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Monday, 6 August 2012

Fundamental Teachings on the Priesthood and the Functioning of the Corporate Christ by Gary Sigler

I believe these series of messages on The Corporate Christ will be a great help to those who are beginning to seek more than traditional, fundamental religious teachings and want to have a greater understanding of their own spiritual being. We ended up last time sharing about the mystery of God, and the mystery of the Father. And so now we are going to continue with the mystery of Christ, which is the church.
Today when you use the word, "church", there are so many different concepts that come into people's minds. For instance, if you say, "church" today, many people will think about Pentecostal church, Lutheran church, or perhaps a Mormon church. There are so many different concepts that religion has given us just with the word "church". What is being called "the church" today is really not the church at all. The church is not a building on a corner. In the church I was raised in, When I was a small child before the service began the first thing our pastor would say is, "The Lord is in His holy temple." Let all the earth keep silence before Him. We thought that the building was the church.
Well that is a carry-over from the Old Testament concept of God abiding in a tabernacle or in a tent. But a building anywhere is not the church. The church is not necessarily a bunch of people who gather together to learn about God. That is more the classroom. And it's a good thing to learn about God, but you know what? That is not the church. All of the forms, the baptisms, the sacraments, the rituals, the prayers, the techniques of the meetings, the listening to sermons and all of the paraphernalia that goes with what we call, "church" are really not the church.
What we are seeing today for the most part, whether it be Baptist or Pentecostal or Lutheran or Holiness or Four Square; most of what we see today with our physical eyes is not the church. What we are seeing is written about in the book of Revelation and it is called it's called, "Mystery Babylon".
Babylon means, "Confusion". I don't believe that you will find a more confused people on the earth today than God's people who are scattered throughout all the different denominations, all the different sects, and in all the different home groups. There is so much confusion, because every little group has their set of doctrines, has their set of believes. In fact in most churches you can find their statement of beliefs. And in their statement of beliefs you will find out what they believe. And they will disagree with another church's statement of beliefs that is different from their statement of beliefs. In a religious system you are not free to believe what you want. You must agree with their statement of faith or you will soon be shown the door out.
There are times when people who first get on my Website and do some reading and maybe listening to some audios, they will write to me and ask "What is your statement of beliefs? or What is your statement of faith?" I would never put a statement of my faith on anything. But what I tell people is this: "I believe that God is the Father of all humanity. I believe that you do not have to believe like I believe for us to have intimate fellowship together. That is pretty much the basis of my statement of faith. God loves you. I recognize that the spirit of God is in you, and therefore that is the basis of our fellowship, not on our intellectual belief-systems, but our fellowship is based on Christ in you."
To be continued
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The mystery of Christ is the church.  The Church is nothing less than Christ functioning in the believer.  When our spirit, our anointing begins to function we are then participating in the building up of the church. Anything that does not come out of Christ is not the church. What we are seeing today with our physical eyes and calling it the Church is what Revelation calls, "Mystery Babylon - You see Mystery Babylon, this woman who portrays herself as the church that is so divided, so sectarian, and  in many cases hateful and mean, is what Revelation is calling, "Mystery Babylon, the great Harlot".   "And the woman is arrayed in purple and scarlet color and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication."  Well, there is a real Mystery here also. 
There are precious people of God in this Mystery Babylon, and they are there because of ignorance.  They are there because at the present time they do not know any better.  At the present time, they believe that the church, the system, the building, the statement of faith; they believe that that is the church.
 Mystery Babylon was decked with gold, precious stones and pearls.  Gold always represents God and the divine life.  So people in this Mystery Babylon truly have divine life.  Precious stones in the Bible represent transformation.  So there are many of God's people in this Babylonian system that truly have divine life, and they have some transformation in their lives. 
"Upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH."   Where did this Mother of Harlots come from?  Well, we know in recorded history that the church went through a period of what is called, "the dark ages".  
That is when the Mother of Harlots came forth.  That is when the Catholic religion ruled the earth for 1,000 years.  And that was the beginning of Mystery Babylon the Great Harlot.  This great Harlot it says is the Mother of Harlots.  So the mother has many daughters.   If anyone would take the time to really study church history you'd find out that the daughters of the harlot have all come out of the harlot church.  But they've all formed their own separate identities, their own doctrines and their own divisions and denominations.  But never the less they all came out of the mother.
 "And I saw that the woman was drunken with the blood of the saints."  Again, for a 1,000 years the Catholic religion butchered and murdered and burned at the stake untold amounts/numbers of people who would disagree with her ruler-ship and her doctrines.  So the woman was drunken with the blood of saints, with the blood of the martyrs.  We've all heard of the martyrs that were burned at the stake and killed for their confession of Christ.
 I write this not to condemn anyone or make anyone feel guilty. I am not saying that the Catholics are evil. They have had leaders that have deceived them. Most of us have been in some form of the religious system. Most of us still have some of the religious thinking in us. Thank God our consciousness is being raised above the dust of human religious thinking.  We are beginning to realize we have all come from the same source of all life. He is the vine and we are the branches. The branch has the same life source as the vine and is an extension of the vine.
To be continued
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"And when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration." In Revelation 18:1-4, "After these things I saw another angel come down from Heaven having great power, and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen; she has become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her."
Who are the kings of the earth? Well, we all know that in reality in our spiritual being, God's people are the kings of the earth. But because of being trapped in this religious system, "The kings, (God's people) of the earth, have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies."
What has been a concern of mine for many years is the merchandising of religion, of merchandising the anointing. I can't tell you how many times I used to watch religious television, and I would hear a man come out and tell you the wonderful revelation that he'd just received of God, and how this revelation has changed his life, and how every person needs to have this revelation. "And if you would like this revelation, for $29.95 or $39.95 you can get this set of tapes and hear what God has revealed to me.." This is what I believe that Revelation is talking about here, the merchandising of the anointing. This is just my personal opinion and I do not condemn anyone for selling material. I purchase spiritual books all the time.
I know this is very, very difficult for most to understand. But you know, when God calls us, and when God commissions us, God supplies us with every need that we have. Now I know from personal experience that to minister, even in a small way that it costs a lot of money. I realize the expense that is involved in ministry. We have discovered that whatever God commissions you to do, God will supply the need for you to do that. And if God does not supply the need for you to do that, perhaps you don't need to do it. So "all the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. And I heard another voice from Heaven saying, Come out of her, my people, that you be not partakers of her sins, and that you receive not of her plagues."
A lot could be said about this Mystery Babylon, but it's just enough to know that Babylon is a confusion that God's people need to be aware of, and to come out of that ungodly system of dividing yourself from others. Once you have a revelation of what the church is, you can then fellowship with all believers. You can go into a Catholic church; you can go into a Lutheran church; you can go into a Baptist church and you can fellowship. If you know the truth of your being, and the being of those you are fellowshipping with, you will not be trapped by the religious bondage that may be in the place where you are fellowshipping.
The church is not a building, it is not a denomination, it is not a set of rules and regulations, it's not a set of by-laws, it is not a set of commandments; but the church is simply the corporate Christ on the earth. The church is Christ, and anything that is not Christ is definitely not the church.
Paul talks to the Corinthians about the divisions and about the separation that is even amongst the Corinthians at that time. God's people for the most part, have not seen that they are the Corporate Christ on the earth. So the church right today is still in the place where the Corinthians were; and what Paul spoke to the Corinthians needs to be spoken to every denomination and every sect that is in the world today.
1st Corinthians chapter 1 and verse 5 - Now remember he is speaking this to a divided church, and he says, "In everything you are enriched by Him, in all utterance, in all knowledge - - - and that you come behind in no gift." Now think of that. In those days the Corinthians church was enriched in all utterance. They could speak of divine things. They had all knowledge, and they came behind in no spiritual gift. Then he tells them in 1st Corinthians chapter 3 beginning in verse 1, "Brethren, I could not speak to you as spiritual, but as carnal, even as babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for you were not able to bear it, yet neither now are you able. For you are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are you not carnal, and walk as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are you not carnal?"
Today, we can say, "I am a Baptist or another say I am pentecostal." What does that mean? It means that you are in a box called, "Baptist" or Pentecostal, and you have a set of beliefs, and you have a system of theology that you will only really have fellowship with those who believe like you do. if you are a traditional Pentecostal, you will look down on the Baptist because the Baptist believes that speaking in tongues is of the devil. So you certainly won't fellowship with the Baptist. However if you realize that we all are sons and daughters of God you might not agree in doctrine but you can still have sweet fellowship together.
To be continued
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Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
Paul asks the Corinthians “Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you, or were you baptized in the name of Paul?" How could we all, as Paul tells us here, how could we all be in the same mind and the same judgment? This can only be possible as we learn to live in the spirit, as we have the mind of Christ formed in our being, because in reality there is only one mind, and that is the mind of Christ.
Once we go through the death of the carnal mind - and this is not just something we do as a one-time thing, but dying to the carnal mind is a process, and can be a very long process, but the more that Christ is formed in us, the more that the carnal mind is put to death. Then Paul tells us not only to be in the same mind, but in the same judgment. To be in the same judgment takes place as we have the revelation of judgment, and realize that all men were judged at the cross.
Paul says in Ephesians, "Even when we were dead in trespasses and sins, we have been raised up together and seated together in Heavenly places in Christ." At Calvary, according to scriptures, every man was put to death because we realize that the death of Jesus was our death. When He died, we died. When he was resurrected, we were resurrected. We are resurrected and seated with Him in Heavenly places. To be in the same judgment is to recognize that all of creation was judged at the cross. We also realize that judgment is to make right that which is wrong.
Hebrews 9:27-28 says this: "It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: so Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and to them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin." Hallelujah!
I realize that many Christians believe that when He appears the second time, He will come in the clouds of glory, but I want you to know that He is appearing in His people today. He is coming forth in our consciousness. And as He comes forth and is resurrected within this body temple of ours, He comes to us without sin unto salvation.
There is no sin in our spiritual being. There is no disobedience in our true spiritual nature. So we realize to be in the same judgment is to realize that all men were judged at the cross. As we judge them, we judge them dead in Christ and realize that the true nature of their being is Christ, the anointed of God.
So again, the church is not a building on the corner. The church is not a set of belief systems. But the church is literally Christ on this earth. Paul says in Ephesians chapter 4 beginning at verse 4, "There is one body, and one Spirit, even as you are called in one hope of your calling. There is one Lord. There is one faith. There is one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all."
Oh how we need a broader and a deeper vision of this oneness to realize there is only one body. Baptists, do you realize; Pentecostals, do you realize; Catholics, do you realize there is only one body on the earth? And it is not a belief system, it is not a set of doctrines, it's not a statement of faith. There is one body on the earth, and that body is Christ in you! Hallelujah! That is the body, CHRIST IN YOU.
To be continued
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There is only one body. There is only one spirit. There is not a Pentecostal spirit; there is not a Baptist spirit. There is just one spirit on the earth, even as you are called in one hope, one Lord, one faith. There is only one faith. The Pentecostal faith is not necessarily the faith. The Baptist faith is called that, but that is not the faith! A set of belief systems, and intellectual knowledge of God is not faith! There is only one faith on the earth. And that faith grows in you as the fruit of the spirit as you seek God, commune with God, begin to seek God for a deeper, richer, fuller awakening of the reality of His life in you, and you begin to operate then and function out of one faith.
Most important of all, we must realize there is only one God and He is the Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. That is the Corporate Christ. When we realize and have the experience of Christ living in us, Christ living through us and realize that He is the life substance of all men; that is being the church. That church is also a kingdom of Priests.
The religious system we see today is certainly not a kingdom of Priests. In today's system of religion, if you want to be a priest you can go to a particular college whether it be Oral Roberts University, Rhema Bible Institute or you can go to a Lutheran Seminary or to any Bible school and you will learn all the intellectual denominational teachings; you will learn the by-laws; you will be taught how to present the gospel; you will be taught how to preach. And after you finish your Bible courses and you graduate from the Bible school, you can then go and become a pastor of a church.
I'm reminded of what William Law said in his address to the clergy in 1761. He said that it is nonsense to think that you can go to school to learn how to put off Adam and put on Christ. You cannot possibly learn by going to Bible school. Well, you can learn how to be a religious pastor or a religious priest, but you cannot become a priest according to God's concept by just learning a bunch of intellectual knowledge and how to administrate the things of God. In the religious systems of today we do not have a Kingdom of priests; we have senior pastors and associate pastors. We have church boards that can govern the pastor, but we do not have a Kingdom of priests. A true priest is one who is saturated and permeated with the Spirit of Christ.
A priest is one who speaks from the spirit to the spirit, speaks from his spirit or her spirit to the spirits of those they are ministering to. It is not a matter of teaching a bunch of intellectual doctrinal truths, but it a matter of giving life, of awakening in others the Spirit of Christ. A priest will always bring forth and awaken the Spirit of Christ in those to whom he is ministering. That is a true priest.
A priest is not one who just works for God. The religious system will always try to get you into the workings of the gospel. I'll never forget when I was first saved I was such an introvert. I was literally petrified to even talk amongst a bunch of people. However I was taught after I was regenerated and came to God, that I had to go and witness. In our church at that time - I went into a Pentecostal church, and they taught people to go out on the street and preach the gospel. I could not do that! I couldn't even go out and talk to strangers about anything. But to tell me I had to go out and preach the gospel; there was no way I could do that, but I was told if I didn't do that, that if I was ashamed of Christ, then He was going to be ashamed of me before the Father in Heaven.
That is no way to minister to someone who is hurting, someone who is so withdrawn like I was, to tell them that they must go out and witness or God will not be happy with them. A priest is not one who works for God. A priest is one who daily, moment by moment, soaks up the presence of God. A priest is not one who teaches people to work for God, but a priest is one who builds them up in the faith. A priest is one who encourages them. A priest is one who tells them, "Look. Today you may not be able to face people and preach the gospel, but let me tell you brother; you have something in you that is so precious. You have the Spirit of Christ within you. And all you need to do is learn to fellowship and build a relationship with your Father. Learn that the preciousness that you have within you, and as Christ begins to grow within you, as Christ begins to form in you, as the Spirit of the living God begins to rise up in you, you will be a witness, and you may never say a word, but your very life will be a witness." That is a priest.
To be continued
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A priest ministers life, and not doctrine and teaching.  I don't want to be misunderstood here, because doctrine and teaching can be wonderful.  But the doctrine and the teachings should never divide us from other believers that believe differently, or see things differently, or have a different understanding.  We are all at different levels or a different awareness; we are all at different states of consciousness.  And what we believe today can change tomorrow.  It is never a matter of intellectual beliefs.  It is what we know to be the truth.  It is what God has revealed to us by His Spirit, and not what we've learned through the natural carnal teachings and understandings.  The church, as Christ on the earth, has a complete awareness and understanding of God's heart and His purposes on the earth.  Paul says in Ephesians chapter 1 and verse 22, "God hath put all things under His, (Christ's) feet, and gave Him to be the head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him that fills all in all."  I like the Amplified Bible's translation of this verse.  It says, "He hath given Him to be the head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills everything, everywhere, with Himself." 
The church is the fullness of Him who fills everything, everywhere, with Himself.  A priest is one who has the unveiling of Christ within them,  then as the unveiling of Christ within us takes place we begin to minister first to our soul, and then to those around us.  And when I say, "minister to the soul", I mean we need to begin as we learn to operate and speak from the spirit, as we understand that we are standing in the Most Holy Place inside this body temple, in the deepest recesses of our being, that we are literally a priest of the living God.
 As we come into that awareness and that conscious understanding of being a priest, we begin to speak and minister to our soul. David said in Ps 43:5 “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? Hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God. Be glad and rejoice oh my soul.  Lift up your eyes and see the glory of God.”
 We minister life to our soul from our spirit.  And as we begin to speak life and blessings to our soul, we will find that the carnality in us will begin to die.  "Let God arise and His enemies be scattered."  As the living Christ begins to arise and awaken within us, all the enemies of our soul will be scattered.  All of your bitterness and all of your hatred and all of your divisiveness and all of your anger; everything in that soulish realm will begin to dissipate and begin to fall at your feet as the living Christ begins to arise within you.  Speak the truth to your being and don't let your tongue speak of those things that are not true.  You are not a sinner.  You are not unrighteous.  You are the righteousness of God.  You are the holiness of God.  You are the magnificence of God.  You are the expression of God in this temple, in your temple on the earth.  So a priest is not one who works for God.  A priest is one who serves God.  A priest is one who serves God to others.  A priest is one who has an outward flow of an inward life.  "The law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made us free from the law of sin and death."  As you begin to minister and flow from the life that is within you great change will take place.  We must be filled with Him in our souls for the strength and the ability to walk and to minister according to godliness.
To be continued.
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