How to Enter, Abide and Increase in Communion with Christ - Download PDF Article
Below is a speech that was given by J. Rufus Moseley in 1952, which was original called, "How to Enter, Abide and Increase in Union with Jesus Christ. We have reworked his article to be more accurate to the Word of Yahweh. The state we are seeking to acquire is presented in the Greek word, 'koinonia.'FN1 Koinonia, which has been translated fellowship, communion and sharing together is most common in Paul's writings, for whom it has a directly religious content. Paul uses koinonia for the religious fellowship (participation) of the believer in Christ and Christian blessings, and for the mutual fellowship of believers. According to 1 Corinthians 1:9 Christians are called to fellowship (participation) with the Son. They are lifted up to be His fellows. They enter into a spiritual communion with the risen Lord.
I have been requested to speak in answer to the question, "Are there any special techniques by which you can enter into Communion with Christ?"
To receive and to give the highest love of all— the love of the Christ,FN2 is highest of all arts, and yet as Stephen Phillips puts it, there is "no art in loving but to love." Paul's supplication to the Father for the believers was that we, "…get to know, also, the knowledge–surpassing, love of the Christ,––in order that ye may be filled unto all the fullness of Yahweh" (Eph. 3:19).
There are many approaches by which you can enter into spiritual union with Christ, but since Yahweh is lovingkindness, justice and righteousness, perhaps the easiest approach of all is to live a life of lovingkindness, justice and righteousness. As John, under high inspiration puts it, "…Yahweh, is, love; and, he that abideth in love, in Yahweh, abideth, and, Yahweh, in him" (1 Jn. 4:16). It is through Yahweh loving us and our receiving that love, that there is a supernatural urge to give and to live this life of love.
Christ, the Perfect Lover as well as perfect love, is longing and knocking to come within and to fill us to overflowing with this love, righteousness and justice. So as we receive the Lover and His love and give His love to all, we become loving; and through love, righteousness and justice we are in oneness with Him. Entering into communion with Christ calls for love, and every increase in our love is an increase in communion with them (Father & Son), and every increase in communion makes it easier to love.
"Yahweh is Lovingkindness, Righteousness and Justice,"FN3 and if you decide that you are going to repent of and let go of everything that is unloving, unrighteous and unjust and welcome the Lover and everything that is righteous, you then enter into justice easily and happily. To receive the Lover and to receive and give His great love, is really the simplest and easiest way to enter into an abiding and increasing communion with our Father and our Lord. How do we receive the Lover and give of His great love? By reading His Word, which unveils the will of the Father and the Son. By doing His commandments in love, we enter into spiritual intercourse with Yahweh and Christ; "I, in them and, thou, in me; That they may have been perfected [teleioo]FN4 into, one…" (Jn. 17:23).
You do not have to start the loving. He loves you into loving; "Not that we loved Him, but that He first loved us."FN5 Remember that He is the Great Lover and if you want to love, stop resisting the Lover and let Him love you. As He loves you into lovingkindness, righteousness and justice, He loves you into oneness with Him; "In that day, shall ye get to know, That, I, am in my Father, and, ye, in me, and, I, in you [Communion]. He that hath my commandments and keepeth them, he, it is that loves me; and, he that loves me, shall be loved by my Father, and, I, will love him, and will manifest, myself, unto him" (Jn. 14:20-21). Isn't that simple! If there are attitudes in you that are unloving and disobedient and you choose to repent of them and become loving, you have increased in love and increase in spiritual oneness with our Father and our Lord; "That the Christ may dwell, through means of your faith, in your hearts, in love, having become rooted and founded…" (Eph. 2:17). We have been built together in order that we may be a habitation for our Father by way of spirit.FN6 Yahweh abiding in Christ and Christ abiding in us is a glorious communion or a spiritual intercourse!
When you do decent things you feel decent— when you do clean things you feel clean—when you do dirty things you feel dirty. When you do loving things you feel the approval of Him who is love. We must remain holy in word and deed; "…Holy, shall ye be,––For, holy, am, I––Yahweh––your Elohim" (Lev. 19:2, 1 Pe. 1:16). So everybody is being educated all the time regarding how to be in communion with the Father. Obedience to His commandments, in love, increases our communion with Them. Our spiritual union increases joy, peace and hope and all else that really satisfies. Disobedience dissolves our communion, which leads to dryness and dullness and deadness and to a sense of guilt. Yahweh is really educating us all of the time, into the great wisdom and blessedness of communing with Him, and out of the folly and tragedy of broken communion.
This is the beautiful law by which we really live and are being educated. Whatever we choose to receive and give, we not only receive back but we become what we give. We are operating as the Body of the Christ by receiving Christ as our loving Head and by giving him to others. We break our communion with the Father when we fail to do His commandments in love. We restore the broken fellowship when we confess our sins and He cleanses us from all unrighteousness (1 Jn. 1:9).
If we desire to choose to love, we will be in the realm of love. If we are in the realm of love, we will also be in communion with "Him who is love." We must decide then that we are going to stop yielding to the temptations of the flesh but rather to give ourselves to Christ and to lovingkindness, righteousness and justice. How do we know what is loving, righteous and just but by his Word. As we practice His Word, we will find ourselves abiding in love, righteousness, and justice. This is how we Commune with the Father and His Son! This spiritual fellowship is what we are seeking!
I will list a good technique for acquiring our goal: If we have been saying and doing unloving things, we must repent. If we can't say and do something good, best then that we do not say or do anything. We can at least pray! Let's go to work and discipline ourselves into lovingkindness, and refuse to pass along anything that would be unrighteous or unjust.
It is not what comes to us but, the way we react, that determines whether or not we will be put into deeper communion with Christ or whether we will be put out of the sweet peace and joy of communion. No matter what comes to us, if we meet it in His love and wisdom, it will put us in deeper spiritual union with Him and will put us deeper into His realm, or Kingdom.
When we conform to the Divine Will and the Divine Purpose, (both are lovingkindness, righteousness and justice) we are increasing in our communion with our Father. If you will read First Corinthians, chapter 13 over and over until you have literally absorbed it and it has absorbed you, and decide that "Love, is patient, is gracious," you will be patient and gracious too. By doing so, you will increase in communion with Christ. For example, when you read, "Love, is patient, is gracious" ask yourself the question, how long am I patient and gracious? Have I been flying off the handle and getting out of communion even before I exercise patience and graciousness? Let us measure ourselves by all the characteristics and attributes of love, righteousness and justice and then we shall find ourselves increasing in humility—and in love— and entering into deeper communion with Him who is love.
Another good approach to having communion with Christ is that we ask for this communion and ask to know that holy love; that knowledge surpassing love of the Christ which is the key to being filled unto all the fullness of Yahweh.FN7 Remember if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us and is glad to give it to us. We must perform what is asked of us in our Father's Word. When we do so, then we give legs to our supplications and we will swing right into communion with our Father and our Lord.
"Love beareth all things." Let us examine ourselves—let us look to see how long we can forbear and return love for things and actions that seem to be unloving. Christ bore everything so let us think of this and repent of all of our complaining as well as resentments. Say this, (and mean it) "Lord Yahshua, I would like to be like you, and I am not like you. Forgive me Lord and take out of me all of this complaining and put a song of praise and thanksgiving in my heart and upon my lips." Here we have a technique that absolutely cannot fail. Christ assures us time and time again that there's no failure in this kind of supplication. He promises an immediate answer every time.
Love always believes the best. So choose to believe the best and to be very charitable, and to believe that lovingkindness, righteousness and justice are the only things that really succeed. You will find yourself increasing in love and increasing in communion with Christ. This is a most splendid approach to communion with Christ. Everything we do to become more like Christ, is putting us deeper and deeper into oneness with Christ. Every time we conform to what Yahweh is, we are increasing our communion with Him. Yahweh is truth itself. If we meditate upon this and choose to be like Him, we begin to repent of all of our white sins and black sins. Obeying Yahweh increases our communion with Him; "And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight" (1 Jn. 3:22). Everything we do that we disapprove of, not to mention that which we know Yahweh doesn't approve of, separates us from the life and joy of communion with Him.
So, you see that we are in Yahweh's school and that He is seeking to bring us into oneness with Himself. There is no short cut to spiritual intercourse with our Father and our Lord. This spiritual union would not be of such high value if we could receive it with little effort.
At a retreat at Mars Hill, North Carolina, a rare young Baptist minister by the name of Joe Parsons told how he saw that Christ was right and that he was wrong when he said to himself, (and of course Christ heard it) "Jesus, I guess you are right and I am wrong. I hate my enemies and have a gun in my pocket that I thought I might use on one of them." He, seeing that Christ was right and he was wrong, went to the man he had hated most and had murder in his heart, and asked his forgiveness. He received it and in so doing entered into a heavenly love relationship with him. And by entering into love with his enemy he of course entered into deeper communion with Him who is love. Every time you enter into a communion of holy love with anyone, you are entering into a deeper communion with Christ.
The thirteenth chapter of First Corinthians is a wonderful description of Christ. Christ bore all things. He bore the worst that man could inflict upon him and responded to this wickedness with love, righteousness and justice. Christ endured all things! Christ never failed! What a wonderful description of Christ! When we imitate Christ we will have communion with him and our Father. We must choose to give up our ways and put on his ways. He is the Way that we must follow.
We can be just as loving as we want to be. Indeed we have to resist love and the calls of love in order to harden ourselves against being loving and being in communion. If our brother hath need, and if we yield to love and help him, we will increase in love and in communion. If we close up our bowels of compassion and refuse to help him, we have just simply put ourselves out—at least in a measure—of communion. Some of us are afraid to get too loving, feeling that we might lose something or be beat out of something. We feel that we might have to give up some of our luxuries so that others might be fed and comforted. The adversary would like for us to believe that giving would just about break us, but Yahweh's word is this:
"Is not, this, the fast that I must ever choose––To unbind the tight cords of lawlessness, To unloose the bands of the yoke,––and, To let the crushed go free, and, That, every yoke, ye tear off? Is it not to break, unto the hungry, thy bread, And, the thrust–out oppressed, that thou bring into a home,––When thou seest one naked, that thou cover him, And, from thine own flesh, shalt not hide thyself? Then, shall break forth, as the dawn, thy light, And, thy new flesh, shall, speedily, grow,––Then shall go, before thee, thy righteousness, The glory of Yahweh, shall bring up thy rear: Then, shalt thou, Call, and, Yahweh, will answer, Cry out, and he will say, Behold me! If thou remove, out of thy midst, The yoke, The pointing of the finger, and, The speaking of iniquity; And shalt let thine own soul, go out to the hungry, And, the soul of the oppressed, thou shalt satisfy, Then shall break forth, in darkness, thy light, And, thy thick darkness, become as the splendour of noon; Then will Yahweh guide, thee continually, And will satisfy, even in scorched regions, thine own soul, Yea, thy very bones, will he invigorate,––So shall thou become, like a garden well––watered, And like a spring of water, whose waters do not deceive; And they who come of thee, shall build the wastes of age–past times, And, as for the foundations of generation after generation, thou shalt rear them up,––So shalt thou be called––A Repairer of broken walls, A Restorer of paths leading home…Then, shalt thou rest thine own exquisite delight upon Yahweh, …And I will cause thee to ride over the high places of the land,––And will feed thee with the inheritance of Jacob thy father, For, the mouth of Yahweh, hath spoken" (Is. 58:6-12, 14).
I heard J. C. Penney say that when he decided to put the Golden Rule to work in his business, he did it with the feeling that it would be a great financial loss to him, but very soon he found out that it really made his business an amazing success. Operating the love of Christ will make an amazing success of anyone. We can have all the love that we are willing to receive and give. As you know, we cannot be in heavenly love without being in communion with our Father. This whole matter of increasing in love and increasing in communion is so deep; it is so right; it is so wonderful; it is so glorious that to know it we must experience it by walking in love, which places us in communion with Christ.
The Son of Yahweh came to give us life. If we accept that life, we are given a birth of Love, a birth from Above, a birth of the divine Nature, and a birth that gives us the power to become like Him. Christ poured out upon us the gift of spirit. He longs and knocks to enter into us. He invites us to enter into Him and abide in him, as he abides in the Father. Through the spirit, He floods us with His love; "…the love of Yahweh has been poured out in our hearts by the holy spirit who was given to us" (Rm. 5:5). As He is invited, He comes within, and abides, and gives us the ability to love and overcome all that is not love, and to abide in Him and to grow up in Him and to become like Him. So it is not difficult to get into personal communion with Christ because He is ever longing for us and waiting for us. If we will not let Him in when we have health and prosperity, maybe we will let Him in when the need for Him becomes extreme. He never says to us, "this is your last chance—I have done My part, and if you just insist on perishing, I will not interfere." If there is any way under the sun to keep us from going, He is just going to wait for the opportunity to come along. Well, with anyone like that, you are not going to have any difficulty in getting Him to come in unto you. He is doing all He can to break down our resistance and to make us happily willing for Him to come in. With His help, communion with him is not only possible, but inevitable.
If entering spiritual union with Christ had to be on our own initiative, we might never enter into it, but since it is Christ who is seeking it, it is not difficult. It is easier to yield to him and let him come in than to resist him and keep him out. If we make Yahshua our Lord, we receive the gift of spirit. Christ puts his love within us— and when His love comes in, we feel His love for everybody; we begin to feel an extra amount of love for those we hated or failed to love. They will be the first ones to come into our minds. There is also a strong inclination to go out to them and say we are sorry. When we see a person doing this, we know that he has "the old time religion," or rather that "the old time religion" has him. In this love we have the Lord and the Lord has us. He is in us and we in him.
In my old home neighborhood, the most progressive man in the neighborhood was a Pennsylvania Dutchman who had two very good looking girls. A homely man in the same neighborhood was very much in love with one of them. It was difficult to get rid of him, so one day he told him to leave, and that if they ever wanted him they would send for him. Some years later, he had a wonderful conversion that caused him to love everybody, and of course he went to the homely young man and said he was sorry for hurting him. This did not mean that he wanted him for his son-in-law, but anyone who enters into communion with Christ—to enjoy and increase in that communion, must become loving, righteous and just in all his ways.
If we have to confront someone with a truth that will hurt them, the Lord will enable us to communicate it in kindness and wisdom. If we have to let anyone down, we can do it gently and lovingly, and if he insists on a hard fall, we will want to put all the padding under him we can. This is the "Love way" and the only way.
Every yielding to Yahweh's will is a yielding to truth; to kindness; to goodness; to love. By yielding to what Yahweh is, we are swinging into communion with Him. So, it is a tremendous education that we would not miss for anything. Every time we violate the way of love, righteousness and justice the quicker we recognize it and ask Yahweh for forgiveness.
This morning, Easter morning of 1952, I spoke a little beyond what I should about the "bottles" of religion. You understand the old "bottles or skins" of religion? I know there is a strong tendency to hold on to the "bottles," so that when you hear them cracking, you may be more concerned for the "bottles" than you are for the new wine. I felt that I needed to ask the forgiveness of the one that seemed a little hurt and failed to do it on the spot. I missed something. Now that I have done it I feel a special cleansing. This does not mean that we are to have old bottles for new wine, but it does mean that everything is to be done in love, wisdom and grace according to Yahweh's will. Paul's love for mankind was illustrated by him saying, "…to all men, have I become all things, that, by all means, some, I might save" (1 Cor. 9:22). The love of the Christ abiding in him would present itself by making this statement, "if food is an occasion of stumbling unto my brother, in nowise will I eat flesh unto the age that abideth,––that, I may not occasion, my brother, to stumble. (1 Cor. 8:13).
When we have missed the way of love, righteousness and justice, it is great wisdom to repent quickly, as King David did after the prophet Nathan confronted him; "And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against Yahweh. Then said Nathan unto David,––Yahweh also, hath put away thy sin, thou shalt not die" (2 Sam. 12:13)! If we are to attain to permanent communion, we must repent quickly. Don't let the sun go down before you repent. If you want a good nights sleep, after you have sinned, ask the Lord's forgiveness and tell everybody else who has been sinned against that you are sorry as soon as possible, and the rest will be easy and blessed.
Years ago I had this interesting experience. We were having a wonderfully good meeting. I talked for a few minutes about the wonder of the resurrected Christ and how He walked with two of His disciples who were not aware that they were conversing with the risen Yahshua. During my teaching, someone got up to boast about his finances and why it was important to tithe, which was completely unrelated to the topic at hand. It just didn't seem to fit in and I voiced my feelings about it in a way that was not entirely loving and gracious. Instead of asking forgiveness at once, I held out until about two o'clock that night. I was right in what I said, but I was wrong in how I said it, which made it very difficult to repent. After rolling for two or three hours (not as a Holy Roller, but as a miserable roller) I told the Lord that I had allowed an unloving and ungracious attitude to enter into what I said and that tomorrow morning I would call on the people that I had hurt and tell them that I was sorry; it would have been unloving to awaken them in the middle of the night. As soon as I decided to repent the good Lord let up on me and gave me a good night's sleep. Just as soon as we make up our minds to do Yahweh's will, He begins to deal with us as though we have already done it.
I make many references to Sadhu Sundar Singh,FN8 because he seems to have been the most Christ- like and victorious Christian who has lived among us during our time. When he was a boy, he was unusually kind and tender-hearted and one day when his wealthy father gave him money to spend on himself, on the way to spending it, he found a poor woman in extreme need and gave her everything he had started to spend on himself. His heart was so deeply touched that he asked and plead with his father to give him enough money to buy the poor woman a warm blanket. "I have helped her in the past, let somebody else do it," the father replied. The boy's deep concern for the needy woman caused him to go to his father's purse and get the money and buy her a blanket. Of course he entered into a kind of hell on earth until he decided to tell his father what he had done. Then he entered into a great peace, and when he told his father, his father approved of what his good-hearted boy had done and told him that he always believed in him and that he believed in him now more than ever. Here is another striking example that one may enter into the peace of Yahweh the very moment he decides to do the Highest.
IT IS NOT WHAT WE HAVE DONE,
I don't believe I have ever told this good story about the boy who by throwing a ball rather carelessly, broke a large glass in a drug store. He yielded to the temptation to run away but he realized that some innocent person might be accused of breaking the glass, so he went to the druggist and told him what he had done and asked for the privilege of working it out, saying that he was unwilling for his father to have to pay for it. Well, the druggist was looking for a boy who could help him in the store and he realized that this was likely the right one, so he made inquiry as to whether or not the boy's father was willing for him to work at the drug store. The boy rose so rapidly in the favor of the druggist that he was taken in first as a partner, and eventually owned the store. Another boy asked him years later, "How was it that you rose so fast and that you now own this store ?" He replied, "By breaking a window." He did not add that it was by doing Yahweh's will about it after breaking the window that success came to him. It is reported that later the other boy deliberately broke a glass on a drug store window and got in jail. It is all in having the right reaction and having the right spirit. We cannot get what we are looking for by "blind imitation."
Well, Christ longs to come into us, does He not? If we invite him in, Christ becomes our Head, our instructor, our counselor, our adviser and his love comes with him also. Our whole reaction to life will have to change if we really want Christ to enter, abide and increase inside each one of us. John wrote, "That which we have seen and heard, are we announcing, even unto you, in order that, ye too, may have communion [koinonia] with us, and, our own communion [koinonia] also, may be with the Father, and with his Son Yahshua Christ" (1 Jn. 1:3). If we are disposed to get angry, we put ourselves outside of Christ and His realm of peace and wonder; "If we say––We have, communion [koinonia], with him! and, in darkness, are walking, we are dealing falsely, and not doing the truth" (1 Jn. 1:6). We have to repent before we get back into the spiritual union with our Father and our Lord; "If we are confessing our sins, faithful, is he and, righteous––that he should forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 Jn. 1:9). Once we confess our sins we reenter the spiritual fellowship with our Father.
Some of you have heard me tell about the Free Methodist preacher who, soon after his conversion was plowing old Betsy, and plowing in great victory and considerable glory. Plowing didn't put him out of communion with Christ and of course he didn't get tired in this glory and happiness but his old mare wanted to bite off the tender limbs of a little peach tree that they passed each time they made a circuit of the field. The young man was very determined that she shouldn't, and watched her very closely each time they neared the tree, but the mare finally beat him to it when the young man relaxed his vigilance a moment. The preacher got so angry at the old mare that he jerked the reigns so violently that the mare's mouth bled and he beat her unmercifully. In his state of rage against the mare he of course disconnected himself from the Lord; also from his joy and peace. He found that he couldn't be angry even with an old mare and be happy in the Lord at the same time. We have to take a vacation from Heaven to do anything like that but when we want to come back, we have to come back the humble way. By reversing the process we get right back into oneness with Yahweh. This young man tried to get back by repenting to Yahweh alone. He threw himself in the furrow and rolled in the plowed ground. He didn't get any where with Yahweh until he finally threw his arms around the old mare and said he was sorry. Then he was back in more glory than he was before he went out.
We may even have to say we are sorry to the cats and dogs we have handled unrighteously. The carpenter, if he gets angry with the hammer that mashes his finger might have to repent to the hammer. The hammer didn't do it, the hammer was not responsible for it. Anyway, we have to repent to cats and dogs and the old mare. We have to repent to our children when we have sinned, and if we repent to our children when we need to, our children will know that we have the real thing. Even if our children don't know the Bible, they know when we are practicing it and when we are violating it.
Paul Moody, the youngest son of Dwight L. Moody, some years ago told this interesting story about his great father in an article in the Atlantic Monthly. He said that the sweetest memory of his father was when his father asked for his forgiveness for having been a little unloving to him and a playmate. Young Paul had gone to bed hurt, and later he realized there was a great form over him, and it was his father asking his forgiveness.
Oh, we can get into communion with Yahweh quickly by humbling ourselves and by confessing our sins quickly. It doesn't require any particular amount of suffering to get back into communion if we are willing and will repent quickly. The Pennsylvania Dutch have a saying—"If you have to swallow a toad, the less time you take looking at it, the easier it is to swallow." Sooner or later we have to repent for all of our sins. Why not do it at once? There is no particular amount of suffering required. Great joy is then resumed.
In order for us to enter, abide and increase in spiritual oneness with our Father and our Lord, we must strip off––as regarding our former behavior––the old man, who corrupts himself according to his deceitful covetings. We are to be getting young again in the spirit of our minds. We are to put on the man of new mould, who, after Yahweh, has been created in His truthful righteousness and loving kindness. We are to be stripping off what is false but rather be speaking truth each one with his neighbor, because we are members one of another. We are to be angry but not committing sin. We are not to let the sun be going down upon your angry mood, which would be giving place unto the adversary; Let, the stealer, no more, steal, but rather let him be toiling,––working with his hands the thing that is good, that he may have wherewith to be giving away to him that hath need; Let, no putrid discourse, out of our mouths, be going forth, but if anything is good––suited to the needful upbuilding,––that it may give benefit unto them that hear. We are not to be grieving the holy spirit of Yahweh, wherewith we have been sealed unto a day of redemption. We must remove from our lives all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and outcry, and profane speaking with all baseness. We must be gracious one to another, tenderly affectionate, in favor forgiving one another––even as, Yahweh also, in Christ, hath in favor forgiven us. We must become, therefore, imitators of Yahweh, as children beloved, And walk in love––even as, the Christ also, loved you, and delivered himself up in your behalf, an offering and sacrifice unto Yahweh, for a fragrance of sweet smell (Eph. 4:22-5:2). When we fall short in obeying the above instructions we immediately confess our error thereby being restored into fellowship with our Father and our Lord.
Before you are fully mature (teleios)FN9 in Christ, you can have seasons of communion and the seasons will be so good that they will just about ruin you for anything else. As the African convert said, "Christ has condemned me to become a saint." He doesn't force us to do it. He just makes it so happy for us when we do it. The enemy makes it so miserable for us when we don't do it, that through these opposites we learn to choose that which means communion with our Father and our Lord against that which means broken spiritual intercourse with them. They do not force us into oneness with them but life brings us to that wisdom, where we delight in doing their will. It is much easier to yield to the Lord than it is to resist Him. It is much easier to go to Paradise than to perish in the Lake of Fire. If we fight Yahweh's ways, we are running into one red light after another. The whole universe looks like it is trying to prevent our downward plunge, but when we choose Paradise, we seem to strike the green lights; the way of the universe. The bridges that we thought would have to be repaired, we find out have already been repaired; we find the books that we should read as was illustrated with King Josiah;FN10 we find the very people that we should know, as has been illustrated in our Father's Word, by the story of the Ethiopian eunuch and Phillip.FN11
Just recently I went to the city of Tyler, Texas, and expected to be met at the station. I found that because of a series of blunders I was not even expected. When I phoned a friend to ask him what I should do, I was informed that I was to go to Room 310 of the New Veterans Hospital and that an old friend, Parr Armstrong, was there and would take me out to Mineola where I was wanted for a prayer meeting the following morning. When I went to the hospital I found that friend Parr had been telling the Pastor of the Disciple's Church at Mineola where he was holding a meeting, that he hoped he could bring me by from Camp Undy near Athens, Texas, to see the wife of the Mineola pastor, who was then in Room 310 awaiting a major operation which was to begin in about an hour after I arrived at the hospital. Parr indicated that he would rather see me than anyone else he knew of on earth. The pastor's wife as well as the pastor seemed very grateful. Through all of us looking to the Lord together, something very good came to the pastor's wife. Everything after that seemed to click, and through what seemed a series of blunders, the Lord accomplished beyond anything that we had planned. If we are willing to go where we are needed, we will find that we need to be where we are. Everything in Yahweh's will fits exactly and perfectly.
Yahweh has started out in His great work to make us like Christ, and to make us the Body of the Christ in making all things like Him. He will not fail nor be discouraged. To become like Him and become a partner in making all things like Him, we simply have to get in tune with Christ. We have to get in tune with lovingkindness, justice and righteousness, which has been presented to us in the Word of Yahweh. We have to put off all that is not love and all that works against our communion with Christ; all the hates and all the fears and all the doubts and all that is not of Him and all that keeps us out of communion with Him has to be repented of. They all must be let go.
As we are in communion with Him we are being resurrected into the new age and into the new life. There is no particular formula by which this can be accomplished, no capsule that we can take. We just don't get it that way. We receive this new life by obeying Yahweh's Word and by obeying the inner communication given to us by way of spirit. We have Yahweh and Christ abiding within us by way of spirit. Our violation of Yahweh's written Word is against our communion with Him. Our obedience to Yahweh's written Word and spiritual communication adds to our communion with Him.
We must yield to the spirit of Yahweh. Spirit means, air in motion, which is invisible and powerful. In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word, 'ruah,' has been translated breath, wind and spirit. Christ compares spirit to wind in the Gospel of John chapter three. As we look out of the window, we see the leaves and the small branches of the trees yielding to the wind, but when we see that building over there, we don't see any yielding. The same wind is blowing upon the building as is blowing upon the trees. The leaves and the branches of the trees are responding to the wind—it doesn't matter how gently it blows— but it would take an earthquake or a cyclone to move the building. When we are ready to yield to the spirit of Yahweh, it will be as easy as the leaves of the tree which yield to the wind. We need to humble ourselves and be as malleable as the leaves rather than being rigid as a house by our heart being hard.
If we are sick and tired of being hard hearted and unkind then there is nothing that can keep us from being transformed into a new man. We will receive all the help that is needed from an all loving Father. No one has to remain rigid if he repents and chooses to be malleable. We can be just as generous as we want to be and choose to be. One of the most helpful signs of today is that many rich people in North America go to work to see what great benefits they can render through their wealth. It is more and more considered disgraceful to have great wealth and power and not use it in the interest of all. The best wealthy men of all time are looking for somebody intelligent enough to spend their wealth intelligently and wisely. The highest talent is being drawn in not to make money, but to use money to the highest benefit of mankind.
As we have seen, there is a union with the Creator for the heathens as well as for the Christians, to the degree that they walk according to Yahweh's lovingkindness, righteousness and justice. This union with Yahweh occurs whether these individuals realize it or not. King Nebuchadnezzar, the Pharaoh during Joseph's life, King Ahasuerus (Xerxes) and King Cyrus verify this point. There is a spiritual union with Yahweh through having His nature, through having His spirit, through having some of His immeasurable love.
With Christians, there is a oneness with Christ by becoming his Body. Christ showed his love for his Body by delivering himself up for our benefit. He made us holy by purifying us, enabling us to receive a spirit that is holy. There is one spirit infused into one body, Christ being the Head; a spiritual oneness if we obey His commandments in love; "He that hath my commandments and keepeth them, he, it is that loveth me; and, he that loveth me, shall be loved by my Father, and, I, will love him, and will manifest, myself, unto him" (Jn. 14:21). There is a communion of actual bodily likeness as demonstrated by the disciple Stephen; "And, looking steadfastly at him, all they who were sitting in the high–council, saw his face, as if the face of a messenger" (Acts 6:15). This, of course, comes through putting on Christ which is available for everyone who seeks spiritual intercourse with Him. The final consummation of our communion with him comes about during the Parousia of Yahshua in the air.FN12 Then there is to be the communion of perfect partnership, in making all things like Him; "Beloved! now, are we, children of Yahweh; and, not yet, hath it been made manifest, what we shall be,––We know that, if it should be made manifest, like unto him, shall we be, because we shall see him, just as he is" (1 Jn. 3:2). In the communion of actual bodily likeness there will be no more death, no more pain, no more old age, no more fears, no more lacks for any good, no more fears. In this blessed realm where we are to be masters in love and wisdom, we will have part with Christ in making his Kingdom a Kingdom of lovingkindness, righteousness and justice.
One additional communion with Christ that Rufus Mosley did not discuss was the communion with Christ in his suffering as presented in Philippians 3:8-10; "Yea, doubtless! and I account all things to be, loss, because of the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Yahshua my Lord, for the sake of whom, the loss, of all things, have I suffered, and do account them refuse, in order that, Christ, I may win, And be found in him––not having a righteousness of my own, that which is by law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is, of Yahweh, upon my faith,–– To get to know him, and the power of his resurrection and communion [koinonia] of his sufferings [pathema],FN13 becoming conformed unto his death." First Peter 4:13 also states, "…taking communion [koinonia] in the Christ's sufferings [pathema], rejoice! in order that, in the revealing of his glory also, ye may rejoice with exultation."
The Greek word, 'pathema,' is derived from the Greek word, 'pathos,' which means to experience something whether good or bad, sad or joyous. Pathema first denotes that which befalls a man and has to be accepted by him.FN14 Our English word, 'suffer,' is defined as to undergo, endure; to go or pass through, be subjected to, experience.FN15 The suffering of Christ has nothing to do with sickness or disease because "…by his stripes we were healed" (1 Pe. 2.24); neither does it have any association with trauma coming from the natural world such as hurricanes; nor is it dying for Yahshua because we have been instructed to flee instead (Mt. 10:23). Two of the usages or pathema are in Romans 7:5 and Galatians 5:24, where it is associated with sinful flesh. Through much of our lifetime we suffer or experience or go through the covetings of the flesh. To understand our Father's instructions we must disassociate our current usage and understanding of the word suffer, which is associated with physical pain, and apply our Father's meaning, which has been explained above.
In marriage there is a communion between the husband and wife. They rejoice together and they weep or suffer together. If you only experienced the joy of a union but withdrew yourself during the suffering, you have deceived yourself into believing that you were one body. This also is true with our spiritual union with Christ. We experience heavenly joy with Christ, as well as worldly persecution. We have been warned by Yahshua that as they hated him they also will hate us (Jn. 15:18).
We live in a world that crucified the Son of Yahweh! The world hates Christ and if we act in unison with Christ, it will hate us; "If, the world, is hating, you, ye are getting to know that, me, before you, it hath hated. If, of the world, ye had been, the world, of its own, had been fond; but, because, of the world, ye are not, on the contrary, I, chose you out of the world, therefore, the world, doth hate you" (Jn. 15:18-19). The world he was talking about included many members of his religious community. The Jews said, "…Crucify him! Pilate saith unto them––Your king, shall I crucify? The High–priests answered––We have no king but Caesar" (Jn. 19:15)! Nicodemus, although a disciple of Yahshua, did not stand in communion with Yahshua at this time but chose rather to remain silent in order to avoid the suffering of Christ. We must ask ourselves, "Do we remain silent, as Nicodemus did, when our Churches teach man-made doctrines or when they remain silent on political issues that are contrary to the Word of Yahweh?" Why we remain silent is to avoid the communion of the suffering of Christ. If we speak up against the Church we could be asked to leave our Church or be excommunicated as is what happened to the man who was born blind? The man born blind, who was a beggar, chose to have communion with Yahshua by partaking in his suffering while Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews, chose not to.
The record of the man who was born blind is an excellent example of an individual choosing to have communion with the suffering of the Christ. The Jews had agreed together that if anyone should confess Yahshua to be the Messiah they would be excommunicated from the synagogue. Nicodemus and the parents of him who was born blind knew this (Jn. 9:22); "nevertheless, however, even from among the rulers, many believed on him; but, because of the Pharisees, they were not confessing him, lest, excommunicants from the synagogue, they should be made; for they loved the glory of men, more than the glory of Yahweh" (Jn. 12:42). We will begin the record when the healed man was brought before the Pharisees; "Now it was Sabbath, on the day when Yahshua made, the clay, and opened his eyes. Again, therefore, the Pharisees also questioned him, as to how he received sight. And, he, said unto them––Clay, laid he upon mine eyes, and I washed,––and do see. Certain from among the Pharisees, therefore, were saying––This man is not, from God, because, the Sabbath, he keepeth not. Others, were saying––How can a sinful man, such signs as these, be doing? And there was, a division, among them. So they were saying unto the blind man, again, What dost, thou, say concerning him, in that he opened thine eyes? And, he, said––A prophet, is he. The Jews, therefore, did not believe, concerning him, that he was blind, and received sight,––until they called the parents of him that had received sight, and questioned them, saying––Is, this, your son, of whom, ye, say, that blind, he was, born? How, then, seeth he, even now? His parents, therefore, answered, and said––We know that, this, is our son, and that, blind, he was born; But, how he now seeth, we know not, or, who opened his eyes, we, know not,––Question, him, he is, of age, he, concerning himself, shall speak. These things, said his parents, because they were in fear of the Jews,––for, already, had the Jews agreed together, that, if anyone should confess, him, to be Christ, an, excommunicant from the synagogue, should he be made. For this cause, his parents said––He is, of age,––question him.
So they called the man a second time––him who had been blind, and said unto him––Give glory unto God! We know that, this man, is, a sinner. He, therefore, answered––Whether he is a sinner, I know not: One thing, I know,––That, whereas I was, blind, now, I see! They said, therefore, unto him––What did he unto thee? How opened he thine eyes? He answered them––I told you just now, and ye did not hear: Why, again, do ye wish to hear? Are, ye also, wishing to become, his disciples? And they reviled him, and said––Thou, art, the disciple, of that man; but, we, are, Moses', disciples:–– We, know, that, unto Moses, hath God spoken; but, as for this man, we know not whence he is. The man answered, and said unto them––Why! Herein, is, the marvel: That, ye, know not whence he is, and yet he opened mine eyes. We know that, God, unto sinners, doth not hearken: but, if one be, a worshipper of God, and be doing, his will, unto this one, he hearkeneth. Out of age–past time, hath it never been heard, that anyone opened the eyes of one who, blind, had been born. If this man were not from God, he could have done nothing. They answered and said unto him––In sins, wast, thou, born, altogether; and art, thou, teaching, us? And they cast him out.
Yahshua heard that they had cast him out: and, finding him, said––Dost, thou, believe on the son of Man? He answered ––And, who, is he, Sir, that I may believe on him? Yahshua said unto him––Thou hast both seen him and, he that is speaking with thee, is, he. And, he, said––I believe, Sir! and worshipped him. And Yahshua said––For judgment, I, unto this world, came: that, they who were not seeing, might see, and, they who were seeing, might become, blind" (Jn. 9:14-39). The man who was born blind, who had been excommunicated for Yahshua's sake, through his suffering had a spiritual union with Yahshua, who also had been excommunicated for Yahweh's sake. Yahshua, through his suffering has a spiritual union with Yahweh because Yahweh had also been excommunicated from the synagogue! The man born blind was one with Yahshua, who was one with Yahweh.
Yahshua was rejected by his brothers and sister as we can be (Jn. 7:1-7). Why was he rejected? He answered this question saying, "The world cannot hate you; but, me, it hates, because, I, bear witness concerning it, that, the works thereof, are, wicked" (Jn. 7:7). Are we willing to be hated by the world by proclaiming that its ways are wicked? If we are, then we will have communion in the sufferings of Christ. He was abandoned by his friends (disciples) during his time of need, as can happen to us. He was spit upon by Pilate's soldiers as can we. The Apostle Paul had communion with Christ in his suffering; "…in toils, superabundantly, in prisons, superabundantly, in stripes, to excess, in deaths, oft,–– From Jews, five times, forty–save–one, have I received, Thrice, have I been beaten with rods, once, have I been stoned, thrice, have I been shipwrecked, a day and night, in the deep, have I spent; In journeyings oft, in perils of rivers, in perils of robbers, in perils from my own race, in perils from Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the desert, in perils by the sea, in perils among false brethren, in toil and hardship, in watchings, oft, in hunger and thirst, in fasting, oft, in cold and nakedness" (2 Cor. 11:23-27)!
Christ did not seek suffering as we certainly do not seek suffering! But being so that the world is evil, we will have our communion with the sufferings of the Christ, some more that others. As a band of brothers, who incur the horrors of war together, are drawn into a lifelong bond of oneness, so shall we be one with Christ in the fields of combat. As the healed blind man communed with Yahshua because he partook of his suffering, so also will Christ commune with, console and reward those who have communion in his sufferings (2 Cor. 1:7).
(For footnotes, see the PDF verison)
(*When quoting scriptures, from the Rotherham Emphasized Bible New Testament, I will substitute the Hebrew word Yahshua for Jesus, Yahweh and Elohim for God and the LORD and Anointed for Christ.)
© 2005-2013 Chuck Cunningham