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Holy Tribal Nation series, #1
An Holy Nation
"BUT YE ARE A CHOSEN GENERATION, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people..." (1 Peter 2:9, KJV). Peter, the Apostle of Jesus Christ, puts forth what born-again believers represent: 1) a chosen generation, 2) royal priesthood, 3) holy nation, 4) and a peculiar people. This description of New Testament "saints" describes God’s "spiritualhood" and "holy priesthood" as verse 5 tells us. The Ekklesia, the "called out ones”, are separate, distinct, purposed!
You see, the Old Testament priesthood was restricted to a “qualified minority”, and this minority offered sacrifices for an overall “qualified minority” (the Jews), for they offered sacrifices to the Lord on behalf of God’s people (see Ex. 19:6, 28:1; 2 Chron. 29:11). That was God’s order. But God’s unique Son, Jesus the Christ, changed all that. Now every Christian has been made a priest before the Lord (Rev. 1:6; 5:10; 20:6).
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? First, all born-again believers (not merely church people who have never been born-again but just joined some church) have direct access to God thru Jesus Christ the Lord (I Peter 3:18; Jn. 14:6; Acts 4:12; Eph. 2:18). Second, all, ALL believers are to live a HOLY life in Christ, not just be a church member (I Peter 1:14-17; 2:5, 9). Third, ALL believers must continually offer up acceptable spiritual sacrifices to God. "General Jim, what does this mean?" Well, here are a few things to consider in terms of qualifications for the true believer:
a) Living in obedience to the Word/Spirit and non-obedience (non-conformity) to this world (Rom. 2:1, 2).
b) Presenting our bodies to God daily in righteousness, not using them AT ALL as instruments for sin. All this "sex sin" stuff that "Christians" do today is an ABOMINATION! Also gluttony, body piercings, tattooing, etc, are PAGAN to the core (Rom. 6:13, 19).
c) Giving freely of our material possessions to the genuinely poor and needy, not accumulating "stuff and things" whereby it becomes and obsession, an idolatry! (Rom. 12:13; Phil. 4:18).
d) Performing good Spirit-led deeds, both in the natural and in the spiritual realms (Heb. 13:16).
e) Praying to and praising God from the heart, not like the religious of Jesus' day—proudly, “to be seen and heard of men” (like the stuff that goes on in most churches today). (Read Ps. 50:14; Heb 13:15.)
f) Serving with whole, abandoned hearts and willing minds, not just "church" routine/rituals, but wanting to sincerely please the Lord, not just men. (1 Chron. 28:9; Eph. 5:1, 2 ; Phil. 2:17.)
THE FATHER DID NOT send His Son to live and die in order to set up the manmade churches but ONE International (Catholic—“Universal”) Community, the overall International Ekklesia, comprised of many Ekklesias (“intentional communities” of “called out” believers). We've got other writings on the EKKLESIA/ECCLESIA, so I won't go into all that has already been put forth.
God's Written Word
IT IS A CONTINUING true story of how the Lord God, acting in past history, is in the present still calling together a "people" for the purpose of community, i.e., a Holy Tribe, as our text points out to us (1 Peter 2:9, 10).
It is plain to me that the MAIN purpose and plan of God was and is to have a people who have intimate fellowship with HIM! He even sent His dear Son to this peculiar people. In Leviticus 26:12, God says, "I will be your God and you shall be My people." Are we to assume or even proclaim that this calling stopped in the New Testament?
SAVING THE SINNER OUT of darkness, death and damnation is what salvation is all about ... but this is only half of it. Bringing a "saved" people together in theocratic community is the other half. One Christian author aptly wrote, "Of more than 90 different images of the EKKLESIA [‘church’ is an English translation] used in the New Testament, most are corporate images ... The Bible uses many more plural pronouns than singular ones. Salvation is not only what God is doing in my life but even more what He is doing in OUR midst. God wills to have a people, not just individual believers" (Art Gish, graduate of Manchester College and Bethany Theological Seminary).
New Social Order
THE CONCEPT OF A New World Order or One World Government is not new. Jesus put in motion a New Social Order. Thru His life, death, and resurrection, His New Testament inauguration began a new revolutionary era, a new Kingdom—the "Kingdom of God", a new divine creation (2 Cor. 5:17). This was done by Jesus' death and resurrection. We, as He did in His resurrection, have come forth in powerful newness of life, newness of nature, created after the pure likeness of Almighty God “in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph. 4:22-24).
GOD’S REDEEMED COMMUNITY IS His Holy Tribal Nation—a redeemed Community of divine love, real joy, peace, longsuffering, godly gentleness, real goodness, holy faith, meekness, and temperance (Gal. 5:22, 23), wherein reconciliation unto God “is already being realized”.
God's Holy Tribal Nation is not one of synthesis, e.g, the mere merging of flesh and Spirit, but is a true SPIRIT Community. This is not to say that men/women do not have a mixture of flesh and spirit themselves, but the HOLY TRIBAL NATION was ordained solely by the Spirit and we're to walk in the Spirit.
THIS UNIVERSAL EKKLESIA, THIS Holy Tribal Nation, is to be a visible sign to the world that Christ's Community is a new way of life of the Holy Spirit. Men's communities are fallen in nature, not reconciled unto the Living God. Here and here only, in the universal Ekklesia, do men and women find real power and dominion over the world, the flesh, and the Devil.
The HOLY TRIBAL NATION is (present tense) the first fruit of the Kingdom of God (Rev. 14:4; Ja. 1:18; Rom. 8:23). She is “the forerunner of the NEW AGE of the future” ... whereby God and His people WILL RULE the entire earth! Herein is where God's people are powerfully called together, as one minister said, "...to a new social wholeness ... the work of God which gives meaning to history..."
THE HOLY TRIBAL NATION is an expression of God's sovereign rule on earth NOW, in which the fullness of true Christian discipleship (not Churchianity!) is actually lived—God is the Divine HEAD; we are His submitted people.
Beginning of the End
ACTUALLY, THE EKKLESIA IS not the end in itself, but the beginning to the end—the fulfilling of God’s will, His Kingdom on earth—which end will bring the final consummation experience of God's saving grace upon His entire people. Jesus the Christ will return again for His people, and this is our expectation, our final hope. We are a saved and free people moving towards the end—we anticipate the glorious future when ALL enemies are put under our feet, even death itself.
Sin of Alienation
JOHN 3:16 IS THE "love" verse: "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting (eternal) life." This verse is the true heart and divine purpose of God—to save ALL persons, ALL souls, i.e., "the world" (1 Tim. 2:4).
If men and women simply refuse to accept God’s offer to "be saved (from damnation)”, they cut themselves off from God's life—ALIENATION! This in itself is a SIN. The rejection of the call to salvation is, in fact, a denial of His glorious grace. Why wait? ACCEPT HIS LOVING INVITATION TODAY AND BE SAVED FROM HELL! If Heaven is real, Hell is also real. The word "perish", a Biblical word, is often forgotten today, purposely so in Churchianity; but it points to the dreadful reality of eternal (everlasting) punishment (Matt. 10:28). And remember, God doesn't send souls to Hell, men choose to be alienated from Him.
“Eternal life" is the gift God bestows on ANY AND ALL who truly believe in Jesus Christ thru genuine repentance of sin. Being born-again brings us—you, me—into that new life that expresses not only perpetuity (its everlasting nature) but also the divine quality of life—pure, divine life that frees us from the devastating power of sin (Satan's power over us) and removes us from what is temporal, merely earthly, in order to know the Living God (Jn. 8:34-36; 17:3).
THIS IS NOT WHAT the HOLY TRIBAL NATION is all about. In C. Norman Kraus' book , The Community of the Spirit, he pens this about the Community of God: "It was not a matter of an inner experience of receiving Jesus into their hearts [speaking of early Christians] and then urging them to find a church (voluntary society) of their choice for fellowship. It was not a matter of inner experience of justification or even conversion [though this certainly is necessary] that made them members of the spiritual or invisible body of Christ to be followed up by baptism and ‘joining church’.” The opposite of what he said here is what we today call "church". As you can see, today’s “church world” is contrary to the original pattern of Christianity.
Christianity is when the Holy Spirit (Ghost) molds each born-again member to fit into God’s new, living Spirit-filled Community—this, dear readers, is the real "koinonia" (Gk., “fellowship”) of the Spirit, not some man-centered, institutionalized church with most of its members doing “their own thing" and calling it “God”!
WITHOUT A HEART COVENANT we have NO HOLY TRIBAL NATION, period! We covenant ourselves unto God, and He does to us. A Biblical covenant includes a genuine bond of love and communion, not just the communing of people at a meeting place called "church". Church has become more and more a mere "social contract"; as one pastor calls it, "an association of independent individuals''.
Without a communion of actual intimacy, a covenant means no more than writing your name on the roster of some church. This is not what the HOLY TRIBAL NATION is all about!
The Christian covenant, like a real marriage covenant, is supposed to be a commitment for a lifetime—no divorce. Aren't we supposed to be God's Bride? If so, why has the "Church" gone a whoring after other gods and other lovers? Marriage is a PERMANENT covenant, not a part-time thing that can be and is broken when desired.
IN A GOOD WAY, Christianity is a synthesis of two things: 1) of what we regard as the Gospel, which is God's gift to man in Christ Jesus; and 2) of the human response to it. K. S. Latourette writes in his book, A History of Christianity (Vol. 1, Prince Press), "Too many individuals and institutions which have borne the Christian name have compromised their Christian principles by mingling [and mixing] with the sub-Christian or anti-Christian world about them..." This THING called the Body of Christ today is a deadly mixture of flesh (the satanic) and Spirit (the divine). God's HOLY TRIBAL NATION will not be this kind of deadly synthesis (mixture). We're called to be holy, for He is Holy. We're called to come out from among the pagans, not mix paganism with Christianity (like the Roman Catholic Church). The Bible tells us in 2 Corinthians 6:14-18, "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers ... wherefore COME OUT from among them, and BE YE SEPARATE..."
IN OUR DAY AND age it is almost a crime (according to Churchianity) to live a separated life. We must not separate in the sense of total withdrawal from the world's people where we never witness to them, but we must separate from their way of life. We must still witness to them but not cleave unto their sins. Better read John 17:15-16; 2 Tim. 3:1-5; James 1:27; 4:4. Separation from the world and its corruptions is what I refer to.
We also must separate from any church or church member where sin is not repented of (read Matt. 18:15-17; 1 Cor. 5:9-11; 2 Thes. 3:6-15). This includes false and sinful leadership and all false doctrines (see Matt. 7:15; Rom. 16:17; Gal.1:9; Titus 3:9-11; 2 Peter 2:17-22; 1 Jn. 4:1; 2 Jn. vv. 10, 11; Jude vv. 12, 13).
In the Old Testament, separation was a CONTINUAL REQUIREMENT of the Lord for His covenant people. Read it! (See Ex. 23:24; Lev. 20:22-26; Isa. 52:11; Jer. 51:45.)
New Testament separation is NO DIFFERENT, dear "church Christian". Yet in this hour, professed Christians are so mixed with the pagans, who even knows what "Christian" is? Our refusal to separate from evil, the unclean, the false, will inevitably result in separation from God and His Spirit/Word.
OBVIOUSLY THE KINGDOM OF God/Heaven means that His will will ultimately prevail, not fail. We, as His covenant people, are to be single-minded, pure in heart. We're not to seek the approval of mere men but to seek His approval.
Central and Supreme
HERE LIES THE KEY: Christ Jesus, central and supreme in our lives. Since covenants carry expectations and denials (boundaries), we must walk circumspectly in the Spirit and daily deny the flesh.
A Holy Tribal Covenant implies fidelity. Look at Exodus 19:5,6—"...IF you will OBEY my voice and KEEP my covenant, you shall be my own possession among all peoples ... and you shall be to me a KINGDOM OF PRIESTS and a HOLY NATION." We've already seen that the New Testament re-affirms this.
All of us were strangers to this covenant and we were far off (in fallenness), but now we have been brought into a covenant relationship by the Lord’s revolutionary action in Jesus Christ (Eph. 2:12,13). Amen!
THE NEW TESTAMENT COVENANT is universal—for all men—not just local as was the Old Testament covenant. The Holy Tribal Nation is based in God's gift to ALL!—not just the natural Jews. The HOLY TRIBAL NATION is true “koinonia”, it is made up of all races. In Christ we are, as Ephesians 4:16 says, "knit together". Colossians 2:19 echos this. Ephesians 5:30 states that "We are members of His body", but this is only true insomuch as we are really IN CHRIST, and Christ in us.
~General James Green
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