Fellowship in the Promised Land


 

WILDERNESS AND WASTELAND 

“The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose.  It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the Lord, and the excellency of our God.” (Is.35: 1-2) 

The inhabitants of Zion are referred to as “them”.  In Zion, the people of God have to live together as one family of God. A member of the body of Christ, who lives alone without the company of other people of God, finds himself/herself in a spiritual desert where he/she remains cut off from the body of Christ. The powerful weapon in the hands of Satan is to prevent the people of God from coming together for fellowship. When the 120 disciples of Christ came together for prayer in the upper room, the Holy Spirit was given to the Church for the first time and a mighty anointing of the Holy Spirit came on the individuals. Then the spiritual wilderness and the wasteland of these disciples were transformed with the result that thousands of souls were saved and that great miracles were performed through the hands of the disciples. 

The spiritual wilderness and the wasteland of unexplored potentials in individual lives are transformed through fellowship amongst one another in Zion. The Holy Spirit exploits the hidden talents and the spiritual gifts in individual lives for the edification of the whole body of Christ. The blessings of Zion are to be inherited by a group of people as a whole, whereas salvation has to be personally experienced by individuals. The inanimate or lifeless wilderness and the useless wasteland will be quickened by the power of God so that these begin to be glad. Oh, our wilderness and wasteland would rejoice exceedingly when transformed for the edification of the body of Christ. 

BLESSINGS THROUGH FELLOWSHIP 

The early apostles continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread and in prayers so that fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were performed by the apostles in the Name of Jesus (Acts 2:42). If we have to perform many wonders and signs, we have to continue steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship and in breaking of bread and in prayers. Paul and Barnabas prospered in their ministry because James, Cephas and John, who seemed to be pillars, gave Paul and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship (Gal.2:9).  The church of Macedonia entreated Paul and his team to receive the gift, and take upon themselves the fellowship of the ministering to the saints (II Cor.8:4). We should not “forsake the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is…”(Heb.10: 25). Fellowship means pooling and sharing material things in common, bearing one another’s burden and praying for one another. A group of people should come together for ministering amongst themselves with the sole aim of glorifying Christ through their lives, and with the vision of revival in the churches and of evangelism in the entire world through their common ministry. They have to pool and share their resources in common for the ministry.  

Even during the Old Testament period, David sang the beautiful song in Psalm 133: 

“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! 

 It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments:  

As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for every more”   

Aaron is typical of the body of Christ.  As the members of the body of Christ dwell together in unity, a precious anointing of the Holy Spirit comes on them, in an overwhelming manner. It is also as the dew of Hermon and as the dew that descend upon the mountains of Zion.  Upon the mountains of Zion, we can experience a mighty anointing of the Holy Spirit if we dwell together in unity.  The Lord commands His blessing there on the whole body of Christ – more than the blessing to be poured on individuals. We get an abundance of life on the mountains of Zion. 

Lebanon was a mountain range in North Canaan, which was a source of wood and stones for Solomon’s temple. This mountain range was known for its fragrant trees, which were used in the construction of Solomon’s temple. As the wilderness and the wasteland blossom as the rose, the glory of Lebanon is given to it. The glory of the people of God in Zion through fellowship with one another is likened to the glory of Lebanon. 

Mount Carmel is known for the prophetic ministry, especially of Elijah and as a place where Elijah gathered all Israel and the false prophets for a mighty manifestation of God’s power. Sharon was a green land famed for roses. As the wilderness and the wasteland blossom as the rose, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon is given to it. The excellency of the united people of God in Zion is likened to the excellency of Carmel and Sharon.  

In Zion, we shall see the glory of God and the excellency of God in our midst when all of us join hands together for fellowship and ministry.  Today, we do not see the full glory of God because we want to stand individually, and not together in the body of Christ.  Today, we are unable to see the great works of God in our midst because we want to stand individually, and not together in the body of Christ.  

In Zion, when the members of His body pray for and minister to one another, their individual lives of wilderness and wasteland are transformed through the Holy Spirit.  The hidden talents and the spiritual gifts begin to blossom as the rose.  

STRENGTHEN WEAK HANDS 

 “Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees, Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense; He will come and save you” (Is.35: 3-4). 

Through fellowship, you have to strengthen the weak hands, and to confirm the feeble knees.  There are people in our midst with weak hands as they are unable to fight the devil when he brings all kinds of diseases and problems to them. You must minister to these people by way of prayers and by using the God-given authority against the devil.  You have to confirm the feeble knees of the evangelists who are unable to climb the steep mountains in evangelism, by your financial support and prayers. 

Then you have to comfort those who are of a fearful heart through the words of prophecy. All over the world, our Christian brethren and sisters are persecuted.  Some children of God are afraid of their enemies in the world. These days, the people of God are frightened of terrorists, serial killers, etc. The gift of prophecy is given by the Holy Spirit to those who seek it. You have to prophesy of God’s deliverance to these people of God from these evil people. Prophesy, “Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense; He will come and save you”.  In accordance with your prophecy, God will intervene and save these people from the hands of the wicked people; He will execute judgment on the wicked. 

CONSEQUENCES OF A TRUE REVIVAL 

“Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert” (Is.35: 5-6). 

The consequences of a true revival in the churches are narrated here.  As the wilderness and the wasteland are exploited through fellowship, we experience revivals in our churches, which, in turn, pave the way for the mighty miracles as mentioned above. Today, we are not able to experience the mighty miracles through our individual evangelistic campaigns.  As the people of God join together for fellowship and ministry, the supernatural miracles and healings take place because the living waters of Christ break out and streams of His power flow in the spiritual desert of this world.   Today, individual ministries, of course, experience the power of the Holy Spirit but as drizzles of living waters, whereas in revivals the power of the Holy Spirit is manifested as showers of living waters. 

“And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes” (Is.35: 7) 

The spiritual wilderness likened to the parched ground, which is prevalent in the churches of God today, will give way to an abundance of blessings, both spiritual and material.  Resources and finances will be like a pool.  The thirsty land will become springs of water with the power of God overflowing our powerless or less powerful ministries. It happens when the people of God in Zion are gathered together for fellowship and ministry. It is not an individual ministry but a body ministry through which God wants to change the parched land into the pool.  Gone are the days of individual ministries, projecting individual servants of God.  It is time for groups of His people to move in the power of the Holy Spirit, in many parts of the world.  It is time for the five fold ministries in the universal body of Christ to take the churches above the man-made denominations and church-doctrines, to the throne of God. 

DRAGONS’ HABITATION 

In Zion, the dragons’ habitation is transformed into a land of grass with reeds and rushes. So long as you dwell in the world, you are prone to the attack of the devil.  However, once you are transformed to be the citizens of Zion, the devil’s power on you stands destroyed.  Here, you will fight the devil with the Sword in an offensive war, whereas in the world you have to be in the defensive war against the devil. In Zion, we will not find the habitation of the devil and his evil spirits because the devil stands stripped of his power through the blood of Jesus Christ. We are more than conquerors through Christ Jesus, with the sin having no dominion over us (Rom.8:37). We have dual citizenship i.e. one in the world and another in Zion.   

THE WAY OF HOLINESS 

“And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.” (Is.35:8) 

In Zion, there is a highway, which is called The way of holiness.  Those children of God with unclean motives, unclean thoughts or unclean hands cannot enter into this highway.  This highway leads us to the glory of God in Zion.  What about your motive today?  Do you want your name and fame to be spread through your ministry, while performing your ministry through signs and wonders?  Do you seek the spiritual gifts without compassion in your heart towards the people afflicted with diseases or with the motive of glorying your name? Do you want to earn money or amass wealth through your church or ministry? Do you want to serve God with sin still having dominion in your life?  Are your hands unholy in financial matters? Though you are in Zion, you cannot walk over the highway so long as  you have a defeated spiritual life.  

The people of God, in Zion, although fools, while walking over the road, will not go astray.  What counts here is only holiness, and not intelligence.  God is not looking for intelligent people but for humble people.  The humble, if they sin in Zion, will repent in sackcloth. A child of God in Zion will not go astray because God leads him in His flock.  The flock of the Lord follows the Shepherd in Zion.  If a sheep goes astray, the other sheep will show the right path to the stray sheep. 

WORK OF THE DEVIL DESTROYED 

“No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there.” (Is.35: 9) 

In Zion, in the company of God’s people, the lion typical of the devil or the ravenous beast typical of the demonic spirits cannot go up thereon. The devil or his emissaries cannot find a place of habitation in Zion because once they enter Zion; they will be on the run.  But the people redeemed with the precious blood of the Lamb walk there. 

“And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away” (Is.35: 10). 

The people of God in the world who have been redeemed with the precious blood of the Lamb return to Zion, their permanent place, for fellowship and ministry, with songs in their mouth, and with everlasting joy upon their heads. They obtain joy and gladness; sorrow and sighing flee from them. In the world, they face persecutions and diseases but in Zion, they rejoice.  In the world, they weep but in Zion, their sorrow is turned into joy.