I attended a large feast of tabernacles (Sukkot) celebration in 2004 and it was for me a first real glimpse of what the "body" mentioned in scripture might be like.
There were several hundred attendees in a primitive campground for 8 days, all camped together in close quarters. In order to be able to keep things running smoothly people had to work together. Many shared in the responsibilities and worked together as a unit. From cooking meals, to washing dishes, to cleaning the portable showers and toilets, among several other tasks. My wife got quite sick at that time, but how people responded was amazing. It seemed someone was there to offer help and prayers and advice at every turn. The Spirit was moving in the camp. I found wisdom to many questions from someone, somewhere in the camp. We could feel the unity and one accord spoken of in the scriptures.
Why does there seem to be so much disunity and discord in the body today? It doesn't take much to get under someone's skin and create division and strife. Part of the reason for this I feel is our lack of understanding or perhaps forgetting of what the body of Yeshua truly represents, and the role we play in it.
The body, as we should know, is made up of many members (individuals), these members work together, performing different yet necessary functions as part of the body. But what keeps the body together, what unifies it and gives it direction? That is Yeshua! Yeshua is the head of the body, just like the brain of our own physical bodies. [Eph 5:23] [Col 1:18] Yeshua, being the head, is the essence of the body. [1 Cor 12:27] He mustn't be separated from the body or you end up with a corpse. [Mat 23:27]
We run into problems if we stop taking direction from our head (Yeshua) and start following others, or perhaps ourselves. This is very easy to do, especially if we haven't died to self by becoming a living sacrifice for Yeshua's use. [Rom 12:1] We need to seriously think about this and examine ourselves. [2 Cor 13:5] Is our heart still wrapped up in the things of this world? [Rom 12:2] Do we have any prized possessions or hidden idols that we find difficult to let go of? I recently saw the movie "Fireproof" which I highly recommend. In this movie the main male character was saving up for an expensive boat which caused much contention with his wife as her parents were in need. This would be an example of something I am talking about here.
Another big issue can be pride, do we think too highly of ourselves? [Rom 12:3] Do we spend energy boasting and seeking recognition for ourselves? Are we gossiping or speaking negatively about others? This is destructive to the body. We shouldn't be comparing amongst ourselves as we all have different jobs, yet we are all interconnected and dependent on one another whether we realize it or not, just as the different parts of a physical body. [Rom 12:4-5] Why not be content with our position in the body and not concern ourselves as it is YHVH's doing as to our calling. [1 Cor 12:18]
What will it take to accomplish this unity, this oneness and peace in the body? I think there are two main ingredients needed. First, we all need to desire this unity with our whole heart and attitude. [Mat 6:33] This verse on the kingdom may at first not seem to fit, but would we not define His kingdom as being peace and unity and oneness for all beings? Is this not our ultimate goal? Secondly, we need His Spirit to fill our body. [1 Cor 6:19] If we accomplish the first part, I believe YHVH will be faithful with the second.
There are some things we need to do to accomplish this unity, it can be a difficult task, but we need to get along with each other and to forgive. Read the following scriptures for some fundamental instructions about this matter.
Eph 4:2-3 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Col 3:12-17 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
1 Cor 12:25-26 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.
When things are going well for us and we are healthy it is easy to feel independent and to not need others. But let's not forget that this could change in an instant. This is the time we should be using to help others in need. Some day we may be in dire need and we know not whom YHVH might send to our aid.
This being said, at the same time I believe we can't ignore blatant sin in the body and those refusing to repent and turn away. [Pro 8:13] Blind acceptance is not the answer. If there is sin in the body, it is like a cancer that grows and spreads and weakens the body. Eventually killing it. I believe these scriptures in Matthew are in reference to the spiritual body we have been talking about.
Mat 18:7-9 Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh! Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.
Another thing is becoming apparent to me lately. It seems we as a body are still not holy and zealous towards YHVH in unity. There is one thing that naturally draws out the best (and worst) in people and that is hardships. We should expect troubling times ahead for the body because it has been prophesied in the scriptures. YHVH knows what we need and wants us to be purified. [Tit 2:14] A trial by fire is needed to purify many of us. We will be forced to depend on each other and to share… or perish. This can be a painful process if we are not already learning these lessons. We might need to learn to be like those in the book of Acts just to survive.
Act 2:44-46 And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
Act 4:32-34 And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold,
Isa 41:6 They helped every one his neighbour; and every one said to his brother, Be of good courage.
From this point on, and when things get more difficult, let's hold fast to our faith and encourage one another with the things that YHVH has already done for us. Also, let's not be like our ancestors in the wilderness, remember… DO NOT MURMUR! [1 Cor 10:10]
The good news is that we know the end of the story from the Bible. Yeshua's prayer will be fulfilled, there will be unity in the body… do you desire to be a member?
Joh 17:11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.
Written by a fellow member.
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