“…that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.” (1 Corinthians 12:25-27)
Have you ever heard the term “collective consciousness?” I’ve always suspected there is something true in it. As I’ve heard it, it’s the idea that the thoughts and perceptions of all people are in some way connected, so that the “consciousness” (awareness, perceptions) of one group or even one individual will, at least to a small degree, influence the rest of mankind.
One thing many Christians wonder about is why there is so little power and authority being expressed on earth today among Christ’s body. Why do so many alleged miracles and supernatural events seem bogus or weak? I think the explanation for this is to a large extent found in the idea of Christ’s body as a “collective.” If you’re around believers much, it’s obvious that many members of Christ’s body are sick and weak, being alienated from God’s spirit of love and power. Therefore, I believe since all the members of Christ’s body are connected, the rest of the body is hindered and the expression of Christ and the manifestation of the Kingdom of God on earth are limited. To illustrate this, think of your physical body. If one leg is badly broken, while the rest of your body may be working fine, you’re still not going to be able to drive places and do things you otherwise could. If you have a toothache, while the rest of your body may be fine, it affects everything and makes even simple tasks more difficult. So it is with the body of Christ.
Last week, out of nowhere, it dawned on me that Paul himself wrote about “collective consciousness” nearly 2,000 years ago, in 1 Corinthians 12:25-27 (quoted at the top of this post). Put simply, Paul said all members of the body of Christ are connected, so that what one part experiences is, to some degree, experienced by the whole. This concept of the church as Christ’s body is an incredible, mind-blowing, and sobering spiritual reality – not just a neat title. God’s spiritual anointing (Christ) is upon you and I – we are Christ on the earth!1
There’s one more related term I’d like to look at, called the “snowball effect,” which gets its name from what can happen if you roll a small snowball down a snowy hill. As the ball rolls down the hill, snow sticks to it, making the ball bigger and bigger, causing more and more snow to stick to it, until it very quickly becomes massive. What if this applies to Christ’s body? What if, as you and I “forsake all that we have” (Luke 14:33)2 and become aware only of the life of God within, restoring connection with the head of our body (Christ, the spirit of God), we then exert an influence on the rest of the body to do so? What if then, as more believers begin to do the same, there is an even greater influence on the rest of the body to do so, until one day Christ’s body, all over the earth, walks in the purity and power that Jesus did when he was here? How amazing is that thought?
I truly believe that the spirit of God is forming the snowball right now, and will roll it down the hill when it’s nice and solid; how long that will take I don’t know. I think it could be within a generation or two, as I seem to see more and more people, especially younger people, waking up and coming out of religion (I’m working on a blog about that). That’s necessary, because religion is a tremendous hindrance to the Kingdom of God. When the ball does get rolling, it’s going to be quite a sight.
If this could be the case, it’s tremendously important that you and I put off the “old man” (Romans 6:6, Ephesians 4:22, Colossians 3:9), which is Adam’s nature, desires, and concepts, and express Christ instead of Adam.3 There are many, many sick members of Christ’s body. Some are greatly held back by religious doctrines, duties, or concepts which they don’t realize God has no part of at all. Many are weighed down by guilt, shame, and condemnation. Many have tried and failed so many times they’ve essentially given up, having found almost nothing real within the Christianity they’ve been exposed to. Deep down they want to know and please God, and have tried to “fake it till they make it,” but find they are powerless, and begin to believe that they will always be. They are in the “Romans chapter 7” experience Paul wrote about, where they want to do good, but are powerless to do so because the power of sin within them is too strong.
Here’s what I suggest. Get to know your God personally, not by learning things about Him from others. I believe the best way to do this is to get quiet in His presence, commune with Him as best as you can, diligently and consistently. Yes, reading scripture helps, but you’ll never reach Truth without divine revelation. Forget what you’ve been taught, prioritize the knowledge and experience of love, and let the goodness of God and His presence begin to work on you inwardly and reveal Truth to you. Share what you’ve learned as the spirit allows, and encourage others along the same lines. The rest of your body, and many others, need it! God bless you.
- 1 John 4:17, Colossians 3:3, Galatians 2:20, 1 Corinthians 12:12, 27, Romans 12:5
- I believe that in this verse, Jesus wasn’t saying we have to give up all our physical possessions like cars or houses or whatever. He was referring to spiritual possessions – things like our own ideas and concepts about God, our own understandings and all the spiritual things we have accumulated, find comfortable, and hold dear. We cannot follow Jesus as a disciple unless we forsake these things.
- All of these verses speak of the “old man” who is dead and who we are to “put off,” or shun. I wrote about this more here, but the idea is that as we have inherited Adam’s fallen, darkened nature, we also have inherited Christ’s nature of life and light. Adam’s nature can be very religious and good and well-meaning and kind, but is ultimately blind and opposed to God. God only pays attention to and desires the expression of Christ – His spirit within us. This is a huge key.