Seeking and Finding
If you only know Jesus as Savior -- then you know the King of the Kingdom of God -- but you must go on and know Jesus as Lord in order to enter into the reality of the Kingdom of God and blessings by inheritance.
There are a lot of teachings and preaching about Jesus and the salvation that He offers -- but very little information -- especially correct information -- about how to live in the reality of the Kingdom of God in this world. Consequently -- most all people live in the kingdoms of this world. Most all people are caught in the cares of the world. That is a defeated powerless life and Godís people are starving and dying for lack of knowledge about the Kingdom of God and how to live in it.
(Mat 13:22 KJV) He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.
Unfruitful here means that what you produce isnít the fruit of the Kingdom of God. It doesnít further the Kingdom of God in the lives of the people that see or hear it. Itís the fruit of the religious world because it is produced by the methods of the world.
The Lie produces fruit -- but it canít be offered to God because He wonít accept it. The offering looks good and even seems good but it is a Cain offering. Itís the offering that comes from our works and God wonít accept it at our hand. The Cain offering is mostly what people offer to God because of the teaching of today.
(Mal 1:10 KJV) Who is there even among you that would shut the doors for nought? neither do ye kindle fire on mine altar for nought. I have no pleasure in you, saith the LORD of hosts, neither will I accept an offering at your hand.
(Mal 1:11 KJV) For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the LORD of hosts.
(Mal 1:12 KJV) But ye have profaned it, in that ye say, The table of the LORD is polluted; and the fruit thereof, even his meat, is contemptible.
These people were saying that the Lordís meat was contemptible. Why Ė because they believed that to take in much and not have anything left over after you gave the excess away each day wasnít the Truth. You see Ė the ways of the Kingdom of God seem wrong to people that love the ways of the world.
(Mal 1:13 KJV) Ye said also, Behold, what a weariness is it! and ye have snuffed at it, saith the LORD of hosts; and ye brought that which was torn, and the lame, and the sick; thus ye brought an offering: should I accept this of your hand? saith the LORD.
The offerings that they were bringing didnít look torn and sick to them because when we are living in the kingdoms of this world what the Lord counts acceptable is not acceptable in our eyes.
(Mal 1:14 KJV) But cursed be the deceiver, which hath in his flock a male, and voweth, and sacrificeth unto the Lord a corrupt thing: for I am a great King, saith the LORD of hosts, and my name is dreadful among the heathen.
It has been taught that these people were bringing a blemished lamb for an offering. It wasnít the best that they had. No -- I donít think that the offering was blemished on the outside. The priest wouldnít have accepted it if it was blemished on the outside. I believe that the offering looked ok on the outside -- but it was the heart of the people that was wrong toward the Lord. Because the heart of the person bringing the offering was wrong that made the offering a blemished offering.
What was wrong with the heart of the people? They were bringing the offering to the Lord with the belief that they were giving something to God that was theirs and because it was theirs -- God owed them something. He owed them a blessing. Approaching God through good works is always a Cain offering.
The offering was supposed to be a remembrance of what God had given the people so they could honor God with a gift. It was not to be what they were giving to God so that God would see how good they were. Our actions donít make us righteous. Our belief of The Truth makes us righteous.
There is a grave error in the Church today. It isnít just an error in procedure at the communion table. It is an error of the heart and it is revealed in the communion service. It is the difference between imputed righteousness and self-righteousness.
That difference is a life and death difference. Imputed righteousness is life and self-righteousness is death. To see yourself as a son and an heir is believing The Truth. Seeing yourself as a King in your Fatherís Kingdom is The Truth. If you see yourself in any other way you will come to the communion table with that wrong view of yourself. When you see the wrong view of yourself-- you come to the communion table to earn your place rather than to thank your Father for the place that He has given you as a gift.
The following verses are a word from the Lord to the Church regarding this error in the Church of that day. The same error is in the Church of today.
(1 Cor 11:23 KJV) For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:
(1 Cor 11:24 KJV) And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
(1 Cor 11:25 KJV) After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
From these verses we can see that the offering of communion to the Lord is an offering of remembrance of what the Lord has done for us. It is a reminder to us of what the Lord has bought for us by His death on the Cross. Remember -- it is a time of remembrance of what the Lord has done for us and through His death we remember that we are made righteous by that gift. When we remember that gift of righteousness that He gives to us because we received it as a gift -- we are reminded that He imputes His righteousness to us -- without works.
(1 Cor 11:26 KJV) For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come.
So my actions at communion show what the Lordís death bought for me and itís mine now. Iím a son and Iím a King now.
(1 Cor 11:27 KJV) Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
From this we see that it is possible to take communion in an unworthy way. Well -- what actions reveal that Iím unworthy? The actions themselves donít make me unworthy Ė my actions reveal that Iím unworthy because of my belief.
(1 Cor 11:28 KJV) But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
Now I see that Iím to examine myself. The question then becomes -- What am I to examine myself for? Iím to examine myself to see if Iím coming to the table of the Lord on any other basis other than receiving my righteousness as a gift or my appointment as a son and a king as a gift. Am I approaching the Lord on the basis of gift righteousness or works righteousness; Is my righteousness a self-righteousness or a gift-righteousness. Am I approaching the Lord on the basis of gift righteousness or works righteousness; Am I working to be received or am I receiving my acceptance as a gift?
Am I approaching the Lord on the basis of what He has done for me -- or on what I am doing for me? Like confessing my sins so I will be worthy.
Many people have been taught that communion is a time for the confessing of their sins or to examine themselves for any sins. When we do that -- we are not relying on the righteousness that we have received as a gift -- we are relying on our own righteousness because of our confession. That isnít discerning the Lordís body correctly.
(1 Cor 11:29 KJV) For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.
(1 Cor 11:30 KJV) For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.
(1 Cor 11:31 KJV) For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
Again the judgement of ourselves is to see how I have obtained my righteousness -- by a gift or by works. I had a preacher say to me Ė I donít see how confession of sins is works. It isnít works unless Iím doing it in order to be righteous. If Iím confessing sins to make myself righteous then confession of sins is works.
Itís most clear in the Catholic practice of confession. They confess their sins so as to be righteous before God. They confess to a man -- but confession of sins to be righteous is works righteousness no matter who you are confessing to.
Imagine standing before the Lord and saying -- Lord -- I confess that I lied and stole now will you make me righteous. That is clearly works righteousness. The Lord would say Ė I made you righteous when you accepted my righteousness as a gift and doing sins doesnít make you unrighteous. Those sins cause a separation between me and you but you are still my child and you are righteous by a gift of inheritance because you belong to Our Family.
Now the church that has been doing this wrong hasnít simply made a mistake in form. They have been deceived into approaching the Lord on the basis of their works. They are religious good works but they are still works. When that happens to us -- communion reveals that error and I have found that -- realizing that error -- is only the tip of the iceberg of works to be righteous.
To just make a change in religious form would be another step toward self-righteousness. We need to change our minds and realize that many things in our life reveal that we are works righteous or we wouldnít have fallen into that error in the first place. The change has to happen in the heart and then in the form. Changing the form wonít necessarily change the heart.