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What must we learn?

In recent years, many of us have gone through almost traumatic changes in our Christian experience relating to our concepts of the church, leadership, and the essence of fellowship (koinonia) itself. Part of this trauma comes from our having to go “outside the camp” where we have been so very comfortable for many years, from where we truly have thought that we had been seeing things “clearly” from the Lord’s perspective – only to find that our “light had become darkness”, and that we ourselves had fallen into the very sins that we have so fervently criticized and condemned in others – even to the point of becoming a total contradiction to our claimed purpose for being.

Indeed, these have been years of repenting of many sins, and a continuing to repent as the Lord gives light and grace. What is so interesting is that the same process seems to be occurring all around the world among God’s people in many, many places.

I thought it would be a great tragedy if we truly fail to learn from our sins of the past. As T. Austin-Sparks closed his article, “I Will Overturn, Overturn, Overturn . . .”, he wrote, “AND THE THRONE ABOVE SAYS, “IF YOU CAN’T READ HISTORY, YOU WILL LEARN IN EXPERIENCE.”

For us to repent and confess them most completely, it would be best to verbalize them – to name them, to call sin – sin. So that in our turning, we may indeed “gain” Christ Jesus, and Him alone.

What follows is a feeble and certainly incomplete attempt to do this. May His grace and Holy Spirit fill where I so lack. If, in reading this, the reader is inclined to not want to read further, I would request that you go to the very last point made at the very end of this article and at least read it. It is a section titled, “The Most Important Issue” found just before the “Conclusion”.

Full article here

A Two Week Devotional

There are few passages of scripture that – if one were stranded or imprisoned without a Bible – potentially provide such a comprehensive description of the character and nature of God, His unconditional love for His chosen ones, and a sustaining source of daily grace from His throne, that one could “survive” spiritually on the passage alone. The 23rd Psalm is not only such a passage, but perhaps the central one meeting this criteria, just as John 3:16 would be perhaps the same thing in a single verse.

I believe that these six verses are perhaps the most powerful statement of the height, breadth, width and depth of the love and grace of God in all of scripture – again, second only to John 3:16.

For many years, in the middle of the night when I could not sleep for one reason or another, I have meditated on the 23rd Psalm. Occasionally in those meditations, God has opened my eyes and heart to wonderful truths in these verses that continue to bless me, help me, and encourage me over much of my Christian life.

In what follows I hope to simply provide some devotional thoughts from my meditations on the Psalm that will bless the reader and draw him or her to their Lord, Master, Savior, and Lover. May the Holy Spirit help the writer in this effort, for without His leading, inspiration and anointing, we can do nothing.

Read on-line: Meditations of the 23rd Psalm
Download the pdf file

Today, God is shaking to the core many local assemblies of His people. Many saints are leaving companies where they have been committed for years. Why is this happening? I personally believe that this article written by T. Austin-Sparks perhaps 50 or more years ago most accurately, and most prophetically, explains what God is doing, and why. May all those who have been caught up in “judgment begins in the house of God” (Jas. 4:17) be helped and comforted in reading the anointed words below. All emphasis is mine except where noted TAS.

Read the article here

These are excerpts from my long article found at El-Shaddai.org: Church Membership

…As far as I can tell, the origin of the very word “membership” is fairly recent in origin, being a word developed from the Bible word, “member”. It is said that C. S. Lewis also said this. “Membership” itself – as in a group that is voluntarily joined – is a word or concept is not found in scripture. …

…We hope to establish that our understanding and use of these two terms come not from the Word of God, but from about a millennium of practice and tradition that was unknown to the church in its first two or three hundred years. We have grown up all of our lives with the world’s accepted viewpoints on these terms, and as a result developed a bias of their meaning that has radically affected interpretation of scripture and thus our beliefs and practices….

…nowhere in scripture do we find anyone either voluntarily “joining” (or refusing to join) any group of believers, nor are there any scriptures admonishing any believers to “join” any group of believers, let alone the body of Christ. One is only born into the body of Christ, and if one is not born into it, he/she cannot – by choice – join. Neither can one born into the body of Christ un-join. Only in man-made organizations can one decide by their will whether to join or not join the group. …

Finally, it must be pointed out that if one were to list the major emphases of scripture where believers are deficient in their walk and relationship with the Lord and their knowledge of the Lord – and where churches are deficient in their service and ministry – one would clearly find more than enough areas which desperately need to be addressed long before even touching things that are not even found in the Word of God – such as church membership.

Can we trust the Lord that if we lift up our Lord Jesus, and all that He is and has done in His work on the cross, and teach only that which the Word is clear about, that saints will come to know and experience Him, and as a result they will then live the life of service and commitment that we so long to see?

May we return to the simplicity of Christ (II Corin. 11:2), where knowing Him, walking with Him in faith and obedience, and loving one another and the lost are not only our focus, but the very fruit of our lives and churches.

To Him be all the glory and honor “in the church” (Eph. 3:21), forever.

 …

( Full article here: http://www.El-Shaddai.org/churchmembership.asp )

A blessed welcome to all to the blog related to my El Shaddai website.

My heart desire here is that our heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ would be exalted here through fellowship on any of the many subjects that I have addressed in my writings that are posted there –

And, that this would also be a place where I can post any current thoughts that I believe and hope have their origin in His heart.

These are I believe, dark days for those who have a heart that He be exalted and glorified in the church now present on earth, as well as for our nation and many others. I truly believe that today is a time of “the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, in order that those things which cannot be shaken can remain.” Heb. 12:27 (see 25 – 29). And there is much that needs to be shaken from each of us and the church – all that which is earthly, carnal, of man, and not of God. This week’s tiny earthquake, centered only 22 miles from my home, is only a birth pang, an outward sign of what is occurring in the spiritual realm.

I’ll never forget our dear brother Lance Lambert ministering on this subject in the late ’80′s. How much closer are we today? And does not the word, “judgment begins with the house of God” not apply more than ever?

I point not the finger anywhere but to my own heart, desiring to be cleansed, shaken, and purified of all that is not Christ – and Him crucified.

Again, welcome to all my brothers and sisters in Christ.

I look forward to any and all contributions and posts that reveal Him to us in a greater way.

“That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the ressurection from the dead.” Phil. 3:10, 11.

“Come, Lord Jesus. Come!”

Christ Who is Our Life

“I Am” Who art Thou, Lord?
I Am – all things to thee;
Sufficient to thine every need;
Thou art complete in Me.

I Am – thy Peace, thy Joy,
Thy Righteousness, thy Might.
I Am – thy Victory o’er sin,
Thy Keeper day and night.

I Am – thy Way, thy Life;
I Am – thy Word of Truth,
Whate’er thy lack, I Am – to thee
El Shaddai, Enough.

I Am – thy Life within,
Thine Everlasting Bread;
Eat of my Flesh, drink of my Blood,
I Am – What dost thou need?

– Adah Richmond

El Shaddai

This blog is a augmentation to El-Shaddai.org which is a web site set up to glorify Father and to enjoy Him forever.

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