The Blood of the Thorn– What have we left undone?
You and I need to know and never doubt, that we are the ones who crucified Jesus. Our sins put Him on the tree. “”Him have ye crucified,” applies to us all; when you see the nails piercing his hands, acknowledge responsibility, for it is your work. As you behold His crown of thorns, know that the thorns are your thoughts and my actions as sons of disobedience; know that every drop of Blood spawned by the thorns has your and my name in it—His Blood is on our hands as it were, as much for what we have done as for what we do not do.
How dare we believe we are freed from the demands of His gospel? O the shame of our apathy as the thorn opens His brow; How is it that we believe that such great grace– grace which cost our Father His only begotten Son, should cost us nothing? How do we ignore the sacrificial foundation He has laid with His earthly life and death, and believe our lives to be not lives of such sacrifice, but lives of our flesh-serving definition of ‘blessing?’ The thorn pierces and bloodies His skull, that yours and mine be not bloodied, and yet we stand idly by, as the enemy parades our brothers and sisters into the flames of hell, purchased, but not claimed by His Blood. How is it that we don’t understand?
We drive or walk by Lazarus at the gate daily, ignoring the silent cry of the Blood of the thorn for him. Each time we look away, another strand is plucked from His face. Our complacency is His visage marred, our selfishness, His form ravaged. We hide in our comfort instead of ministering, concealing ourselves in the walls of the church; we preach it and don’t walk it, and we shall answer for such attitudes that put many dangerously close to a dead faith—a faith which cannot save, for it bears not the fruit of the Blood of the thorns. We hide from and thus condemn the addict, unwilling to minister to her, as Jesus weeps over her; We are more concerned about our cozy Bible studies and our comfortable homes than we are about laying down our lives, and being led by Jesus to courageously march into the sewer and pull men and women from the grip of the enemy; we water down His word in the interest of non-offense and seeker comfort; hell hath enlarged her mouth, and we shrug it off in our self-centered apathy and pursuit of our own blessing. We have been sprinkled, yet we cannot see He of Whom we have been told; we refuse to consider even that which we have heard. The prostitute walks into the hospital emergency room, collapses and dies on the waiting room floor; she is then conveniently swept away, out of our sight, a victim of our sarcasm and empty pity. our lack of motive to sacrifice for her, and to bring Jesus to her. “I am not called” we say; Hell’s greatest lie; we are all called and our refusing to answer necessitates another thorn, pierce Him. We send our money, not ourselves, and call it sacrifice.
Every thorn has its purpose—every slash, its author; As you set up boundaries that some may not trespass, see the thorns, and their adamant denial of boundary; Shall we not bear His nails for those without and even for many within? Is this not the Example He is? His discipleship demands all, yet we have been deceived into it demanding nothing. We pursue a more elaborate lifestyle, forgetting that our brother is lying naked under the bridge; that our sister is pushing a cart through the snow to an overnight habitation where she will nearly freeze to death—starving; though we do not know them, that is our son or daughter lying battered and molested, with no remedy. The thorn continue to dig and His Blood continues to flow—shed, but uncaringly unapplied for many of these. It is in judgment that Jesus has offered His life for us, and the Blood of Mercy silently cries in its Justice, that we offer our lives for them.
As the thorn continues to bite, His Blood continues to flow, cleansing us; how dare we lay motionless in our security? We must come to a true knowledge of our vileness, that our consciences and thoughts receive the nail, as He did. We are to be crucified with Him, buried with Him by baptism. The Image of our transformation, is not that of a king coming proclaiming health and wealth; let us not be deceived as they of old were; the Image of our transformation, is that of a Man of sorrows, acquainted with grief, one who has taken upon Himself the sorrows of us all; the Bearer of burdens; the Man without a place to lay His head; the Friend of publicans and sinners; the Man rejected of men and forsaken of God; the Man of sacrifice; the Man who is No Greater Love; The Lord of Glory, whom we have crucified.
When we consent to our crucifixion with Him, we shall fit our cross daily, and all shall be forsaken that we might truly sacrifice ourselves, and minister Him to the men and women of low estate; all of them; That not one should perish. We too shall then weep with the addict and not condemn her; we shall bring her to the Master and we shall bring the Master to her; and the Blood of the thorn shall then free her; and she shall be free indeed.
Rev. J. A. Kintz
But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 2 Cor 11:3
The church of our age may be remembered for many things, but chief among them will be its penchant for formulas and programs, in the seeking and finding of Jesus and His liberty. ‘The simplicity which is in Christ,’ is, for the most part, lost in the maize of seducing spirits and commandments of men. Our obedience to Him and the depth of our intimacy with Him, are both found scripturally and experientially begging; Our arms go up and down in worship while our eyes, hearts, and lives, belie the sincerity of their movement. That which is at enmity with God has invaded us, unobstructed and unchallenged, and much of the time, invited. We have deceptively defined ‘blessing’ as an increase in material gain instead of the loss of it; we exploit the gifts of Jesus as our own, spawning competition and pride in the ministry arena. We try to pass ourselves off as children of God, but our child-like attributes seem to include only our brattiness, our vengeance, and our refusal to accept anything short of what we want; and if we don’t get what we want, the pastor and the board are just not hearing God as we are, so we leave; scriptural submission to leadership has been replaced by “God told me.” Revenge and schism have nullified much eternal reward. Jesus calls, and we dictate the terms of our response, to Him. Fear has replaced ‘Fear not’ as we have been deceived into believing that fleshy gratification is synonymous with spiritual blessings in heavenly places. Satan has sold us “Jesus doesn’t really mean what He says,” and we have bought into it unto our own destruction. Seducing spirits preach Jesus at no cost to the hearer, opening the door for many servants of sin to invade the house of God, and in the name of love, they are not given the full counsel of God, but are patted on the head and allowed to persist in their sin.These servants abide now, but they will not abide forever. The easy yoke has been replaced with the hardness and heaviness of bondage to lust and perversion; the burden is no longer light, but sin, and it is burden personified. Meekness has been forgone for madness, lowliness, for self-promotion and gratification. We have become our own defense, which in turn, has left us defenseless.
“I am your exceeding great reward” must be found again; and we will find Him when we relinquish everything that keeps us from Him, including our misguided, confused, and heretical theology concerning who He is and what He teaches. To answer the draw of God to Jesus, is to seek the heart of Jesus, not His hand. We have married God for His money, and such disposition has proven to be a millstone to us, and will end in damnation for many. We must stop trying to sell the various tags we have laid on the will of God, and know that the will of God for us is Jesus and Him alone; This is the simplicity of our gospel—Jesus and Him crucified. The Person of Jesus is enough—if we have Him and have nothing else we still have all things; if we have all things and do not have Him, we have nothing. For many, gone are the days of the Holy Ghost executing His office, overriding our “permissive” will to the extent of validating the Truth of the written word and the resurrection of the Living Word in our lives. We pick up our covetousness instead of our cross, daily. We name and claim the blessings and gifts of God, instead of naming and claiming the Person of Jesus with our hearts and lives. Eternal blessing is defined as temporal gain and the moneychangers brazenly take up residence in our hearts. We have been conned into believing we have many choices, when we have but two: Jesus, and all else.
The purpose of our redemption is holiness, not happiness; we must come to grips with this. We know we have gone aright when we hear the furnace door shut behind us. The appointment of our suffering must be kept, lest we lose our obedience. The dung pile of our lives must grow, if we are to possess He who possesses all things; and we add to the pile as we answer the call of God to pursue Jesus with all we have and all we are—nothing wanting. The complexity of our religion will prove to be our ruin. The simplicity of –“Fear not, I am your exceeding great reward” must be revealed to us….but, we must be willing. Flesh and blood has sold us—“there is more to this than just Jesus;” and to our great shame, we have bought it.
We divide our lives between Jesus and the world, expecting that double-minded lives will spiritually prosper and stand. Instead of always doing the things that please God, we exclaim “Jesus is dead and is risen, lets see what we’ve won.” Our divided hearts have served to sacrifice the blessed unity of the Life Jesus is, and the life that He gives. It is our disobedience to God that moves us farther from Him, as guilt and fear because of our rebellion, take over. We are perishing because of our lack of knowledge of God the Person.
The Blood of Jesus washes away sin and rebellion, and in the willing heart, cleanses into communion with God. As we honor the Son of God through our obedience to His commands of discipleship, God starts our transformation into His likeness. As we continue to respond to Jesus and obey Him, we find our passive contentment replaced by a burning zeal for Jesus, planted in us by God. God is so absolutely perfect and beautiful, that to have Him and Him alone, is to have all we desire and all we need. When the eye of the heart locks on Jesus, the breaking which is vital, comes to that heart—the bread did not multiply until Jesus broke it. This brokenness is often misunderstood, but the man who has received it, understands its necessity. Mere intellectual assent to the scriptures will not accomplish this—witness the scribes and the Pharisees and others who made the scriptures their God. One has only to explore the prophets of scripture to see what this brokenness can do for God in a man. The Christian bookstore shelves are full of methodology and formula, and volumes of such work rest in Christian homes. But where is Jesus resting? And where are the men and women who, like the prophets of old, know where Jesus is resting? Thanks to Jesus, the veil has been rent, and all of us in Him and through Him have access to walk in the very presence of God in the Holiest. But unless Jesus rents the veil of our hearts, we shall never get there. And this is something that we must permit Him to do—the strong man’s goods are within this veil, and we must enter the state of perpetual repentance, and let the double edged sword—the cross of Jesus–do its crucifying work within us and spoil the goods, there-by destroying the support of the veil, which is the love of self. It is our Father in us, He must do the work. We must resolve and set ourselves to spending time at the feet of Jesus every day, worshipping Him, listening to Him, getting filled by Him, being sent out by Him, ministering Him, and returning to Him at His direction—prayer and ministry of the word must be our sustenance, the will of God our meat. We must meditate in the scriptures daily, but the Person of the Lord towers above His word, and it is His face we seek, the written word laying the foundation to intimacy with and service to, the Living Word. Such undertaking will rid us of our penchant to misconstrue blessing as gratification of the flesh; it will serve us into the very elect arena, where though deception is prevalent, we are graced to see it for what it is, as the Truth resurrects in us and sets us free from deception’s reign—free to be slaves of He who is our Righteousness. Such a course is discipleship unto the Master.
This work is not intended to be all-encompassing. Its design is supplementary in nature; its position is uncompromising when coming to the mandates of discipleship laid down by Jesus Himself. Its primary focus is absolute surrender and obedience to Jesus, without which, there is no true heart knowledge. It’s sole intent is to help bring the reader into communion and eternal union with Jesus Himself; that He might reveal our Father to us by His Spirit, without which, there is no real Truth. It is obedience to God, that brings eternal knowledge and understanding to the heart.
Neither the whole nor any part of this work may be sold for monetary gain under any circumstances. Copies may be made either of the whole or a part, for the edification and teaching of the body of Jesus, equipping for the ministry. For copying and circulation matters, all inquiries should be directed to Church of the Lord of Glory, 500 West Bijou, Colorado Springs, Colorado, 80905; (719) 635-1057