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THRESHING FLOOR D.I.Y STYLE: A NEW APPROACH FOR A NEW GENERATION; From Harvest to Seed.
Christians Threshed For Service In the House of God
By Walter Masocha
Trafford PublishingCopyright © 2013 DR. WALTER MASOCHA
All rights reserved.
INTRODUCTION: ENTER THE NEW 'D.I.Y' APPROACH
The purpose of this book is to provide a practical way for Christians to voluntarily put themselves prostrate on the 'threshing floor' of God's word, and overcome the usual pitfalls that cause them to stray away from the path of the Lord. Through this model of threshing floor, the chaff that is in us all is removed to leave the seed, which will be used by God in different ways. From harvest to seed. From the threshing floor to the silo. From the silo to usefulness in different ways. From the silo to service. The argument that is offered in this book is that all Christian believers should be threshed for service in the House of God. Drawing from practical examples of daily life, the book offers a 'Do It Yourself' (D.I.Y) model for Spiritual refinement, cleansing, purification, revival, renewal, restoration, and useful, satisfying, daily Christian living.
The book develops the concept of 'Threshing floor' by simplifying it with reference to the idea of the 'House of God' (Psalm 23:6) and the Christian as the New Testament 'temple' (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). It is further simplified by making reference to a typical sub-urban mansion or town-house with nine floors or levels, each of them being a 'Threshing Floor' level. The ground floor is Level zero ('0'), or simply 'G', followed by floors or levels one (1) up to eight (8). Touching on various character and behavioural attributes, the Bible is explored to clinically bring out passages of scripture that are analysed to facilitate recovery for the wounded Christians, as well as repentance and regeneration for those who wound or hurt others. Using the traditional view of the Threshing Floor as the 'theological or theoretical framework', the book draws from practical day-to-day examples that would be common knowledge to many, irrespective of race, colour, creed, nationality or upbringing.
As such, this book aims to contribute to teachings, ideas and advice offered through books, pulpits, seminars, and other relevant literature, by suggesting a 'D.I.Y' approach to Christian Counselling. More specifically, the book explores the possibility of revealing, for each individual Christian, the 'danger signals' in their character, language or behaviour that may have a negative impact on other believers. The 'threshing floor' is offered as a place of true reflection, repentance and renewal which mainly benefits the particular believer, and eventually benefits the community of believers generally referred to as the Church, or the body of Christ (I Corinthians 12:12; 27).
It is perhaps fair to say that this book explores a relatively innovative but practical approach to Christian Counselling. I am aware that there is a lot of useful literature in respect of Christian Counselling as a general topic. There is no attempt made in this book to review that literature. The general presumption is that one needs counselling, therefore one seeks help from another. The new approach offered in this book proposes to have a different and relatively innovative way of looking at the subject; namely Do It Yourself (D.I.Y). Using the Bible as the best tool, this book offers a threshing floor-based approach to Spiritual renewal and re- generation whereby one approaches someone else only in the event of the failure of the D.I.Y. process.
Many Christians are too uncomfortable (or is it too proud?) or perhaps too shy to approach someone else for counselling. So they quietly backslide, they 'die' in their situation and withdraw from the Church and other Christians. Or at best they stay put, but badly wounded and hurt, they limp along and remain in the Church. Deeply wounded by fellow believers, whether leaders or not. They become religious. It is hoped that through this book, both the wounded and those who wound others can have their Spiritual balance restored as they study the Bible in the privacy of their homes and get threshed by the Word of God.
When someone comes to the Lord, according to the Bible, they are simply 'harvest', and the chaff must be removed by way of 'threshing' to reveal the precious seed (see Matthew 3:11-12; Matthew 9:35-38). Applying the idea of the 'threshing floor', the D.I.Y approach to Spiritual renewal offered in this book allows a wounded or wounding Christian to get 'self-threshed' on different theoretical or hypothetical 'floors' in the 'House of the Lord' (Psalm 23:6).
From my humble literature search, I concluded that little or nothing has been written by British or European Christian authors on the subject of the threshing floor. The same rings true for Africa and other parts of the Christian world outside of the USA. It is hoped that this book will initiate discussion and reflection on this very important subject of the threshing floor, at least in the UK and in Africa. It will be a further contribution of this book if it encourages or challenges other writers in UK and Africa to contribute by also writing on the same subject.
The journey and life of a Christian begins the moment they invite Jesus Christ into their lives (John 1:12-13; Romans 10:1-13). It does not matter whether one is rich or poor, great or small, educated or uneducated, African or European, American or Asian, of Jewish or Arabic descent—all are brought to the same size at the door called salvation. Most Christians will be familiar with the scripture in John 3:16, where Jesus says: "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life". I highlight the word 'whosoever'. You see, salvation is a leveller! At this entrance to the Christian world, everyone, irrespective of race, colour, creed, tribe, nationality, rank etc, is reduced to a WHOSOEVER. Indeed, God is a universal God. Fairness in the Kingdom of God starts right there. For God so loved the world!
The approach taken in this book is not meant for the Bible scholars or those with various accolades of theological training and learning (diplomas, degrees and what have you)—although I am sure they will definitely also benefit from it. The book is written for the ordinary Christian, an attempt to present the Christian walk in its practical application. It is written for those of us who may not know how to interpret the Holy Scriptures in their original Hebrew or Greek form. It is not another theological perspective or sermon. It is meant for that Christian who just wants to live a Christian life, and wants to know how to navigate practically through the Christian Highway (see Isaiah 11:6; 30:21; 35:8-10; 40:3-4; 43:18-19; 62:10; Jeremiah 50:5; Proverbs 16:17; and John 14:6). This is a threshing floor book for 'whosoever'.
Many people gave their lives to Jesus willingly and with much excitement and glee, but fainted somewhere along the way or got frustrated and gave up. Some soldiered on in perseverance and pain. They endure rather than enjoy the journey. Fellow Christians get in the way. The world around you gets in the way of your Christian values and beliefs. You find yourself struggling to remain afloat. Even your own flesh gets in the way. Your character does not match your anointing. Other Christians at different levels of Church authority discourage you in a similar manner. In your view, their character does not match their anointing. They should be and know better, they are the leaders! They should lead by example. It sounds fair to say that, but the question is: Is salvation for the leaders? This is not about leadership, lest we miss the point. Read Romans 3:23. All have sinned. 'All' means 'all', without exception. We fall short of His glory, and the threshing floor helps bring back that lost glory. Read on.
Who needs threshing?
You have been a Christian for a while, but if you be real, you know you are struggling. You do things you do not like to do, and you say things you regret (see Romans 7:14-25). You get angry and moody. You pretend. You exaggerate. You agonise in silence. Your thoughts go wild at times, and only you know it. You have skeletons in the cupboard, past and present. In everyone's past, there is some dirt. True saying, that.
You have hidden secrets—things you would rather your Christian friends and Church never knew or found out about you. You want to serve God, but you know you have faults. Ever wondered? If any of this fits you, then you need this book. You need to learn to live a "Threshed Christian Life". You need to go on the threshing floor regularly. Threshing Floor is a process by which you, yourself (yes, you, not others), go before God and be real. You ask Him to constantly wipe you clean for use and re-use, in pretty much the same way you use your dishes and cutlery (they get dirty in the process), and only re-use them after a rinse and a wash!
Picture this household process which happens on a daily basis—no matter it is the Queen's or King's palace or the servant's quarters, the 'White House' or the 'Black House', owner-occupied or rented accommodation, employee or employer's house etc etc—dishes are dishes. Cutlery is cutlery. Whether you use a dish-washer or kitchen sink, wash basin or river bed—the end result is the same—to be used again, dishes have to be washed! I propose in this book that to function properly, one day at a time, a Christian has to go through the threshing floor.
I learnt this phrase from a poem taught me during my days at primary school:
Millionaires, presidents and even kings, Can't get along without everyday things! If you were a President, King or millionaire, You would use a comb to comb your hair! You would need a toothbrush to clean your teeth,
And so the poem went on. The same rings true for us ordinary folk. The 'everyday things' are similar to threshing. In them king and subjects find common ground. Through these things we all become 'whosoevers'. Irrespective of who you are or even where you are, you have to comb your own hair (even if you may have had someone to 'do' your hair), soap to clean your face, and a toothbrush (or a variation of it) to brush your own teeth.
In the Christian context, I argue in this book, that is the necessity for the Threshing Floor. It's an everyday 'thing', and we can't get along without it. This book is for all serious Christians right across the board. It's an everyday kind of book for every born again child of God. Oh Lord, give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses ...! Child of God, the Christian Highway is worth it, be threshed, and enjoy the journey!
THE CONCEPT OF THE 'THRESHING FLOOR'
The Threshing Process
The word 'thresh' means 'to separate grains or seeds from straw by beating the stems or husks' or 'to beat the stems and husks (of grain or cereal plants) with a machine or flail to separate the grains or seeds from the straw', or 'to beat or rub stalks of ripe corn or a similar crop either with a hand implement or a machine to separate the grain from the husks and straw'. It all starts with seed. The seed of God's Word is planted (see parable of the sower in Matthew 13:3-9; and Jesus' explanation of the same in Matthew 13:18-23). When it falls on good and fertile ground, the seed germinates, grows, and in a big way reproduces after itself. It becomes ripe, ready for harvest. The harvested crop is then taken to the threshing floor, and so starts the process of threshing. When the threshing process is complete, only the pure grains or seeds of the harvest remain. This is what God desires to achieve in every Christian. As such, in this study I consider the crucial role played by the threshing floor in God's plan of Salvation for mankind. Right from the sacrifice of Isaac, through to the New Testament idea of the believer as the temple of the Holy Spirit, the true Church of the Living God, I show in this book that the threshing floor is where God has purposed to meet with His people. There the Lord has purposed to deal with His elect, to purge them of all impurities, till they sparkle as precious seed in His right hand, ready to be used in different ways, and for different purposes in the house of God. We are threshed to serve God in His house. Threshed for service.
Why do we need the threshing floor?
In an attempt to answer this question, allow me to draw from practical examples to drive the point home. Let me start with the teachings of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
To start with, please note that Jesus Christ referred to the results of effective evangelism as a 'harvest'.
In Matthew 9:35-38, He said;
35. And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.36. But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.37. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;38. Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will sendforth labourers into his harvest.
Mark 4:26-29 says;
26. And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground;27. And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how.28. For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.29. But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.
Furthermore, Luke 10:1-2 says;
1. After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come.2. Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.
His disciples went into the city of Samaria to look for food. They left Him alone, and He soon found Himself in the company of some crop, through which He obtained a major harvest.
It says in John 4:32-35;
31. In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat. 32. But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of. 33. Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat? 34. Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. 35. Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.
Continuing with the story of the Samaritan woman, Jesus Christ demonstrated the idea of collecting the harvest. In John 4:36-42, it continues to say:
36. And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.37. And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth.38. I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours.
39. And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did.40. So when the Samaritans were come unto him, they besought him that he would tarry with them: and he abode there two days.41. And many more believed because of his own word;42.And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.
Wow! What a harvest! What a teacher! What a demonstration of effective evangelism! Now, that's salvation. A whole city turned into believers. Saved. But salvation is only the beginning of the Christian journey, in pretty much the harvest is the 'beginning' of the process that ends with the precious seed. The seed is in the harvest, but you don't get it out without threshing! Now there are more modern ways of extracting the seed, but traditionally you put the harvest on some threshing floor. You then cause some people to thrash (or 'beat') the harvest hard with tree branches or cause some animals (usually cattle) to trample on the harvest continuously till the seed is separated from the chaff (see Ruth 3:1-3; 2nd Samuel 6:6). Finally, according to scriptures, and in accordance with the then tradition, women would come on with winnows to go through a process that removes the fine dust, sand/stones and other undesired objects, leaving only the fine seed. Wow! Lovely, beautiful, precious, seed! Matthew 3:11-12 says:
11. I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:12. Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his (threshing) floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.
So, as introduced by John the Baptist, a new era has come as God moves with His church, His people from generation to generation. The Lord Jesus Christ is ready to purge His abundant harvest on His threshing floor. Verse 12 clearly says that Jesus will "throughly purge his floor ..." That means serious threshing! The same verse tells you what Jesus does with the chaff, yet it was all gathered in as part of the 'harvest'. In the modern day of technology, many use the 'Combine Harvester' and other different types of machines. However, whether we use traditional means or modern means, the spiritual parallel remains the same, and is obvious. The crop is ripe and ready for harvest. Everyone celebrates. God celebrates. The harvest is good. But it's the seed we are after ... and the seed is covered by a lot of husks and chaff! The process of removing this stuff is the 'Threshing Floor' process. You see, when we are born again, we are all harvest. We need threshing floor for us to end up as lovely, beautiful, useful, precious, seed, otherwise we just remain harvest,—good,—but full of chaff!
Check out what the Bible says in Joel 2: 23-24:
23. Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.24. And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the fats shall overflow with wine and oil.
Plenty of rain comes. Miracle rain. This results in a huge harvest, filling the threshing floors with grain (not with seed). The grain will be ready to be threshed. You see, without the threshing floor, a human being cannot enjoy the harvest/grain. In the same way, if we remain un-threshed, we are not of any use to the Lord! God wants to thresh us so we can serve Him better. We are threshed for service in the House of God.
Excerpted from THRESHING FLOOR D.I.Y STYLE: A NEW APPROACH FOR A NEW GENERATION; From Harvest to Seed. by Walter Masocha. Copyright © 2013 DR. WALTER MASOCHA. Excerpted by permission of Trafford Publishing.
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