19. Ministering / Missionary Endeavors in Oneness with Christ
Updated: Dec 26, 2021
Chapter 19: Ministering and Missionary
Endeavors in Oneness with Christ
It is in the field of missions and missionary endeavor that the effect of this union with Christ (or lack thereof) is most telling. It is here that I have myself put to the test this principle of Participation and Identification with Christ in death and resurrection. In testimony meetings, scripture study classes and gatherings, it is easy to see by the words spoken and the superficiality or depth of testimony borne, whether a person is surrendered to, converted, focused on, and consumed in Christ – or the person is just repeating others or regurgitating things stored in the natural man brain that a Pharisee taught them in ignorance of our real purpose on earth. Or in way too many instances the vast majority of God’s children on earth have never been invited and entreated to see the glorious life found in being One with Christ and abiding IN Him. The result has been so overwhelmingly satisfying, so far-reaching, so incalculably blessed, that I look upon the years prior to the experiencing of the power of participation in the Cross, as well-nigh wasted. I walked with an uncertain step; I aimed at an uncertain goal; I employed uncertain weapons; I garnered exceedingly unsatisfying fruits. I see now that much of my labor was not only unsatisfactory, but positively leading away from At-ONE-ment with Christ.
I preached Christ in the power of a "self-originated" fervor and consequently mutilated Him. It gave Him no chance to reveal His Pure Love. Christ must be preached in the power of a Christ-centered, Christ-possessed, Christ-surrendered life. Christ is never truly preached until the one who bears the message has placed his natural, Carnal, sensual devilish self on the altar of Christ and is so hidden away IN Christ, that it is no longer the messenger who speaks, but Christ speaking through him. He (the messenger) must learn to bury himself in Christ’s wounds, so to speak, and die to his own self life, if he would present Christ in Apostle-like fashion to perishing souls. Rivers of living water (The Holy Spirit) must accompany the message (D&C 50:13-26) -- the listener must be inundated in a Divine Life, if he/she is to be given a opportunity to KNOW Christ, and see Him in His true Glory. Unless the gospel is preached with "the power of the Holy Ghost sent down from Heaven" it is no gospel (glad tidings/Good News) at all, no matter how true one might be to "the letter." "The letter killeth -- it is the Spirit that giveth Life." (2 Cor 3:6) Do we understand why The Letter killeth? Do we understand why it is that “The Spirit giveth Life”??
Church leaders in all lands are painfully aware of the fact that missions today are passing through a crisis of faith. The triumphant note of a half-century ago is gone. From all lands comes the word -- and the confession is made by missionaries themselves -- that missions are not duplicating the sort of thing we find in the Book of Acts and other scriptures (like Mosiah and Alma) where whole groups of people are almost instantly converted to Christ and are able to Re-Ceive the Baptism of Fire as in the Day of Pentacost and King Benjamin’s people. The great expanding machinery of missions moves as never before since the Savior issued the Great Commission, and yet, missions are not breaking the power of the "old-life" of ego self in Babylon. Converts are not the Christ-empowered, Christ-centered, Christ-possessed bride in covenant with Him, radiant with the joy of a Heavenly life, which Divine grace can make of them. Of course, there are outstanding exceptions in all mission fields, but the fact remains that things are at low ebb as regards missionary and ministry endeavors the world over.
The crux of the whole matter lies in the fact that we have not taught who Christ is, nor where Christ is, nor the fact that we are entreated by Him to take up the Cross with Him. A watered-down gospel of laws may win adepts in heathen lands, but it can never bring about results that will be satisfactory to Him, who at so great a cost consummated the work of complete perfect redemption on Calvary’s Tree. Nor, can it cope with the mighty forces of heathenism, break their power, and cause to operate the redeeming, healing power of His Divine grace in their place. Only a conversion which brings souls to the experience of an inner crucifixion (death of the old-life), and a glorious resurrection as a result of union with Christ, can ever do that. The reason that Christ said to Peter - even after Peter had followed Him for 3 years: “When thou art converted, (then) strengthen thy brethren”, (Luke 22: 32) was that Peter was not truly converted until the Day of Pentecost, when he was literally and spiritually born again in a baptism (Immersion) of Fire, made Holy, cleansed every whit by the Blood of Christ and the Holy Spirit of Promise (See Moses 6:27).
Unless converts experience an inner union with Christ (and such a union is possible only on the basis of voluntary death of the self nature on the Cross, (i.e. the "old-life" committed to death with Christ as symbolized in the water immersion in the grave), however much they may struggle to imitate Him, or however much they may succeed in glossing over the "old-man" with the veneer of religious rituals, forms and of Christian social culture, or foolish precepts of men that a man/woman can save, exalt and perfect one’s devil self merely by working harder and making one’s self better through keeping every law perfectly. Such a counterfeiting of the Christian life, sincere as it may be, will sooner or later break down under the strain of lack of conversion to Christ and no real relationship of Oneness with their “Bridegroom” in the New and Everlasting Covenant.