Zoe Life Or Religion Brought Home
Basically, your questions involve three things, all certainly sincere. First of all, as I said several times, this is NOT about “how to have meetings” or something nearly as external as all of that. The fundamental issue is: “HOW TO APPROACH GOD” Who is not approachable through the five senses, good deeds, proper doctrines or techniques or wording, hard work, or any such thing. While certainly some fine things can be done “for Jesus”, really most stuff misses the ROOT issue of the REAL difference between those two Trees in the Garden—by ten thousand miles. I’m not saying this to be offensive, but just to say the MAGNITUDE of the difference between “REFORMED” denominational religion, with new and improved doctrines, techniques, folkways and mores—and the ZOE LIFE that Jesus brought from another dimension (called in the Bible “heavenly realms”—where time and space and mass and Newtonian laws don’t exist as we know them), and gave to US ..... this difference affects EVERYTHING in life, including “meetings”! It is NOT about being a little more relaxed and flexible in having our planned or unplanned meetings, and labeling that to be “led by the Spirit” (because we don’t know in advance what we’re going to do). It is NOTHING LIKE THAT, although this may seem similar to the other, viewed from earthly perspective. Again, I refer you to 1Cor. 2ff to make the distinction between “mere men” and living out of the very Mind and Spirit of the Godhead, and using a different means of understanding than the five senses that the “rulers of this age” must use, no matter how adept. Zoe is “foolishness to them, they are INCAPABLE of understanding.” So, I say again. This is NOT about “meeting” style preference, called or uncalled. Often, when men have something to lose (esteem, money, worldly convenience, etc.) these truths are met with GREAT resistance and heated repudiation. What a shame to refuse to talk and pray about the stuff that will REALLY lead one into the Eternal Realm to sit with Christ and be enveloped by Him (rather than external stuff “for” Him). The ESSENCE of the New Covenant! Of COURSE the Reality of Christ’s Realm, the place where angels see the Face of God, cannot be defined by earthly wisdom and parameters and borrowed paradigms: (“What’s so WRONG with ____!!!!????? How could THAT be bad!!!!????? That’s a GOOD thing!!!!” etc.).... Unfortunately, many will need to go on in “their way” until they see it’s STILL not going anywhere, after all these years. And with the loss of many of their children to the world.
Is this issue of what ZOE is, the very heart and soul of what Jesus brought to earth, the New Covenant, “the Mystery revealed” something we can just smile at and put aside? Not anymore than the virgin birth. That big? WHY?
“I don’t understand why, but is this whole issue essential to getting close to God?”
UNWAVERINGLY, NON-NEGOTIABLY .... YES, A THOUSAND TIMES YES!!!!!!!!
If you don’t quite See it right now, perhaps on down the road you’ll be able to see WHY, but, for now, just know it’s True and watch and pray! If someone without a real experience of Zoe to any measure is commanding you to tell him that it doesn’t exist, you can’t just say, “Okay then. Your way is as good as Zoe.” It is just too fundamental to the purpose of New Covenant Testimony of Christ, and “tasting the Powers of the Coming Age” and participating in “the power of an indestructible Life” and to “making known the manifold Wisdom of God to the Principalities and Powers, NOW, through the CHURCH”.... to lay aside as an optional extra.
I’ll add here that there are a LOT of folks, some we know extremely well, who live still from their minds and good intentions and man’s manners and knowledge and experiences. It’s just a fruitless bummer to do that, and so we’ll keep working on it. But it’s NOT a good idea (to make the HUGE distinction!!!) to tell people that know Zoe to accept the fact that there is no such thing, and their “way” is just as good because they do good deeds and they have ideas and home meetings and other good stuff. We’ve got to LEARN of the true CHRIST and not resent and “slander things they don’t understand.” CHRISTIANITY IS NOT A PRACTICED ENDEAVOR, BASED ON A SET OF RULES THAT WE CAN ATTAIN TO THROUGH KNOWLEDGE AND EFFORT AND SINCERITY. “I praise You Father” for that! : ) It is supernatural. We can’t go back to ways of the world, or declare it to be valid or fruitful or Real or fulfilling. ZOE communion with God, unfettered by systems, programs, planned and canned religion, hierarchy (Saul, rather than Samuel), counterfeits of “home” or “innovative” techniques and cutesy stuff.... True ZOE Life with God and one another is as essential to the future as the virgin birth and atoning death in some respects, because it is the only hope of the LIFE of the New Covenant. It is the only hope for turning people into men and women “of GOD”—rather than mice on the wheel of religious life (at home or in “buildings”). Such a difference between “mere men” with their ambitions for having a “ministry” and a truckload of borrowed ideas... and those living in the womb of the GodHead (though still human). May God have the real thing in abundance, to the praise of His Glory.
For the Master of the Universe,
“In HIM was Zoe, and that Zoe was the light of men.”
“Jesus said to her, ‘I Am the resurrection, and the Zoe.’”
“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, the Zoe.’”
“The Zoe was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal Zoe.”
“If Christ is in you, though the body dead because of sin, yet the spirit is Zoe because of righteousness.”
“Ye search the scriptures, for ye think that in them ye have life eternal, and they it is which bear witness concerning me; and ye will not come to me that ye might have ZOE!”
“Work not for the food which perishes, but for the food which abides unto ZOE eternal, which the Son of man shall give to you; for him has the Father sealed, even God.”
“For the bread of God is He who comes down out of heaven and gives ZOE to the world. They said therefore to him, ‘Lord, ever give to us this bread.’ And Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of ZOE: he that comes to Me shall never hunger, and he that believes on Me shall never thirst at any time. But I have said to you, that ye have also seen me and do not believe.’”
“For this is the will of my Father, that every one who sees the Son, and believes on him, should have ZOE!”
“Again therefore Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world; he that follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of ZOE.’”
“I give them ZOE eternal; and they shall never perish, and no one shall seize them out of my hand.”
“And this is the eternal ZOE, that they should [now] know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent.”
“But an angel of the Lord during the night opened the doors of the prison, and leading them out, said, ‘Go ye and stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this ZOE!’”