"And None Dared Join Them"

1/6/2008

If we want to “See the Lord,” we must be committed to Love and Holiness. That’s our part. Since a miraculous Quality of Life Together in God’s Presence brings pleasure to Jesus, we are called to do our part for that to happen. In true Ekklesia, with true Koinonia, lives that very likely may have been impoverished or destroyed in another attendance-based scenario, are protected and enlarged by ten thousand percent in Ekklesia that “the gates of Hell cannot prevail against.” It’s just His Plan. The “raw material” is the same: “Not many wise, not many powerful, not many noble.” But, His PLAN is “none of us have it all together, but all, Together, we have it all.”

For whatever reason He may have had, He did not INTEND for us to “have no need of one another.” He Desired that we would be “joined and knit together by every supporting ligament”—living as one with each other daily, as is your own human body one, member to member. And as with your human body and His, Ekklesia will have different parts, gifts, and purposes from body part to body part… but totally intertwined and one with one another, continuously. Can you imagine your hand “attending” your forearm once or twice a week? Hmmmmm.

The gifts and relationships available only in daily Koinonia have an amazing impact on our futures, according to the Scriptures. But, we’ll never see that Miracle if we are willing to cut corners by selfishly and pridefully withholding vulnerability, daily self-sacrifice, and Koinonia from Jesus’ Family in the Church. Had there been no Koinonia in Jerusalem, what happened in Acts 5 with Ananias and his wife would have seemed strange and legalistic. It was hard enough to handle as it was. I’m sure Ananias and Sapphira’s children, parents, and biological brothers and sisters would have been tempted to think it was “unfair” that they were now dead. And, nearly ALL religious bodies calling themselves “Christ-ian” today would scoff at the idea that “a little white lie” would be sufficient cause to be struck dead. It was shocking how serious Peter and the other Christians in the real Church were about Holiness. And God clearly viewed it the same as Peter and the others. We have proof of that, obviously.

GOD wanted the sins of Ananias and Sapphira to be addressed, and even publicly and radically, so it must not have been an “over-reaction” or “legalistic”—as many in Laodicea would say if the exact same thing were to happen in our day. It was RIGHT to uphold Truth and Life and Holiness, apparently. Certainly, the track record for most of christendom, filled with leaven, is that most assume that carnal sympathy and false love are a substitute for Truth. It is as if we genuinely believe we are “more loving than God” by our compromising decisions. And that “God of the Old Testament”—He’s not real, either. Or He’s finally seen the error of His ways, and changed to be more like compromising humans.

In Real Deal New Testament churches, there is sometimes a Mandate to remove Koinonia from even “nice folks.” Perhaps it will “look like” what happened with Ananias and Sapphira, or it may be something like 1Cor.5, or perhaps more like Titus 3:10, or any number of ways Father would desire that Koinonia be withdrawn. God’s House is built with Wisdom. But then, once a person has been removed from Koinonia, some interesting things, even supernatural things, can immediately begin to happen. In the case of Acts 5, part of the fallout was publicity and a major hit to “reputation” of the church in the town where they lived. “None dared to join them” because of the radical commitment to Holiness that God has ordained for His People. Apparently there was much gossip and fear that took place after Ananias and Sapphira had abruptly been dealt with. And the ultimate of “loss of Fellowship” took place, without “to him and him alone” or any such thing.

In spite of that fallout, God met them there. The influence and fruitfulness of God’s Work, for those with pure hearts, actually INCREASED from that moment on. “Nevertheless” is a very shiney word, in this context. When we are faithful and obedient to courageously and lovingly engage ourselves in “bringing many sons to GLORY” (rather than bringing them to “attendance”)—Father rewards our willingness to be His loving, faithful ambassadors. And He confirms and rewards those who will serve Him by tangibly “wrestling to present one another perfect in Christ” rather than just singing or “studying” about it.

Often, when we do as the young church in Acts 2-6 did (as in the case of Ananias and Sapphira), even if not “understood” by all—there will be very quick “evidence” and “confirmation” of God’s Involvement. As we engage His “Tools” to reclaim lives from the enemy, as we Dance to HIS Music rather than the ever-popular Laodicean Dirge, there will be various things that come up. Certainly, there will be some kind of response by those you must break from Fellowship. Paul described the process of removing Koinonia as “turning them over to Satan”—so they could learn the contrast between the beauty of God’s Ways, and the futility and darkness of pride and self-life that the Enemy tries to entice us with. That is no small thing.

When a person has chosen to betray or abandon the Head, Jesus, there must be a corresponding response by His Body, if we’re connected to the Head. Can you imagine your left hand rejecting a burning coal, but your face or leg not taking the message to heart of “avoid the burning coal”? Of course not. The Head decides for the Body, and we reflect what the Head is desiring. Sometimes, that is showing infinite patience and mercy under unbelievable adversity. Other times, being connected to the Head will mean being repulsed at lukewarmness and “vomiting” up the foreign matter, as Jesus does. It’s HIS call, case by case.

And if we are in Fellowship with Him and one another, daily, we will Know what to do—as we pursue Together. We’ll know just as surely as they KNEW “what to do” in Acts 13 and Acts 15. Regardless of what happens in the “seen world,” Father is faithful to reward all who risk for Him out of “a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith.”

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