Dreams from the LORD 2003-2006
8 March 2005
Broken bread and poured-out wine. I first heard of this phrase while reading Oswald Chambers' My Utmost for His Highest. The Lord cannot work through prideful, self-willed Christians. We must be broken of self-will. Before a man can eat a loaf of bread, he must break it (or slice it) first--especially if he is going to feed others. A broken and contrite heart, Oh, Lord, thou shalt not despise. The Holy Ghost flows much more freely through a broken vessel than a vessel that is all blocked-up because of self-will.
Poured-out wine. If the Lord Jesus Christ sacrificed His life for us, then we must sacrifice our lives for others. Wine was never meant to stay in the cup. Take this and drink. Partake of My Blood. Partake of His Life. The life is in the blood. Leviticus 17: 11: "For the life of the flesh is in the blood; and I have given it for you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement, by reason of the life." Luke 22: 20: "This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood."
When we obey the Lord, self-will can only die. It doesn't die overnight--it is gradual, it takes time. Reno, Nevada wasn't built in one day. We are conceived in sin, and before we are born-again, we are raised in the world system (The Matrix) and by the world system to be conformed to the world system. It is a type of brainwashing. When we decide to follow Christ, we must continue to abide in Him to fight against the desire to be what we once were--conformed to this world and dead in our trespasses and sins. If a Christian has been saved for a number of years and is still conformed to this world, then I have a real problem with his salvation. If Jesus was whipped to shreds and then hung out to dry and bleed to death on the cross, then why should we treat His blood and His grace so cheaply? Hebrews 10: 26-29: "For if we sin deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful prospect of judgment, and a fury of fire which will consume the adversaries. A man who has violated the Law of Moses dies without mercy at the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment do you think will be deserved by the man who has spurned the Son of God, and profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and outraged the Spirit of grace?"
Life is precious; blood is precious. The life is in the blood. Jesus is precious; His blood is absolutely precious. We should be about our Father's business or go home and go back to bed. We must be about our Father's business and quit chasing our selfish desires and then calling it Christianity. We who are born-again are vessels created for our Father's service. When we obey Him, our lives are poured-out wine for others who are thirsting for something eternal and substantial.
John 15: 1-2: "'I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch of mine that bears no fruit, he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.'"
John 15: 4-8: "'Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If a man does not abide in me, he is cast forth as a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be my disciples.'"
"'Every branch of mine that bears no fruit, he takes away.'" "'If a man does not abide in me, he is cast forth as a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned.'" Sounds like that branch lost his salvation. What are we to think of a Christian who bears dead fruit, who is conformed to the world and resists the Holy Ghost? "For if we sin deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful prospect of judgment."
"Abide in me": this could also mean, "obey me" or "remain under my covering". Having knowledge in your head about the Gospel doesn't cut it. Jesus didn't die on the Cross so that we could become worthless aesthetes or hair-splitting theologians. He doesn't want us to treat Him like an object of idolatry or an object of man-made religion. The Lord wants us to abide in Him, the True Vine, so that His Holy Sap will flow into us and sustain us, so we can grow stronger and bear much fruit. We do not abide in Him in thought (through dead reason); we abide in Him in revelation through faith.
Faith is what moves mountains in the spiritual realm; faith is what keeps the sap flowing from the True Vine into the branches. When we act in faith, our lives are blessed and the Lord gives us fresh revelation. Do you want to live on the shores of the Dead Sea or do you want to live by a fresh, fast-moving, clear mountain stream? Abide in Christ everyday in faith, obey what He reveals to you and see how refreshed you are and how refreshing your life is to others.
Reason by itself is idolatry; reason inspired by the Holy Ghost can only be beautiful. What good is an IQ of 200 if you are not born-again? What good are multiple college degrees and you reject Christ? What good is a forest of trees without rain or a field of wheat without irrigation? It will all wither and become chaff for the fire. I have heard more wisdom come out of the mouths of children who abide in Christ than from university professors who abide in nothing.
"Abiding in" separates the men from the boys. "Abiding in" separates the living from the dead. There is living, "abiding in" fruit and there is fruit that lies on the ground, rotten and stinking. Did Jesus die on the Cross so that we could become a stench that rises up to Heaven or did He die so that we could die to self and be a sweet-smelling savour of life unto life. Our lives should be a sweet-smelling sacrifice unto the Lord.
Genesis 4: 4: "and Abel brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering." Abel's offering points towards the First-born-among-many: the Lamb of God, the Lord Jesus Christ.
"And the Lord had regard for Abel."
"This is my Son in whom I am well pleased."
"Draw nigh to me and I will draw nigh to you."
"A savour of life unto life."
"Abide in me."