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   I once heard a message entitled “Building the Assembly That Matters.” Many define the building in which the people meet for services, as the church. But in truth, the Assembly is the people who have collectively made Yahshua the Messiah their Master and Savior through confession of sin and profession of faith and are allowing Him to transform them, renew their mind, and conform them into His image (Rom. 8:29, 12:2).
   A roadblock is something that impedes progress or prevents accomplishing an objective. And with respect to this roadblock to Spiritual unity, I considered that division is owing to a people not receiving a love of the Truth that they might be saved (2 Thess. 2:10). Instead they’ve allowed themselves to be tossed to and fro by every wind of diverse and strange, false doctrine (Eph. 4:14; Heb. 13:9). These are the principal roadblocks toward building the Assembly.

A Carnal Mind Works the Flesh
   From these impediments, spring a carnal mind – defined as crude bodily pleasure, appetites, and desires (Rom. 8:5) – that are severally expressed in the works of the flesh (Gal. 5:19-21) which are set at enmity against Yahweh, and are neither subject to His Law (Rom. 8:7).
   And today, standing among particular works of the flesh of hatred, variance, strife, and envyings is respect of persons and which is expressly forbidden in Holy Scripture (Lev. 19:15; 1 Tim. 5:21; James 2:1, 4).
   Indeed, as this nation becomes increasingly polarized politically, some are marginalizing cultures and ethnicities different from themselves, and others professing themselves believers are disallowing the Evangel of love to find Its rest among these same cultures and ethnicities with the outcome, that even among men of religion, prejudice and racism are flourishing. But Yahweh doesn’t look at nationality, color or even culture. Different from men, He looks upon the heart of a people, not upon their ethnic origin or the color of their skin (1 Sam. 16:7).

Tradition, an Obstacle
   Tradition, defined as an inherited, established or customary pattern of thought, action or behavior, has become a preventative to a people growing in grace and in knowledge of the Savior and Master, Yahshua the Messiah (2 Pet. 3:18). Traditions have stunted the growth and development of many. For instead of moving forward to live by faith in Messiah, many are being taught they are sinners saved by grace and that all which is required of them, is simply trusting in, and accepting into their heart, J-sus as l-rd and savior – whatever that means!
   However, they need to be at least as honorable as the Apostle Paul who, in having counted all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Messiah Yahshua his Master (Phil. 3:8), came to visions and revelations (2 Cor. 12:1). But instead of moving on, people are being taught that they are sinners saved by grace which not only brings forth a false sense of humility and even, self-righteousness, but also keeps them in bondage to their sin. In Truth, Salvation is achieved, not received. A person doesn’t work for righteousness, but a righteous person works righteousness (Acts 10:35) – that is, the righteousness of Yahweh through Yahshua, without condemnation, because they’re not walking after the flesh but after the Spirit (Rom. 8:1; Gal. 3:26). And IF, they which are righteous should fall short of His glory and confess their sin to Him, yet is He able to make them stand (Prov. 24:16; Rom. 14:4) through forgiving their sin and cleansing them of all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).

Ignorance, an Obstacle
   As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the Word, that ye may grow thereby, 1 Peter 2:2.
   A baby doesn’t drink milk forever, but grows and develops through eating solid food. In the same way, once the foundation of salvation has been laid, we must move on to maturity not continuing as babes (Heb. 6:1-3). For we know from the Word, that everyone that uses milk is unskillful in the Word (Heb. 5:13).    Only they which are becoming of full age, even those who by reason of living by the Word, have their senses exercised to discern good and evil (Heb. 5:14) and Truth from error (1 John 4:6).
   The secret of Yahweh is reserved to them who will fear Him (Psa. 25:14); to them who study to show themselves workmen who may rightly divide the Word of Truth (2 Tim. 2:15). Only they who dare to do go down in ships to do business in great waters, see the works of Yahweh (Psa. 107:23). Men do well to follow Yahshua’s instruction, therefore: Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught (catch), Luke 5:4.
   For though Yahweh is not willing any should perish (2 Pet. 3:9), yet people are destroyed for a want of knowledge (Hos. 4:6) and perish for a lack of vision (Prov. 29:18). They which are void of knowledge and understanding – often because of self-righteousness – are so, because of not allowing the Holy Spirit to teach them all things (John 14:26) and to guide them into all Truth (John 16:13), but are instead leaning to their own understanding (Prov. 3:5).
   Ignorance is not, however, just laid at the door of them who occupy the pew. Preachers, too, bear responsibility. For “if they speak not according to This Word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isa. 8:20). When preachers without an anointing speak out of their intellect (head knowledge), they open the door for another spirit. Always, where there is a fog in the pulpit, will there be a mist in the pew.

Indistinguishable from the World, an Obstacle
   Worldliness in the lives of believers has become, unfortunately a common thing. Instead of believers standing out from the world, many are blending in with the world, making themselves indistinguishable from all that is of the world. The Apostle John declared, Love not the world, neither the things [that are] in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that [is] in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world, 1 John 2:15-16.
   The Apostle Peter spoke of adorning one’s self, not with “the putting on of apparel, but let it be of the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of Yahweh of great price” (1 Pet. 3:3-4).
   Nevertheless, some in the Assemblies of Yahweh have followed the world in the way they dress and permitted the spirit of the age to find its place in the Assembly. This act of indecency has caused many believers to fall, because they have yielded themselves to the spirit of lust and perversion. When Paul spoke on this subject, he was not talking to the world, but to the Assembly (1 Thess. 4:1-8). The lusts of the flesh have caused much confusion and destruction – without respect to gender or age – even among spiritual leaders.
   Brethren, we must “work” (Phil. 2:12), “give diligence” (2 Pet. 1:10), and “earnestly contend for this faith” (Jude 1:3), daily keeping our minds renewed (transformed) – better to be transformed, than entertained – so that ha Satan isn’t given place (Eph. 4:27). We as the body of believers must be like Messiah in every way. We should not cause our Brothers or Sisters to fall into temptation, as it is written:
   “… that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way” (Rom. 14:13).

   Yahweh won’t work amidst the obstacles than men position as impediments toward going on to perfection. Only through knowledge come of a people having their understanding enlightened, and their faith and oneness in Messiah, are people able to bring forth exploits through His body, the Assembly (John 14:12; Eph. 4:3-6, 12-13). For just as the heart needs to be in good condition for the human body to function properly, so must oneness be at the heart of the Assembly to function properly.
   Let us not make of none effect, Yahshua’s Gethsemane prayer,
   Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word; that they all may be ONE; as Thou, Father, [art] in Me, and I in Thee, that they also many be one in us: that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me. And the glory which Thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be ONE, even as We are ONE: I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in ONE; and that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me, and hast loved them, as Thou hast loved Me, John 17:20-23.

-Brother Ryan C. Irving Sr.

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