to freely move, He is also able to take up the slack where we lack. I’ve seen it for too long to doubt it. Can’t be defined in a rule book or text book….it is walked in…it is
    ‘along the way’. Love, “BK” And Merry Christmas (or Merry pagan holiday if you see it that way) to you all. It is a pleasure to be ‘in your midst’.

    • Thank you BK, and all here is another excerpt I got from another Brother in the Lord

      sharing waht is shared to me, read if you will

      Melita Raj originally shared:

      Please read… This would make a difference!!

      Shipwrecked

      A voyaging ship was wrecked during a storm at sea and only two of the men on it were able to swim to a small, desert like island. The two survivors, not knowing what else to do, agree that they had no other recourse but to pray to God.

      However, to find out whose prayer was more powerful, they agreed to divide the territory between them and stay on opposite sides of the island.

      The first thing they prayed for was food. The next morning, the first man saw a fruit-bearing tree on his side of the land, and he was able to eat its fruit. The other man’s parcel of land remained barren.

      After a week, the first man was lonely and he decided to pray for a wife. The next day, another ship was wrecked, and the only survivor was a woman who swam to his side of the land. On the other side of the island, there was nothing. Soon the first man prayed for a house, clothes, more food. The next day, like magic, all of these were given to him. However, the second man still had nothing.

      Finally, the first man prayed for a ship, so that he and his wife could leave the island. In the morning, he found a ship docked at his side of the island. The first man boarded the ship with his wife and decided to leave the second man on the island. He considered the other man unworthy to receive God’s blessings, since none of his prayers had been answered.

      As the ship was about to leave, the first man heard a voice from heaven booming, “Why are you leaving your companion on the island?”

      “My blessings are mine alone, since I was the one who prayed for them,” the first man answered. “His prayers were all unanswered and so he does not deserve anything.”

      “You are mistaken!” the voice rebuked him. “He had only one prayer, which I answered. If not for that, you would not have received any of my blessings.”

      “Tell me,” the first man asked the voice, “what did he pray for that I should owe him anything?”

      “He prayed that all your prayers be answered.”

      For all we know, our blessings are not the fruits of our prayers alone, but those of another praying for us.

      This is too good not to share. With obedience come blessings. My prayer for you today is that all your prayers are answered. Be blessed.

      “What you do for others is more important than what you do for yourself.”

      Jesus always stated that ‘it’s more blessed to give than to receive’
      The one who prays for others has a greater reward awaiting in Heaven.
      Jesus Christ prayed for the people, He sorrowed for their disobedience & disbelief, but He always encouraged the act of Giving.

      Many Preachers and Pastors across the world have a powerful ministry only because they have a team of Prayer warriors constantly praying for them.

      All we need in this world is to be a Prayer Warrior for others, that lives may change to enter the Glorious Kingdom of Heaven…

      Jesus bless u all…
      Show less

    • BK, I think you’re dodging the dichotomy that the Captain set up;

      Sitting in rows and staring at the back of someones head while the guy up front gives a monologue seldom gives such opportunities for being real and sincere.

      Christopher is using a code phrase to describe his preferred meeting/gathering environment. I have no objection to that environment. What he is describing is “normal” to many Protestants and especially “Evangelicals”. I would suggest that code phrase is not useful outside of the “normal” American Evangelical traditions and is more divisive than helpful.

      • "BK" permalink

        Not to those who are hearing ‘come out of her’ whispering by the Spirit. The rest will shrug it off. Not sure about the dodging comment; I’m not usually one to dodge things and don’t know what you mean on that. Normal to the prisoners in prison may be ‘normal’ but it certainly isn’t the reality of freedom. I was inside the walls for a long time and walked relatively free in the confines I was in. I even heard people like Christopher say things and dismissed them until one day they took root and walked me on out. I agree with Ramma, if the Lord isn’t calling someone out so be it; but those who begin to hear are refreshed to know they are not crazy. Love, “BK”

  5. volkmar1108, WHat code phrase? The freedom to share each ones portion of Christ is rarely, if ever found among traditional congregations. It sure is not normal in most modern “church” gatherings.

  6. Ramma permalink

    Good conversation. May I suggest to you that when you come together…..no matter where………the number ONE focus should be JESUS. Not how, when, where, who ,etc, etc. Whether we sing, or pray or read or talk. Nothing, but to focus on Jesus. What would happen? If I truly gathered with someone and we simply put our focus on Jesus and laid down any preconceived ideas of how things should be, or have been done…..then the “environment” around me will be just as Jesus would want it. My hard ground will crumble and break down, my dry soul will begin to get watered, because one cannot be in the presence of God/Jesus/Holy Spirit and not become a changed person. Life will and does happen. Life in HIM. A whole new experience. Time to lay down all of our preconceived ideas and allow Him to teach us. Blessings and Happy Holidays to everyone.

    • Exactly, Ramma.

      It is entirely possible, and often likely in my experience, that the right focus can occur even when looking at the backs of heads.

      I did the sitting in a living room NOT looking at the backs of people’s heads with no person “standing up front” and the results were mixed at best and in the final analysis just plain not useful or properly focused.

      I am glad that Christopher is finding what it is he is convinced is most beneficial and appropriate. I think from my experience that the same benefits can be found in a variety of environments. As BK pointed out, the actual physical environment is not necessarily the same as as the spiritual/attitudinal environment.

    • Ramma yes, yes and yes again where two or three are gathered in his name he is right there amongst them , Yeshua that is, Amen Yeweh as well

  7. I agree that true fellowship and Christ focused worship can occur in practically any environment. When we surrender our hearts to Jesus and follow the Spirit’s lead amazing things happen. I have visited some house churches that were as closed and dead as any traditional “church”. However, form and style greatly influence content for the better or the worse.

    • So Christopher, “traditional” and “dead” are synonymous?

      • About six months before the house church dissolved, which Alison and I were instrumental in starting 6 years earlier, we began attending the traditional Eucharistic service at a local Episcopal congregation. We have found it much more “Jesus centered” and “spiritually alive” than what we were experiencing in our house church. Actually, it was for us a fresh breeze from the Spirit.

        Just goes to show, and other’s milage may vary….

      • At times traditional and dead are synonyms. Jesus said that traditions can nullify the Word of God at times.

      • Working definition of how a “tradition” is produced…Doing the same thing more than twice. “Spontaneity” and “Spirit led” are also “traditions”. Traditions in and of themselves are neutral until a goal and purpose are applied to the tradition. The problem with the “traditions of men” that Jesus was militating against was that the purpose of those traditions was to separate people from each other–to create an “us” and “not us” situation.

        Be on your guard against such. In my old Church of Christ experience those kinds of traditions were called “distinctives.” Any group can and often will develop distinctives in order to distinguish who’s in and who’s out.

      • agreed, I go to Bible studies and share and hear and say interesting to this or that and not making Doctrine out of anything but Christ crucified and risen for us all to believe in, being careful to how I build, and when I start not loving wit God’s Mercy, truth and Love given me then error is getting in the way and I need to be taught all over again from Father Hebrews 8:11 and Hebrews 5:11-6:6

    • Christopher wrote;

      I agree that true fellowship and Christ focused worship can occur in practically any environment. When we surrender our hearts to Jesus and follow the Spirit’s lead amazing things happen. I have visited some house churches that were as closed and dead as any traditional “church”. However, form and style greatly influence content for the better or the worse.

      I agree.

  8. Ramma permalink

    Again, I think we get out of what, where, etc that we are because of our preconceived ideas of what we should get, how we should get it, who it should be coming from. This free and openness is new to me and very refreshing. It is hard to let go of what I have learned and just let God lead it. So far, I am witnessing good growth and a more sincere connection to those that we are gathering with. It is different for sure. Last evening we were watching a “Christmas Service” from our home and wow…..It looked like dead people being served a menu that they had no say in. I have to admit that I am glad that I am not there and yes……we shut it off before it was over. Just couldn’t do it.

    • Ramma, I can certainly understand your appreciation of your new found freedom in “free and open.” That’s a good thing. I have experienced the same in home gatherings. I have militated for such in the past. I have also seen people in fully participatory gatherings shut down spiritually and resort to a dead “Bible-ism” as bad as can be found in some “traditional” churches. And, I have experienced the opposite in highly liturgical settings. I’ve tried to stop judging based on my personal biases.

      • All I can is agreed and thank you god always knows what he allows period and works all things towards the good of him period amen

  9. Ramma permalink

    Volkmar1108, it sounds like you had already left your house church 6 months before it dissolved. I understand that some people feel the need for a larger group, etc. I think we should refrain from making one feel wrong about being in or out of one. If you hear the call to “come out of her my people” , then do it. If not then you should stay. Let’s each give our portion to the plate here and not try to always change one another’s decision. Chris has a special message that God has given him. Because of the way Jesus works….Chris can do nothing else but give that message out. I’m thankful to have the opportunity to learn from each one here. Gotta run for the night. Blessings to all.

    • That message I see to this day is LOVE ad MERCY to all, As he told those there in his day to the religious leaders in that day. go and learn what this means
      God prefers Mercy over Sacrifice to love one another and that be all whether believe or not, whether go here for worship or not.
      How can one show God’s love if they only love those that just love them? The unbelievers do this as well, and what difference would an unbeliever see in you if you only love those that love you or do what you do?

    • We had effectively “left” well before that. When something isn’t producing life, then it’s time to find that which is lively.

      If Chris truly has a message from Christ it will be one that draws people together and not one that creates division. IMO most of the time Chris does have that message. However, at times some adjustments are needed. Sometimes it takes an “outsider” to see the needed adjustments.

      • Ramma permalink

        All I can say is…I’m not God and neither are you….we can only judge our own life’s decisions and not another’s. It’s God’s work to make any changes that HE desires in any one of us. And we have to be at peace if God does NOT make the changes that we think are so necessary. Our thoughts are not HIS thoughts and our ways are not HIS ways. God bless you for sharing here.

      • And, all I can say is that is why I objected to several ideas that Christopher presented. Effectively he is setting himself up as a judge of those who differ from his preferred ecclesiology, which preferred ecclesiology is one tradition among many.

        God allows us to make changes in our own lives. Sometimes those changes are somewhat forced by the fact that He keeps placing a mirror in front of us and forcing us to look at ourselves. Much of the time we make changes simply based on our preferences–and that probably makes very little difference to Him. From my experience and understanding Father enjoys seeing his kids make decisions in full confidence of his Love and Acceptance. I really do think that “our thoughts are HIS thoughts and our ways are His ways” because of the reality of the Spirit of Christ within each and every one of us. God’s “perfection” is shown in love, not by the lack of imperfection in each and every detail.

      • Thank you and yes, so be it, it is

  10. "BK" permalink

    Volkmar said “I really do think that “our thoughts are HIS thoughts and our ways are His ways” because of the reality of the Spirit of Christ within each and every one of us.” I love this! So many people quote Isa 55 as if it is a present situation. Reality is Isaiah wrote that under the OLD covenant and now that Christ resides within us it is no longer “His ways and thoughts are higher than ours”, but they now ARE ours, as we listen to His Spirit. Loved this! “BK”

    • Ramma permalink

      Unfortunately I have seen the “so called”, I’m being led/filed/directed by the Holy Spirit stuff that man puts himself in the place of God and it is total self serving flesh controlled stuff. I agree…..the key is…..IN CHRIST. Everyone including myself wants to believe that we are always IN CHRIST being 100% guided by Him in everything. NOT! If so….then why so much human frailties? Something doesn’t jive.

      • Ramma, you have good cause to be skeptical. (“Skeptical” is from “skopos” which means to look closely.)

        This short article by Richard Murry presents a balanced understanding; https://www.facebook.com/richard.murray.1840?fref=nf

        We can know when someone is speaking/doing the will of the Father by how their speech/actions line up with I Cor. 13–which describes how the Father loves us.

        We do “have the mind of Christ”. The sorry side of that truth is that we often choose to ignore it.

      • Yes sister the original flesh we were born in and now alive in Spirit of Father by the resurrected Christ, were we are Justified in Spirit of Yeweh not that old flesh, that people are taught to kill to live the new live and is why we do not.

        when this new life in given not earned or maintained by us, by Father alone. we are made opt walk as Christ walked?
        Not the exact same but as Father leads not us thinking we are

        Phil 3:1-11 clear on this to me, maybe you when you read to, and same for Col. 1:21-32 along with Romans 5:10, but read from 1 on to the and beyond trusting God to show you, and move right on in to Rom. 6:1-11. Only Father can make this clear to anyone f his Children hear

      • "BK" permalink

        Hi, Ramma. A couple of thoughts (as I catch up on my laptop….cell phone ‘net is hard for me and not always dependable). I believe the way we ‘know’ what is flesh and what is Spirit is by watching (sometimes this can take awhile). Jesus said, “By their fruit you will know them…”. John said “Every spirit that confesses Jesus is come in the flesh is of God”, so when I see the Spirit of Christ manifesting in myself or someone else I find Him. And I believe that is the preciousness of what Paul said when he said, “Follow me as I follow Christ…”. So, if I don’t ‘see’ Christ in advice, or direction, etc., I don’t have to follow. Even if it IS Him, I am fine to wait and be sure until He manifests. Like, ‘judge nothing till the Lord come’. I don’t think this means comes from the sky, but rather, comes on the scene…manifests. It can take alot longer this way sometimes but there is peace and surety in it. Just my thoughts in a long conversation. Love, “BK”

      • If one is not at peace in themselves with what it is, then pray for to know and one will be at peace, in wherever they go. A little Spirit food from Father to chew well before swallowing his truth, For he came to give us peace of mind in him in confidence, as we go here in this world that we do not belong to anymore, from the first day one believed he sealed us to know

    • Our task is the same as the Son’s; to do and say what we see the Father do and say. Mistakes are inevitable but never fatal.

      • Ramma permalink

        Thank you for the article, but i have to join in order to read. I won’t join something that I know nothing about. Lol, that seemed very “churchy” :). There is nothing fatal about promoting a one on one walk with Christ and his followers. Learning to listen and walk in the Spirit. Your judgments are coming from your experience, as are mine, and if you tried to run a home church patterned after the IC….then that would explain why it didn’t work. Your last statement about our job is to say and do what the Father is telling us. Let’s all go back and read everything the Son taught and spoke…..there was NOTHING about sitting in an IC, paying tithe, etc,etc….it was about being free in Him, loving all, caring for all, etc, etc. And most importantly….HE IS THE ONE GOOD SHEPERD over us. Why can’t we trust that? Thank you for taking the time to share. Blessings

      • Ramma, One correction.

        I/we NEVER patterned a house church after an IC. Very much the opposite. It was very much open participation, no designated “leaders”. Full ministry of the priesthood of all Believers–including the women (as if that should be even necessarily mentioned). It was “fashioned” after Banks, Viola, and Zens, who pattern their ecclesiology after their understanding of the Pauline churches.

        The 6 year old child had the right DNA but yet failed to thrive in the long run.

  11. Ramma permalink

    You know brother………I was just rereading this conversation and something hit me. Your last statement..”The 6 year old child had the right DNA but yet failed to thrive in the long run.” You were part of that 6 year old child and you are still alive and going forward in Christ are you not? Maybe not the way you thought you might be, but none the less you are. Are the other folks still walking with the Lord? Maybe what God wanted to happen, did happen. Maybe He has each of you right where He wants you. Do you get what I’m saying and seeing? Maybe, His plans were different for each of you and now He has you doing something else. Possibly the work got accomplished and now it’s time for change. I recognize the names of the people that you refer to above and I will tell you this. From being online for a few years now and watching, listening, interacting, etc…….I guarantee this, that I will not pattern anything after anyone who claims to know what they are talking about. The more we humans talk, the more we put our feet in our mouth and show how foolish we can be. Thinking we are wise, we become foolish. I will pattern after Jesus instructions. I find that in simply trying to put His teachings into practice, that I cannot fully complete it all each day. All the other doctrines, etc that have been developed over time, I will set aside and focus on the works and life of
    Christ and do my best to pattern after Him. Much love and a Happy New Year!

    • Yes Ramma, I agree that wherever and in what ever situation we find ourselves God is certainly “right there” with us and we are “going forward” in Christ. Nothing is wasted in the Father’s economy, so to speak.

      Again, all of what I have said on this post goes back to the mistaken idea expressed that there exist ONLY one “right way” to do church. Earlier in this discussion Christopher and I came to an essential agreement about this issue.

      Thank you for continuing to think about what I have been attempting to articulate so feebly.

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