Jesus' Life, MANIFEST, Today—in His Body

'The Kingdom of God consists not of mere words.'


At the beginning of the second century, a Roman leader and distinguished philosopher named Pliny the Younger wrote a letter to the Roman Emperor, Tragan. Pliny had imprisoned some Christians, and interrogated them, but was uncertain what to do with this odd Tribe of these who lived the Life of Jesus together, in front of all to see.

There were obviously compromisers in that day as well, pretenders to the Faith and Life of Jesus. Some of Christendom had already sadly faltered into ritual and icon and office, as historians document, as well as is recorded earlier yet—in Revelation chapters two, and three. About those who were not in Love with Jesus, Pliny wrote to Tragan regarding those whom he had threatened with imprisonment or death:

“Some joined me in an address to the gods, and your image Tragan, which I had ordered to be brought along with the images of the gods, for this very purpose. Moreover, they sacrificed with wine and incense, and were willing to blaspheme the name of Christ: none of which things can those who are really Christians be constrained to do. Therefore I judged it proper to release them.”

Pliny went on, in this 1900 year old correspondence to the Roman Emperor, to describe what he called the true Believers of that day. In spite of those who only desire to profit from a form of Christianity, in ego or social benefit or conscience or money, there has always been a pure (though ridiculed) Testimony of the Life and Truths and Light of Christ Jesus available. In the days before lukewarmness, compromise, ritual, and assigned “teachers” and “leaders” were quite as omnipresent as today, Pliny said this about the way NORMAL TRUE Christians lived together in intimacy and openness:

The Christians would “bind themselves together by solemn oath not to commit any wickedness—but on the contrary to abstain from theft, robbery, and immorality—also, never to violate their promise, nor to deny a pledge committed to them.”

This was THE CHURCH. This was how a pagan described what he called true Christians! Try THIS in today’s institutional and “appointed teacher” Christian world, and see how you will be mocked! And yet, it is as simple as the Teachings and Life of Jesus Christ, shared together now as the BODY of Christ! Anything less COULDN’T truthfully be called “the Body of CHRIST”—now could it? That’s just Him! : )

In a similarly ancient letter, to Diognetus, again demonstrating the seriousness and shared life together—in sharp contrast to the isolated, attendance on a Wednesday night or Sunday morning thing form of religion: “For Christians are distinguished from the rest of men neither by country, language, nor customs. They do not dwell in cities of their own (they are not isolated from other yet-unsaved people in some cloistered way, because “THIS is how all men will know you are My Disciples: by the love that they SEE you having for ONE ANOTHER.”——m). They do not busy themselves with human philosophies as some do. While dwelling in the cities of the unsaved, they follow much of the local custom in habitation and food, but live as sojourners. They share all things, and endure all things, as foreigners. They furnish a common table, but not a common bed. They are not understood, and they are condemned. And those who hate them cannot prove a reason for their enmity.”

And, as GOD HIMSELF described the Life of His Son, left on planet earth, indwelt by the same Spirit of His Son, in His Body the Church:

“They joined with the other believers and devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, sharing in breaking bread, and in prayer. A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. And all the believers were together constantly and shared every aspect of their lives together. They sold their possessions as needed and shared with those in need. They met together each day in the public courts, met in homes to break bread, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity—all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people” (Acts 2:42-47).

A WONDROUS place—though as hated and ridiculed today as it was then, even by “religious leaders” and the current Roman government.

“All these faithful ones died without receiving what God had promised them, but they saw it all from a distance and welcomed the promises of God. They agreed that they were no more than foreigners and nomads here on earth. And obviously people who talk like that are looking forward to a country they can call their own. If they had meant the country they came from, they would have found a way to go back. But they were looking for a better place, a heavenly homeland. That is why God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a heavenly city for them” (Heb.11:13-16).
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