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“DISCIPLESHIP” – A CONTROVERSIAL WORD! – Comments?

NOTE: Lee Grady talks below about today’s “free-wheeling, come-as-you-are, pick-what-you-want, whatever-floats-your-boat” type Christianity. This is certainly true of today’s “Internet” Christianity too. -No ‘commitment’ required at all. We would be interested in your comments on this article, my friends…

DISCIPLESHIP IS NOT a DIRTY WORD
-extracts by J. Lee Grady.

Reclaiming the process of discipleship will require a total overhaul
of how we do church.

I get funny looks from some charismatic Christians when I tell them
I believe God is calling us back to radical discipleship. Those in the
over-50 crowd—people who lived through the charismatic movement
of the 1970s—are likely to have a bad taste in their mouths when
it comes to the dreaded “D word.”

That’s because the so-called Discipleship Movement (also known
as the Shepherding Movement) turned a vital biblical principle into
a weapon and abused people with it. Churches that embraced the
warped doctrines of shepherding required believers to get permission
from their pastors before they bought cars, got pregnant or moved
to a new city. Immature leaders became dictators, church members
became their loyal minions, and the Holy Spirit’s fire was snuffed
out because of a pervasive spirit of control.

Yet I’m still convinced that relational discipleship—a strategy
Jesus and the apostle Paul modeled for us — is as vital as ever.
If anything the pendulum has now swung dangerously in the
opposite direction. In today’s free-wheeling, come-as-you-are,
pick-what-you-want, whatever-floats-your-boat Christianity, we
make no demands and enforce no standards. We’re just happy
to get warm rumps in seats. As long as people file in and out of
the pews and we do the Sunday drill, we think we’ve accomplished
something.

David Kinnaman, author of the excellent book unChristian, articulated
the problem this way: “Most people in America, when they are
exposed to the Christian faith, are not being transformed. They take
one step into the door, and the journey ends. They are not being
allowed, encouraged, or equipped to love or to think like Christ.
Yet in many ways a focus on spiritual formation fits what a new
generation is really seeking. Transformation is a process, a journey,
not a one-time decision.”

Reclaiming this process of discipleship is going to require a total
overhaul of how we do church. Do we really want to produce mature
disciples who have the character of Jesus and are able to do His
works? Or are we content with shallow believers and shallow faith?

-READ THE FULL ARTICLE-


http://www.charismamag.com/index.php/fire-in-my-bones/32724-discipleship-is-not-a-dirty-word-

Posted in Uncategorized by Andrew on May 24th, 2012 at 7:24 pm.

212 comments

212 Replies

  1. Kathleen in WA State May 24th 2012

    What a refreshing perspective! Not only does Mr. Grady pen a biblically sound protocol for growth, it’s practical as well.

    Imagine a family where parents allowed (or encouraged) the children to remain dependant & immature, even modeling such themselves. The children would be handicapped, to say the least. Worse, they’d be completely unable to “pay it forward”, so to speak, other than to replicate more of the same. We’d have a mess!

    Better to equip, exhort, encourage & enable the Boby to “go into all the world” on their own. Feeding sheep can be messy, but giving the proper & prescribed nourishment (God’s word) & modeling Christlike thinking/behavior ensures a healthier outcome.

  2. Andrew May 24th 2012

    Well said, Kathleen.

    But don’t you think that “Out of church”, ‘Just Me and Jesus’ type Christianity is the exact opposite of “discipleship”?

    I would be interested in other people’s views on this.

    -Andrew

  3. Stacey May 24th 2012

    A very well written article. This is a problem I see in many churches, including my own. I see many “Christians” who are tredding water, with no clue of how to handle things in a way that is glorifying to God. They struggle with a constant battle between flesh and spirit, and flesh seems to win frequently. There is no real discipleship of anyone anymore, someone who can come up alongside these Christians, who struggle with how to raise their families or walk out their faith in their jobs or the world. There needs to be mature Christians who will take on the role of mentor with those who need it. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Yes well this topic is really an emotive one. In the light of the shepherding movement abuses many questions remain. Becasue the spirit of that movement is very much alive and kicking and causing damage.

    I am of the opinion that any leanings towards discipleship in the current charismatic churdh environment will always lead to control. Reasons: In our day there is a widely acccepted belief that the more mature believers hear from God more than immature believers. This leads to those being discipled becoming dependant on “more mature” believers. The disciples never grow up and always depend on others instead of growing more in their relationship with God. The Father and son doctrine in many shurches becomes and extreme. Accountabilty inevetably leads to control. The head of every man is Christ. Teach people that and you have true discipleship. Put men in between God and His relationship with people and you are in error. Derek Prince came out of the shepherding movement and then he was really changed. He taught the word as best he could and pointed people to Christ. Not to men in middle.

    Those in leadership who believe that they hear from God because they are more mature cause havoc. It is a fact. Wasnt one of the shepherdin doctrines that “he who hears from God has the authority”? Yes if you want to hear from God read your Bible my friends.

    “Fathers” in the church expect “sons” to follow their every example. They tithe and expect their “sons” in the spirit to do the same. They follow Word of Faith or firstfuits etc etc. It becomes a pyaramid scheme. Many modern day leaders believe that they are on the same level as biblical apostels and prophets. You have the NAR and Rick Joyner and Peter Wagner with 1000ds of churches under them. What do you think become of their disciples? They are under control. Same as WOF churches. Control. And they say “upward correction is always rebelllion” and “dont touch the Lords anointed”.

    I know we are not to go from one extereme to the other but in todays environment the D word is very dangerous simply because of the pyramid structures tht the enemy has set up. Just teach the word and point people to God and thats it. Relationship with people is one thing but control oh my word, it is a trap.

    regards
    Johan

  5. Philip May 24th 2012

    I believe this article describes what we get when we remove the requirement to die to our flesh and literally be baptized into Christ Jesus and exchange it for a prayer and a song. Matthew 28 says to make disciples… baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. How else will people be able to enter the kingdom of heaven unless they first die to their flesh? Otherwise we are trying to fill old wineskins with new wine and both will be destroyed.

    The church of Laodecia is rampant. We think we are rich and have need of nothing but we do not know that we are wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked. Jesus tells us “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Let us humble ourselves and seek the Living God.

    I don’t believe that Jesus is going to ask us how many disciples we made. This is the same as other fleshly metrics. I think he is going to say either, come and enter into my service good and faithful servant, or depart from Me, I never knew you.

  6. well Andrew, I am most definitely one of those out of church types. But I would definitely regard myself as having a high view of discipleship. In our groups we all live a high commitment to one another, when somebody has been coming to the group for two or three weeks, and shown some commitment we say to them (not me one of the other group members), “we make a 100% commitment to you, to walk with you through your stuff, until you choose to sever the relationship.” This is not an easy commitment to live by, but we mean it and if someone chooses to leave, they are free to do so, we will not stop being there for them but we will not chase after them. Normally this depth of love were called them back into relationship.

    We have found that many are uncomfortable with this depth of commitment , but I would point out that this is the depth of commitment that Jesus as for us, and how can we do less? if we want to see our churches grow we must be Christ to one another.

  7. A few decades ago preaching on Lordship and commitment was accepted teaching in evangelical circles. Today in this “me” generation such preaching leads to accusations of being hard, legalistic and unloving. Having had the sad experience of folk leaving a sound church fellowship to follow whims I began to wonder where they would stand when the Lord returns. An article by Chris Hill in Sword magazine was followed a few days later by Jacob Prasch of Moriel, both saying similar things. It led me to write a warning leaflet, which I have published on my web site. No wonder the Christian Church has declined in the past few decades to the state it is in today.

  8. In response to the “Out of Church” I would like to say first of all we are church. Not a building, or gathering place. So I don’t agree that we are out of church if we choose to meet in a home for example. After all this is what the early church did.

    After over thirty years of pastoring I found myself in a real problem with organized religion. It seems like most churches operate as a one man show while Ephesians gives us a five-fold example. In small discipleship gatherings the opurtunity for others to contribute to the overall setting of the meeting gives more of a completeness that organized religion has failed to produce. I am involved in small groups and have found it much more fulfilling and I for one don’t feel the preasure to preform. We all follow the leading of the spirit and allow for each one to comment and to be involved. It is working, it is relational, and it is very intimate. The small group also allows for transparency that orgainized church does not have. I understand the fallacy of the early shepherding movement and fully agree that it got off course. May we all find grace to fulfill what God desires of all of us and that is true relationship with a living savior.

  9. The Shepherding Movement has left a bad taste in the mouths of many and now having to recognise Discipleship with the same paradigm will result in the same conclusions, there is too much control. However there is an authentic move of the Spirit over what some have called the Father and Son wineskin due to their lack of understanding of this ancient Kingdom order of God the Father. The Bible is full of geneolgies of Fathers beggetting sons and sons becoming fathers and raising families with sons. We are all very comfortable with the fact that God the Father has a son, but have not considered that God the Son has a Father whom he submitted everything to. ” I only do what I see My Father doing and I only say what I hear my Father saying”. I have come to show the Father is the words of Christ the Son. Our destination in discipleship is spiritual maturity. There can be no accountability in a loose arrangement of “buddies or brothers”, getting to together because discipleship means that one is accountable to watch over the soul of the other and must give an account to the Father for that soul. Brothers are not willing and are not graced to function with that heavy responsiblity. Hebrews 13: 17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be profitable for you.

    Paul concluded to Corithian Church, that I have become a Father to you Corinthians, I labour with you until Christ is fully formed in you, that means until you become a mature son of God just like Jesus Christ, if you follow me as I follow Christ, observing me in all things that I do then you will become mature. In Church culture we have no respect for authentic authority because we have a culture of an orphan and see a raised hand of disciplne has rejection. Hebrews 12: 5-13 is the expression of a spiritual father and natural father and the purpose of loving correction.

    Our progression towards spiritual maturity then is from the culture of an orphan to a the culture of a son. This can only be done when a mature son (huios) becomes a spiritual father (pater) and begins to disciple those whom the Holy Spirit will send to him in the culture of the Kingdom. Jesus Christ said that He was the “Good Sheperd” and he could only manage to fully complete 11 out of the 12 that was given to Him. We are kidding ourselves to believing that we can disciple the masses.

    Visit this website for more on this subject http://www.soleyn.com. Sam Soleyn is my spiritual father. I have been doing it this way for 5 years now after I found that Church culture can not produce mature sons and have been watching over the souls of the sons come into maturity through much trials and sufferings. The Father is building His Family again according to the culture of the Kingdom, it is truely a great day to share in what He has been doing since before time began. The purpose of a mature son is put on display the face of His Father to the world and by so doing allow the Ministry of the Priesthood of Melchisidek to function in the earth, which is to take God to the people not like the Levitical Order of Prieshood that stands inbetween God and His people.

    Grace, Peace, Love & Mercy

    Leon Elijah

  10. Laurie May 24th 2012

    Hi All! My husband and I are some of those ‘out of church’ types as well. I believe we are having so much trouble with iimmaturity in the church today because don’t really understand who we are in Christ,and who we are without him. Our first mistake is to call the building where the church meets a “church.” We are the church, and whereever we meet together, in his name, He is present. We have a very strong relationship with those we are meeting with, and we hold one another accountable. In some ways this is more difficult than being part of a much larger group. The very fact that we know and trust the others puts us in a position of accountability. I like what Keith said, and I agree completely. If we want to see growth, we must be Christ to one another.This requires honesty, and commitment. (not in a churchy way, which spawns from insecure leaders promoting their own ministries, but in love.)
    Is this comfortable, heck no! True love gets under your skin, and makes changes on a heart level. In this way, we are not just another brick in the wall, but living stones in a city not built with human hands.

  11. jay marion May 24th 2012

    One of the reasons why we ceased attending church is due to the fact that there was no discipleship in progress. By in large most “christians” don’t even know how to become christians much less lead others to a place in the body of Christ. To mention discipleship is to get dirty looks and comments from the pastor who thinks his “type A” preaching is all everyone needs in order for them to grow in Christ. Like the article said…. it’s programs and giving tithes that is stressed not learning about what it means to be an active participant eager the go out into the world to spread the gospel of Christ and to teach others how to do the same. From what we have seen in our 65 years of life, the church in America is dead and there are no signs that any type of spiritual awakening is on the horizon.

  12. I am so thankful that we the church gather in our homes. We have a meal together, we spend time at each other homes, we meet during the week, we call, we text, we are in touch with each other. We all contribute at the gatherings. I have been more discipled by having a meal at the homes of our leaders than sitting for over 20 year in the pryamid structure of the building. OMG. Trying any of the programs in that structure will not work….even if you get them out of the building and into homes. It is not the place, it is the LIFE of it!!! Our leaders undergird and lead by LIVING it before us. They confront problems and deal with it. The end is always reconcilation unless the other party continues to sin etc. The reason most people dont want to leave the “pews” is because when you gather in smaller groups, the light is bright and people do not want to live transparents lives..I say bring it on. We grow together and then we GO OUT and meet people who need the gospel where they are…This is what is reviving me….once I was dead in the Structure of RELIGION, now I am alive in the BODY…to Him be all Glory and Honor!!!

  13. Carina May 24th 2012

    I relate with what is discussed in the article because I’ve been deeply hurt by misguided leaders. I’ve been a witness to what the spirit of control and a very warped concept of “authority” can do to a pastor who was at first on fire for God (or so it would seem) and ended up driving away most of the flock when trying to implement the “leadership” model as directed by a so-called apostle. 400 people at one time, now barely 50. Of the people who have left, undoubtedly many were goats, some people who might not even be true Christians, but there were many sheep, too.

    My former pastor refused to delegate and trust his leaders to do the right thing. His instructions could not be discussed but should be obeyed as is. That was the seed of his downfall. He got as far as saying that if we attended his church, we were to believe every doctrine that he and his denomination taught, or else we should find another church. I privately disagreed on many teachings but, of course, wouldn’t say so, and at first my doubts were minor. Little by little we saw him burn out with stress, taking at first short leaves from the congregation to attend retreats and do therapy, but then he would come back and at first be ok and then slowly lapse into anger and manipulation. Finally, he had to take an extended leave, left the church in charge of the “apostle” who sent people to preach but noone to heal the wounded sheep. When the pastor came back, he severed formal ties with the “head” of the ministry, but the damage was already done.

    I left the church a few months ago after concluding the pastor is not quite restored and the church reminds me of too many things I suffered there (being told I was not supposed to pray with and for someone because I was not a leader, even told I wasn’t to have extended conversations because I would be ministering to a person and I was yet too young in the faith to do so, which I wasn’t, because I was already 2+ years in the faith when I joined that church). Now I’m officially unchurched, and find myself not liking anyone providing any sort of spiritual advice, especially if it’s the do this, don’t do that type.

    I think the real damage these abusive churches do is make the sheep wary of any relationship where there is accountability. It makes us afraid of anyone, even very mature Christians who sincerely want to help and don’t have that spirit of control, providing any guidance at all.

    I can see where the “just me and Jesus” concept comes from, because I’m dealing with this right now. It’s not easy to trust again when you’ve been sort of spiritually raped. For many of us it takes time, a lot of time alone with the Lord, because only He can provide the healing our hearts so desperately need. Sometimes jumping from one bad church to just any church we feel might be better does more damage than good. I would advise anyone looking for a church home to really pray before considering themselves members of a particular congregation. In hindsight, I can see it was clear the Lord was giving me warning signs from the very start. Sometimes it may be better to have a “time off” from official churchianity to really ask for Holy Spirit guidance before joining a church. And home prayer groups may be just as controlling and dangerous and it takes discernment of spirits to know which group to join.

  14. “Reclaiming this process of discipleship is going to require a total
    overhaul of how we do church. Do we really want to produce mature
    disciples who have the character of Jesus ”

    Thanks Andrew for posting this. It is exciting to see the Lord leading this brother on a journey to recapture authentic Christianity. The church is not about the pastor but the people growing in the life of discipleship.

    Great post.

  15. @ Carina..I came out of a similiar situation after 14 years….and now you can read what I wrote earlier. There are True Shepherds of the Lord who undergirfd and love …..I will be praying for you that what God has done for me, He can also do for you.

  16. Michelle May 24th 2012

    How can discipleship happen when the True foundation of God and Christ is being superimposed with false doctrines and beliefs. Personally, I would much rather depend on God to bring people into my life for my own discipleship than come under the false church authority that is running rampant at this time. I’d rather take the Word of God, and get alone with the Lord and listen to what He says. Seeking Him with a pure heart of wanting a relationship with Him. Out of doing that very thing for quite a few years, He brought people into my life for the continuing of discipleship. They are not from a specific denomination, and some do not even know how the Lord has used them for my own growth. Even little out of the way blogs can have an impact on a person’s walk.

    On a side note about discipleship and foundations..

    Discipleship is like building a wall upon a foundation.

    I see walls are built upon a covenant. If the covenant with the Lord is kept, then the walls remain solid. If the covenant is not kept, and breaches in the wall are allowed, then the walls are torn down again to the foundation.

    The foundation is what the doctrine, beliefs, practices of a person or nation is build upon. If the foundation is anything other than the standards of God, then
    it is built on sand. When the walls are torn down, there is no solid foundation, and then the person or nation will look for another foundation that seems solid.

    This will be the snare for the mark of the beast.

    If the foundation or the covenant was once made with God, and then superimposed with another false covenant, then the walls will be torn down in order for
    the people or nation to come back into covenant with Him.

    Look at this passage out of Is:

    _____________________
    Quote:
    Isa 9:10 The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones: the sycomores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars.
    Isa 9:11 Therefore the LORD shall set up the adversaries of Rezin against him, and join his enemies together;
    Isa 9:12 The Syrians before, and the Philistines behind; and they shall devour Israel with open mouth. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.
    Isa 9:13 For the people turneth not unto him that smiteth them, neither do they seek the LORD of hosts.
    Isa 9:14 Therefore the LORD will cut off from Israel head and tail, branch and rush, in one day.
    Isa 9:15 The ancient and honourable, he is the head; and the prophet that teacheth lies, he is the tail.
    Isa 9:16 For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed.
    _____________________

    The walls fell. The people did not see the true foundation and did not come back into their covenant with the Lord. They went and looked for another solid foundation, which
    was their defiant pride. Out of their own hands and abilities they swore to build better and stronger, but their foundation was superimposed by pride instead of repentance and humility. In this, Israel set up a quarrel of God’s covenant. Does this sound familiar in the nations of today (Esp. America), and in many who call themselves Christians?

    God avenges the quarrel of His covenant. Against all those who break His covenant. Whether that be nations or individuals.

    ____________________
    Quote:
    Lev 26:23 And if ye will not be reformed by me by these things, but will walk contrary unto me;
    Lev 26:24 Then will I also walk contrary unto you, and will punish you yet seven times for your sins.
    Lev 26:25 And I will bring a sword upon you, that shall avenge the quarrel of my covenant: and when ye are gathered together within your cities, I will send the pestilence among you; and ye shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy.
    __________________

    If the nation or person will not be reformed (come back into covenant, back to their True foundation) after the walls are torn down, then God will avenge the breaking of
    covenant. He does that by bringing a sword to the land, and delivering the nation or person over to their enemies.

    As Christians, our foundation is Christ. The True covenant. But the principles of God, the dedication of a nation to God is also a covenant. To uphold His commandments (standard) is what a covenant of this nature means. When/if the nation turns against the foundation/covenant/standard/commandments of God, then He will shake the walls, bring them as dust down to the foundation as a reminder to the nation or person what they had promised. If there is no repentance, or reformation back to the holding of the commands, then His warnings come stronger. Those warnings become the judgment of the nation if there is no repentance.

    This is not to say that we are saved by obeying the commands of God, we are only saved by the blood of Christ. However, we do have a part to play in remaining faithful. Just as a nation who was once dedicated to God has a responsibility in remaining faithful and acknowledging His commandments by instituting them within the laws of that nation, and not booting Him out of the institutions of the nation.

  17. Sharon May 24th 2012

    So many good replies. Thanks to Andrew, Philip and Sy, and what others have added.
    The church is the church. Man has always had a problem wanting to number it or control how it works. Just can’t be done, cause it is not man’s church.
    We serve an awesome living loving working Lord.
    As His children, our part is just to agree and walk along side Him.

  18. This is a timely article. I received the following comment about the exact same thing on 5-22-12 regarding my weekly discipleship devotional TGIM! GOOD NEWS on 5-21-12 about Colossians 1:27. “No way mate, your covering is Jesus alone:) not your church you must stop preaching discipleship Lewis, this is the 2nd time I have found your post on one of my friends walls. Bob Mumford used to be into this group. My friend had to get out of because they became to over lording. Shepherdship is over too; shepherding is like a cult.”

    I appreciate the concern you have shown for your friends. None of us want our friends harmed by false teachings or deceitful workers. I certainly don’t! However, I have no idea what you are referring to in your remarks toward me. I have never had anything to do with Bob Mumford or this group you referred to. I did research about them today, and I am not like them at all! Furthermore, I made no mention of the church in the teaching in question. You made a reference to covering, which is an Old Covenant concept. As Christians we are not covered with Jesus. Rather, as a new creation, we are indwelt by Jesus, having become one with Him when we were born again of the Holy Spirit. He has done something much more than just cover us, He has consumed us with His Life, and sealed us with the Holy Spirit!

    As to preaching discipleship: that is what Jesus Christ instructed us to do—make disciples according to Matthew 28:19-20. A disciple of Christ is a follower of Christ, a learner of Christ, a Christ-person (Christian). In the book of Acts, those who received Christ and were born of the Holy Spirit were known as disciples before they were ever called Christians (Acts 11:26). So, when I refer to discipleship, I am talking about the spiritual growth and maturity of the saints—the born again believers in Christ. I am talking about expounding the way of God more fully (Acts 18:27). I am talking about sharing spiritual truths from the Scriptures in order to help believers grow in the grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18). I am talking about the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry (Ephesians 4:12). I am talking about what Paul, Peter, and John did through their teachings in their letters to the churches—the New Testament Epistles.

    Therefore, I would respectfully request that you please refrain from associating me with the Bob Mumford group or the Shepherding movement. I would urge you to visit our web site to learn more about me and our ministry.

    Because of Christ,

    Lewis

  19. Irene Gonzalez May 25th 2012

    A Book “Beyond Seduction” by Dave Hunt exposed all this in the 80’s. The word of God is pretty clear on Living for Christ. There’s Apsotasy in the church. 7 churches in the Book of Revelation explained the conditions by John, he was spoken to by Christ & given revelation as to how to minister & stand for the entire truth. It’s a process of sanctification, a disciple is layin his life on the altar and allowing the word & tests of existing to reveal the disobdient flesh, worlds influence & satan to overcome. (Submit To God)
    Like eating fresh food, eat the fresh manna from God. Study basic Hebrew & Greek, teach these to converts to become disciples, show them how to pray & fast! Being filled with the Holy Spirit (for assignments). Theres so much info out there we get back to the Corner stone & the foundation and build off that. Unless the Lord build the (bethel) Body Of Christ, its in vain! A Five-Fold Minsitry working together. Book Of Acts is still the birth & blueprint. When you’ve experienced the real truth you’ll know a counterfeit( kick the dust off your feet & move on). Extreme Lives & Extreme Power by Bob Chapman (Australia) are great guides. Converts or Discipleship by Al Hooughton (Word At Work Ministries Placentia, Ca (known him 20 yrs.) is a good honest Teacher. The early church was not afraid to speak the truth in Love even rebuked satan in Peter & wouldn’t sell out to Simon the sorcerer, it’s all around. Lets do what we’re called to do and get going! Lets get & stay equipped (stay fit)! PS this article is great. Andrew I had the pleasure of meeting you here in Calif. when you were in Buena Park Ca! Out with the old in with the fresh wine, GOD be with us in this endeavor to “The Harvest” These are the days of trials and you show us “How To Overcome” Victory, we are nothing without you!! Blessings, Onward Soldiers & Disciples!!

  20. Sorry, not had time to read all of the posts, so forgive me if I repeat what other(s) may have said.

    My thoughts are that we do need the restoration of true biblical discipleship, this is a no-brainer. The Lord commanded it for his followers and modelled this with His disciples. However on the whole I do not believe the church has a true understanding of discipleship. Essentially it is servanthood, laying down ones life for others, teaching others and committing to Love and pray for others. Reading the gospel and epistle letters this seems to be the biblical precedent and requires self sacrifice.

    The current church structure is dysfunctional and does not appear to offer a true discipleship structure, if one is looking to a man at the front to facilitate this ministry. We need to re-evaluate what true church is. Someone mentioned the pyramid structure being detrimental and I wholeheartedly agree. It is a dangerous thing to put leaders on a pedestal and ascribe to them a deeper spirituality and authority and this applies to both the follower and the leader

  21. Viola Taylor May 25th 2012

    You Can’t expect the baby pastors to teach the babies in front of them in the pews, to model or teach ‘going on unto perfection’. They can’t to farther than they have developed themselves.

    God has called a great number out of the religious system to teach them Himself, how to ‘go on unto maturity. Don’t expect the churches to do what only God can do these last days.

    The church system died in 1993, after the 40th Jubilee from Pentecost. The dead don’t grow. However God is raising up the overcomers (Rev: end of messages to the churches) to carry the work back into the churches, to teach them righteousness, God style. He’s training me, and talks to me all the time.

  22. Douglas May 25th 2012

    In Rwanda I learned the love of God through much cruelty to my family and many, many persons of very humble means. The Lord had been telling me for years to learn to suffer well, patiently, so that the work of transformation would run its course. While in the U.S. during those years I was mostly unaware of the abuse and desperation to come, but all of that has made me more like Christ and less scripted by culture than ever before. Promoting the love of God is what the Lord is telling me to do. Last Sunday I preached on 1 Corinthians 13 saying that if Christians will become loving, then all things “church” will accord with the Headship of Christ. And I preached that it is only by becoming like Jesus that we will truly love, and that that happens as we “deny ourselves, take up our crosses, and follow Him”. Please pray for us; it seems the Lord is birthing ministry with me as pastor. Thank you, Andrew.

  23. An epidemic today – unfortunately more often than not – the pulpit is all about me, myself and I – position and power and prominence!

    And the sheep are being scattered – not knowing where to go to grow – going around in circles.

    I read an arcticle recently by Mark Buchanan -“Your Church is Too Safe. It spoke to the difference between believers and disciples.

    It reads thus and I quote, ‘You can’t be a disciple without being a believer. But-here’s the rub – you can be a believer and not a disciple. You can say the right things, think all the right things, believe all the right things, do all the right things, and still not imitate Jesus.

    The Kingdom of God is made up of travailers, but our churches are largely populated with tourists. The Kingdom is full of disciples, but our churches are filled with believers. It’s no wonder we often feel like we are going in circles.

    It is my prayer, that we become less a church of believers, of tourists, who sample Jesus on the weekends, but of deeply committed, radical disciples of Jesus.” (Mark Buchanan – Your Church is Too Safe”)

  24. Val sm May 25th 2012

    The whole set up of the traditional church is not conducive to discipleship. Relationships seem so formal and unaccountable. It is difficult to submit yourself to people who dont really know you, and that is so often what ends up being the case. Nor do most church leaders make any demands on anyone about anything, regardless of the type of church setting. Everyone just kind of floats around. In our home fellowship, which is how we have done church for many years, we do speak to each other about stuff and do know each other, so it is a step forward in that regard…..but in general we have a pick and choose culture and a church that wants nothing required of it. In the end, it is our desire for the Lord and for accountable relationships, our own desire to be discipled that will bring more discipleship. I have people that I have asked to speak into my life, I have asked them to challenge me, to check me if my attitude or understanding is askew…..but so often when we disagree with someone now we just walk away or go to another church and nothing is dealt with…..no clear answers, and not easy questions!

  25. It’s a personal committment to be a disciple. There’s a “bloated” body of Christ and by that I mean they’ve heard enough of God’s word to fill them up but instead of living it, they are hearing it and doing their own thing the rest of the time growing complacent and stagnant…It will cost everything to be a doer, and everyone proclaiming to be a Christian will be put to the test sooner or later to reveal their true character. It’s a personal choice, no one can make it for you. It’s follow the Lord HIS WAY, or why bother?

  26. Kathleen in WA State May 25th 2012

    To answer your question, Andrew: I sure don’t favor the “just me & the Lord”, Lone Ranger style of doing Christianity, much less discipleship. First & foremost, it’s not biblical. Second it’s dangerous. Believers need other believers, if for no other reason than for accountability. Jesus surrounded Himself with a group (for their benefit, no doubt), & sent them out as a group and/or two-by-two. We also know how He emphasized the workings of the physical body as an example of how the Body/Church ought to function.

    Power corrupts, and believers are not exempt. We well recall the David Koresh / Jim Jones brands of discipleship :(

    Too, the scriptures are clear about leadership & heirarchy, whether I like that or not. Mature, wise, biblically rooted believers will lead righteously (or so goes the theory), with a view towards freeing babes to become fully devoted Christ-followers.

  27. I remember as a young Christian just before the Charsmatic days our church had a banner up front saying “Only one life will soon be passed, Only what is done for Christ will last”…Neat sign right?..The Holy Ghrost told me to share with the congregation that the sign was wrong! It is not what we can do FOR Christ, but only what we do IN Christ that will last..
    It is time for the ministry to throw out their notes and begin to speak only by the anointing if there is going to be any move of God in our midst. The Holy Ghost will bring forth disciples. If you cannot minister by the Holy Ghost, shut up and sit down, I do not care if you are the minister.

  28. SeattleVic May 25th 2012

    When I have my heart back to God, I asked God to inspire me with His thoughts and His ways. When I have come across the model of church, the HS inspired me with ideas that are far different from the current model. I saw churches that were no larger than 50 people, to allow for proper intimacy in the congregation, and a pastor who visited his congregation in their homes, not the other way around. I saw a pastor spending time in a person’s home ministering to him from the teachings of Jesus and praying specifically for their needs, and then continuing on to the next home to do that, until all people had been seen. I don’t believe people waited to be seen by the pastor at a Sabbath service or made appointments to meet in a church office. I believe the major conflict with this type of model is the way the world has become so secretive, even Christians, about their lives and homes. No one opens their homes or hearts. Everything is about staying selfish and we are even taught that is normal, to live for yourself, to own your own house that only you and your family live in. Cross out that last part, cuz family get kicked out at a certain time as well, so people can have their “space”. We say we wan unity in the Church but we practice selfishness in our personal lives. We don’t confess our sins one to another because that’s too far out from keeping our lives hidden from others. We hide behind walls and then ask God to break down the walls keeping unity from the Church. We are hypocrites who, as the article before said, live out a Christianity that makes it comfortable for us to remain anonymous, to an extent, and unflawed, because no one knows who we really are. We don’t answer to anyone in the Church, and I’ve even heard people lately saying its no one’s business what is done in an individual’s home. I would say that’s because we, as a Church, relate to each other in the flesh and not in the Spirit, so no one sees the harm in continuing in the things are right now. To conclude, I think the modern model of church needs to be turned on its head and every person should go through who they are in the Church according to the Word of God. Every person should be told to count the cost of being a REAL Christian according to the Word, pastors, who don’t walk in mature practice of humility and the fruits of the Spirit, should be kicked out of their positions, and intimacy should become commonplace.

  29. What Leon Elijah shared and Michelle bore witness with my spirit. It was “spot on”, and truly “hit the nail on the head”. Paul said, “For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?” (1 Cor. 14:18)

    The Head has been speaking the same things among His body worldwide. Truly, we live in exciting and sobering times.

    Scripture says to test/prove all things, and to hold fast that which is good. We have an anointing within, which is no lie, and will confirm truth to us when we are right with God.

    I believe God’s judgment has been upon the church, and that she has been carried to Babylon; a type of the false church. When the judgment was over, however, people “came out from among her”, and then built the House of God again. As I have been travelling and “seeing” and “hearing” things, this will probably be best in small groups.

    God has been calling His elect out of the false church system, and is restoring pastors according to His heart, which shall feed with knowledge and understanding (Jer. 3:15). The true church, portrayed in Rev 12. as a women fled into the wilderness, is prophesied to come out; and when she does, God will be with her.

    God has been raising up apostles, fathers of the faith, to restore the church to its true foundations. Abraham, a type of an apostle, was raised up to birth the nation of Israel. God promised him, “I will make your desendants out number the stars in the sky.” What a promise! Joseph, a type of the apostolic, was raised up to save a nation, and to preserve “the seed of Israel”. Moses, a type of a father of the faith, one who knew the ways of God, was called to deliver the nation of Israel.

    God is raising up Moses’ to deliver His people out of captivity; He is raising up Abraham’s to produce much fruit; He is raising up Joseph’s to preserve “the seed of Israel” with good food.

    The pattern of the New Testament was elders discipling the babes, and sharpening the young men. Christianity is not a system, but a way of life. Eph 4. says that God “…gave some… till we all come.” God has established the fivefold ministry to bring His church to maturity. Maturity is simply walking Christlike in the job, calling and work God has for us. When Jesus ascended, He led captivity captive, and obtained gifts for man. These gifts were the fivefold ministry. A true apostle, prophet, evangelist, teacher and pastor, is to be at the full stature and wisdom of Christ so they may perfect the body. When the church is “perfect as one”, coming into the unity of the faith, God’s glory which before the world was is upon her. Paul’s burden was for the church’s perfection. Why? So she could see what eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor what has entered into the heart of man. God would reveal it to her, and then through her. Paul “knew of a man” who had an abundance of this revelation, and it was unlawful to speak it. It was too holy and sacred. When we mature in God, the secrets of God will be with us, and we will know how to receive from our Head. Leaders are there to se us rooted and grounded in Christ, so that we ourselves may walk as they do. God “gave some…till we all come.”

    Imagine it. A company of people thinking, walking and talking just like Jesus, reflecting who the Father is perfectly. He whom God hath sent, he who has reached maturity, is perfect as his Master, speaks the Word of God, and God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him; that is, he is filled unto all the fullness of God!

    The whole of creation is groaning and is in earnest expectation, it is on its tip toes, waiting for THE MANIFESTATION OF THE SONS OF GOD. When we walk as a manifest son of God, just like Jesus when He was commissioned and the anointing came “upon” Him, the whole of creation around us rejoices and acts in accord with our spirit!

    We are to progress from little children (babes), to young men, and then to fathers of the faith. The fathers have “known Him from the beginning,” They live in eternity in time, selah, and see things from te perspective of God. In Zech. the man of God was given a vision of a candlestick all of God; that is, a church all of God. He was then given a plummet, a measuring rod, to judge perfectly and build the house of God. The measuring rod was the seven eyes of God, which are the seven spirits of God. When we operate in these seven spirit, we see as God, and can judge to perfection; as a result, we can then build God’s house according the the Pattern: Christ.

    It says that upon a stone there were seven eyes. That stone is the true Light of Christ in our heart. Upon that stone, that inward Rock, we can see as God sees. The spiritual man judges all things, is judged of no man, and has the mind of Christ in the spirit.

    We are to follow the faith of those above us in the body, considering the end of their conversation/behaviour/way of life: Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever.

    God is building His church upon the revelation of Jesus Christ, and the gates – the very opening and mouth – of hell shall not prevail against it. God will pity His people, and be jealous for “His land” as seen in Joel. The latter rain will come, God will perfect His bride, and she will worldwide become a candlestick all of gold. The lamp of the just shines brighter until the perfect day.

    There will be a falling away, gross darkness, fear, perverseness, etc. but that is the tares ripening; evil men wax worse and worse, deceiving and being decieved. The wheat of the earth, the true Church, will fully ripen before the end of the harvest. Then God will come with his reapers, and separate the wicked from among the just.

    Sorry to go on. I do pray this is to edification. Thank you Andrew for your work. With love to all.

  30. Val sm May 25th 2012

    Another thing we do in the modern church that hinders accountablity and therefore discipleship, is we go to a counsellor for help with our issues instead of confessing our faults one to another and praying for one another that we might be healed. We want to keep up the smiling Christian appearance, and unload our stuff on a paid stranger……just another thought on the subject…..

  31. Andrew May 25th 2012

    Just to be clear, when I spoke of “Out of church” Christians, I was not talking about House church people. I was talking about the real “lone ranger” ones who do not belong to anything. There are a huge number of these. It strikes me that Discipleship is a very difficult or impossible thing with such a mindset.

    Bless you!

    Andrew

  32. Andrew May 25th 2012

    Another point – We live today in a whole culture that has been brought up to be “free-wheeling, come-as-you-are, pick-what-you-want, whatever-floats-your-boat” type people. Ultra-democracy. No “leaders”. No authority. “I just do what I want” kind of thinking. This truly has become the “me” generation. A very “spoilt” way of thinking.

    How can anyone truly think “discipleship” when they come from a background like that?

    -Andrew

  33. Val sm:

    That is so true, and should not be. God should have counsellors in the church; that is, those that stand before the Lord, and can give His heart on the siutation. When we receive the Word of God on the matter and it bears witness with us, that settles everything!

    The church is to represent Christ. Christ is the image of the invisible God. The image of God is to be made visible through the church of Christ! When Christ was born, the angles said, “Peace and good will for mankind.” The church, who started where Christ left off, is to see this good will on earth as it is in heaven. Where two or three gather, Christ is in the midst. The church is here to give God an address so the world might know that God sent His Son! This was Jesus’ prayer in John 17.

  34. God is our Father, and desires us in a spiritual family/home. If there are any “lone rangers” not called as apostles (God called Abraham alone, blessed Him, and increased Him), God will “draw” you to a place that pleases Him.

    What do you think Andrew?

  35. Discipleship along with the five fold ministries and any other form of leadership in the Body of Christ, require firstly people clearly called of God , evidenced by the fruit of the Spirit and the signs and wonders confirming the words and authority that any form of leadership claims.

    The absence of true called out servants of Christ, is the missing link that causes many of the problems we see today.

    All who feel they are called to leadership in any way need to take responsibility for the power vacuum that exists and get their own lives right with God first, so their lives line up with what is written.

    Imagine how far Jesus would have got if when He went out to preach about the Kingdom of God , and the signs and wonders had not confirmed that He was called, was who He said He was, and that what He said was truly from God.

    I would love to see true discipleship along with the restoration of the five fold ministries , however I am not going to follow after a person that only has words to offer , a person that does not show the fruit and authority of Christ in their life.

    As it is written , ” by their fruit you shall know them ”

    So yes to true discipleship lead by true servants of Christ who show no contradiction or conflict in their lives .

  36. Jeffrey G Mikres May 25th 2012

    I agree. All, or should I say most churches are like that 2day. Come as UR. I’ve seen people come in bathing suits and sit in the front row. Of course the Pastor was wearing jeans a shirt not tucked in and gym shoes. So it all flows from the top down. I look at a church as a place where a caterpillar [a non believer in a sinful worldly condition] comes in. If the church is doing it’s job in short order the caterpillar should become a butterfly. Be transformed by the renewing of his mind. The problem today is the church is full of caterpillars. The church has been conformed to the world and lost it’s salt.

  37. Kevin:

    Amen.

  38. “By their fruit you will know them” is so true, but fruit is of the spirit and not of the flesh and if you just look at “outward appearences” you might never see the heart and the fruit of their spirit…take heed at what you see! You wash the out side of the cup, but inwardly you are full of dead mens bones…some wise teacher said that!

  39. Andrew May 25th 2012

    “By their fruit you shall know them” is not really talking about miracles. Todd Bentley has ‘miracles’. Toronto has “miracles”. It is talking about the “results” that come from sitting under that ministry. Is it truly anointed? Does it bring people close to Jesus? That is “fruit”.

    John the Baptist had no miracles, yet had an anointing to bring people close to God. I like true miracles. But any true anointed ministry bringing people close to Jesus is fine by me.

    Thing is, none of this changes anything. We are in an age where people utterly resist all hints of “leadership” and authority. They simply do not want it.

    If I could name the subtext under our modern culture and mindset I would call it “REBELLION”. It is so ingrained in the whole Western mindset that we cannot even see it any more.

    Bless you!

    Andrew Strom.

  40. So before God restores His chuch, He has a lot of shaking to do.

  41. Andrew May 25th 2012

    Yes – and we need a “new generation” to arise who are somewhat “purged” of this ‘spoilt’ mindset.

    I have almost given up on the current generation.

    We hope for something better after a time of great hardship.

    Bless you!

    Andrew Strom.

  42. Ayelyah May 25th 2012

    Leave the institution called “church”, plug directly in to God with your whole heart and experience truth and see ALL humanity as your brothers and sisters without barriers of race or religion. Church is over.

  43. Andrew May 25th 2012

    You just gave us a good reason to stay in there.

    Sorry Ayelyah, to be so blunt.

    Bless you!

    Andrew

  44. Someone said that the darkest night is just before the dawn.

    God’s judgment came upon the generation of wayward Jews, and He swore in His wrath they would not enter His rest, the land of Canaan.

    It was “the next generation” that went in.

    When the next generation “goes on in”, we need to treasure God’s mighty acts and ways, and then teach them to the “next generation” after them. That way, they can “set their hope in God, and not be as their fathers (who disobeyed).” Ps. 78.

    If we have faithful men who can commit the teaching on to others, we then don’t have the cylce of apostasty as seen in Judges.

    JESUS as a corn of wheat fell into the ground and died; then, out of His seed, much fruit came: the church was born.

    The disciples followed the same pattern, and out from them spiritual children were born.

    God called Abraham alone, increasing Him.

    What we need is the true apostolic ministry restored, which is what God is doing. He never slumbers, nor sleeps.

    When one walks in apostolic authority, having been trained under the hand of God, God will bring the fruit naturally; it will come from him. A tree produces fruit after its own kind. When God has pillars in His house, out from them will come forth spiritual children.

    George Fox in God was a fine example of this.

    He often spoke of “openings”, whereby God revealed things unto him. It was through his “revelation” of truth, the Quakers were birthed. Similar things happened with Wesley. Paul said that is was “his” gospel. Christ personally taught the disciples, committed to them the keys of the kingdom, and then birthed the church through them. The apostolic ministry is a gate keeper ministry; they open up the kingdom of God unto the world.

    Duncan Campbell said that revival is what God longed to do. He just wanted to find men whom He could trust, and then commit Himself to them; and then, out from them, send rivers to the world.

    Jospeh, a type of apostolic authority, said, “…am I not in the place of God?”

    Peter healed with God’s hands, spoke His words, and was as Him in the earth. When Annannias lied to him, he lied unto God. “Peter was a king in a kingdom where his Lord was the King, and he knew it.” (G. W. North)

  45. Andrew May 25th 2012

    Well said, JM Shaw.

    -Andrew

  46. Fruit is the nature and character of Christ, which evidences His authority and presence in a persons life.

    We are warned in the bible about Miracles without fruit, and about lying signs and wonders .

    All historical revivalists and reformations came with the evidence of the fruit ie holiness and the power ie the signs and wonders.

    Many of the great revivalists tried in vain to preach before they were baptized with the fire of God in a life changing way as evidenced by the signs and wonders. This was what released them into their true God called ministry, in the same way that Jesus went when He was called, into the desert before starting His ministry with the signs and wonders confirming He had been called.

    Jesus didn’t try and go before His time. He only went in step with His Father.

    If we are step with Gods will and timing , He will be with our work in the way that it is written.

  47. John the Baptist was preparing the way for Jesus.

    Since the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the sending of the Holy Spirit, His true servants walk with His full spiritual authority, as the battle is not against flesh and blood.

  48. Can Christ be divided up ?

    Does Christ change ?

    Does Christ now send out servants with only part of who Christ is ?

  49. Martin May 25th 2012

    The ‘in church/out of church’ debate is a circular argument; it will rattle on until there’s no one left to argue with. Even then, the last man standing will probably claim to have been right all along. (Please don’t hit me with Biblical texts proving me wrong, my head is so needlessly sore already, and besides, it’s an allegory.)

    Let’s remember, George Fox, the Wesleys, Whitefield, with the other Evangelical Revivalists, William Booth and Smith Wigglesworth, together with so many other Godly men in the UK ALL came out from the established church system. They were too hot to handle, burned with a Holy fire that the system couldn’t extinguish or control; it couldn’t extinguish it or divert or subvert that fire for it’s own purposes, and it certainly couldn’t disciple it.

    That Holy Fire shone an eternal light into the dark corners of the Establishment; today, I posit there are more corners, and deeper darkness now than their day.

    These people were either evicted from, or, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, exited from the established church systems. And there’s the key for us all, in or out of church.

    The Holy Spirit.

    If we are convicted by the Holy Spirit to remove ourselves from such churches, and after due inner scrutiny and much, much more prayer, we are left with the same inner witness, it is a disobedience, a sin equal to witchcraft, to remain in a false fellowship for soulish reasons. The can be no prosperity in doing so.

    I was born again in 1967, in London, under Billy Graham’s ministry. In all these years following I have NEVER witnessed New Testament discipling in action. Never. In all the churches, fellowships and assemblies in two nations I’ve attended over the many years I’ve sat under the excesses of the Shepherding movement, the anything goes, ah! bless Pentecostals of the early nineties, and some deeply devious Charismatics who were professionals in loading one with undeserved guilt. Discipling, NT style – Not yet. But I live in hope!

    Now, no one with a their well read Bible in one hand would deny man is a sociable creature with the other hand. Made to react and inter-react with each other in Godly meetings and glorify the Lord of Hosts in doing so. Even the Godless Freud acknowledged this need to be sociable, and made it a plank of his spurious teachings. We are told by Paul not to neglect meeting together – Hebrews 10:25 a verse so often used to justify regular church attendance, or apply guilt for not attending a fellowship. Here I’m quoting Tricia Tillin, many of whose writings fit entirely with my Christian walk and that of my dear wife:

    Look at what this verse doesn’t tell us:

    how often they gathered;
    on which day they did so;
    how many there were,
    what they did,
    where they gathered (though other verses explain this was in their home).

    All Paul said was, don’t neglect meeting together, meaning meeting with the brethren. Don’t be so separated as to be dry bones.

    Paul gave us teaching as a service to the Body; James gave warnings to teachers; John however, tells us we don’t need a teacher. We have the Holy Spirit who teaches us all things. Did John negate Paul’s ministry? No! He spoke to different circumstances and different times.

    We are in different times. Some are called of God to remain as witnesses, remnants in the established institutions, others are called out. Let us not, any of us, try to undermine a work of God in these times by pointing fingers and issuing harsh words because that person’s call is not the same as our own.

    The Lord is doing something different in our times. He is creating for Himself a Body from those who are called out, as well as those He wants to remain in the institutions as witnesses.

    Brethren, let’s just be so glad we’re Christ’s, our names written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, and rely just on Him, through the Holy Spirit, to guide our pilgrimage. I for one trust no there, certainly not man.

  50. OK, I’ll state what I see…

    God has a lot of shaking to do, Amen to that…

    There has been a call in the West to “come out”…

    I “came out” (I am from the West, New Zealand to be specific)…

    A lot of people (in the West) have “come out”…

    But in my “coming out” I always knew that the Lord would call me “back in” to something new…

    Something which pleased Him…

    The Church – and in saying the Church in this context I’m meaning the local, physical expression of the Church, i.e. what the world sees as it looks on – was “side-swiped” in around 300AD by the enemy through the Emperor Constantine where a lot of error entered the local, physical expression of the Church and it, the local phyiscal expression of the Church, has really never recovered since (yes, there have been pockets of Revival in the West since but never a re-establishment of the principles of expression of the local, physical Church as established in the Book of Acts)…

    The biblical principle is “called out to be called in”…

    We are not “called out” into a permanent vacuum…

    So the Heart of God has called people, His People, out of all the perverted local, physical expressions of His Church (in the West) and is about to bring them into the true local, physical expression of His Church…

    For this to happen a beachhead must be won in the spirit (the spiritual realm) so that the ones who have been appointed by the Lord as the Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors & Teachers for this new move are ready and purified to be able to lead in this new move…

    This is where Intercession comes in and this is where we are at present…

    There is a new move and there will be a pure local, physical, expression of the Church return to the West before the Lord returns again…

    The NAR is not this new move…

    The Ecumenical movement is not this new move…

    The One World Order or One World Religion is not this new move…

    The new move which God will complete will bring His Church – including the “wayward West” back into Unity with Himself and bring back the expression, the local expression, the local, physical expression of His Church before the eyes of the world so that the world may believe that the Father sent Jesus and Loved His Church even as the Father Loved Jesus…

    We will see a return to the Book of Acts and the expression – the uncorrupted local, physical expression of the Church – in all Her Glory – which was represented in the Book of Acts and even greater expression than this, before the Lord returns again to reign in Jerusalem…

    The Lord will do this in His time…

    I personally am believing that the time is not long now for me and my family to be called back into this new move – a new local, physical, expression of His Church…

    All this is in His time and He is preparing me – my heart – to be ready to minister to Him in this new move which He will complete in His time…

    When we look at the qualifications for leadership set out in the New Testament they are humanly impossible to achieve…

    Only those who have been dealt with and prepared by the Lord through their “wilderness experience” will return in the power of the Holy Spirit as Jesus did and be able to complete the ministry which God has for them…

    A practical death is required in the hearts of all those who would be used of God in this ministry – this ministry is not of the flesh but of the Spirit – only God Himself can do this in any individual to prepare them and enable them to lead…

    To God be the Glory in His Church for all eternity – and may we be One as He desires us to be all over the world in the Mighty Name of Jesus… :-)

    Thank You Lord…

    Cover us with Your Blood…

    In the Mighty Name of Jesus…

    Love in the Lord,

    Andrew

  51. Roger Souden May 25th 2012

    We, my wife and I, are also ‘called out’, literally by God – not out of the ‘church’, but ‘called out’ of an apostate wordly religious system that desired to control people’s thoughts and actions.

    So, we are actually ‘called in’ to the Body of Christ Jesus – led by Him, who is the only head, in submission and surrender to His Lordship.

    We are, in fact, constrained by His love, and our love for Him – He calls us to freedom in Him, and engraves His laws on our hearts.

    Does this mean just ‘Jesus and me’..? To a certain extent, – yes – in that the risen Lord Jesus the Christ must be first in my life – otherwise He isn’t Lord.

    Does this mean that we do not listen to counsel and sharing from other ‘brothers and sisters’, spiritually born-again in Christ Jesus, members in His Body, His ekklesia..? – absolutely not.

    Christ Jesus our risen Lord, disciples us, as He did with His twelve.

    He also knows the ‘needs’ we have before we do, so He brings others to share, teach, counsel – to disciple.

    Christ Jesus promised His Comforter, the Holy Spirit, to counsel, teach all things, testify of Christ Jesus, reprove the world of sin, of righteousness, and judgement. (John 14-16)

    Those who have the Holy Spirit indwelling, who are born again disciples of Christ Jesus, will know one another, will be in spiritual unity, will be members of His body on earth. (John 17)

    This same Holy Spirit will divide to those members, His gifts and callings as He chooses (1 Cor. 12)

    In my experience, discipleship has never been a dirty word – when I submitted to Christ Jesus as Lord of my life, then I agreed to His discipling me – whether through His indwelling Holy Spirit, or through another truly born-again believer, follower, and disciple of Christ Jesus.

    I leave it in my Heavenly Fathers very capable hands as to how He chooses to disciple me.

    He created me, He knows me – better than I know myself.

    He has plans and pusposes for me that only He knows, and only He can fulfill.

    My faith and trust is in the risen Christ Jesus, my Lord and Saviour, my God and my King.

    In His love,
    Roger

  52. Martin May 25th 2012

    Andrew, I can say, in tears, Amen and Amen. To God be the glory for we are the clay and too often the clay rebells against the potter.

    I have known for twenty years I would be called ‘into.’ having been called ‘out.’ What we’re called into is not yet fully formed. Our part is not yet, but close. My dear wife sees it just the same; our hopes and prayers are the same in this regard.

    Let no one assume it’s easy out here without the comfort blanket of a friendly fellowship, of a pastor to do our praying for us, and lead us; without that feeling special because we belong, it happens to be a church: our dependence on the Lord is brought to a new sharpness. We have no provision He does not provide; as He said, we live day to day. It is not rebellion on our part, it is obedience; and with obedience sometimes comes doubt and uncertainty.

    Such discipling as I’ve witnessed is not something I yearn for; it’s not how Jesus treated the Twelve. The Holy Spirit, if we allow Him, brings discipline to us; but first we need the will to be changed.

  53. Martin May 25th 2012

    Rogher, again, Amen,

    You are where we are. It’s so good to feel less lonely, less cut off.

  54. Andrew May 25th 2012

    I believe that what we see in the culture – this “do my own thing” – no authority – no leaders – Rebellion – is also driving a lot of the ultra-individualism we see with Christians today.

    I see many “coming out”

    I see almost no signs of “entering in”

    We just had the biggest global credit/ selfishness bubble in history. All who lived thru it are to some extent “spoiled individualists” who will only “do their own thing”.

    We need a great hardship to produce a different kind of generation. We don’t even “see” ourselves. But perhaps the children will be different. We live in hope.

    Bless you!

    Andrew

  55. Andrew you said above ;

    “I have almost given up on the current generation.

    We hope for something better after a time of great hardship.

    Bless you!

    Andrew Strom.”

    Had you considered that it is our Lord who opens and shuts doors ?

    Had you considered that maybe our Lord has a different way or approach for you that would reach the current generation you refer to ?

    In His love

    Kevin

  56. DeWayne May 25th 2012

    Count me in “out of church”, could no longer accept all the false teaching and prophecy that has slipped into the church.

    I disagree with (clarity) of article, “But Jesus did not command us to go therefore and attract crowds.He called us to make disciples” (see Matt. 28:19), Christ sent the church out into the world as witnesses, Christ uses this faithfullness to ‘make disciples’… but.

    It is no secret how this is done, not only did Christ describe the composition and construction of the church-body, He provided the means (gifts) for this witness/discipling to be accomplished… not by one or two (admin) leaders, but included all (including service) gifts involved, as each does their part.

    Have experienced top-heavy church (bible study), when one person takes denominational approved dogma, and bores everyone silly, except a few that sit and squirm over inaccuracies.

    Have also experienced the spiritual work involved in maturing of individual and gift… preferred the later that sent a starved man into God’s Word. My church family today are in many church sites, but beside me in heart… lonely is a distraction of distance.

  57. Andrew May 25th 2012

    Kevin- I’ve tried every approach that God has led me on, brother.

    I am about to take a drastic new direction because the attitudes I see simply make no room for the real discipleship of the Bible. Am I giving up on this generation? -Yes – pretty much.

    We have not yet recognized how affected our culture (including Christians) has become by the huge credit/ selfishness bubble that we have all lived through.

    I can preach Truth, but I cannot fight something that is the biggest in history.

    Hardship is about to do that job.

    I have hope that a new generation will arise through that.

    Bless you!

    Andrew

  58. DeWayne May 25th 2012

    Kevin…
    I agree with you, in as much as I see Andrew involved in a new thing. The signs of the times wrenches the heart for a spiritual awakening, the sending of the saints (church) into great works.

  59. The older generation has, for the most part, failed God; and, in His wrath, He has swore that they will not enter His rest.

    God is rasing up a new generation, and the old ‘leaders’ – if they are to go with God’s new thing (which is not really new, but predestined of old) – will have to submit to those God raises up.

    If they come against the move, God will bypass them. If they recognize the hand of God and humble themselves, God will include them. When Evan Roberts was raised up of God, the churches that rejected him went into spiritual darkness. God said that if we reject those He “sends”, we reject Him.

    God has promised in scripture to bring restoration before the end of time. He will have a bride without spot or wrinkle. As Rodger said, God by His Spirit is preparing us now; but before “the time of the end”, God will establish New Testament churches in localities to represent all that He stands for. His Name will never be without a witness, and He has His 7000! He will not come back for anything less than He started with.

    Isaac sent Eliazar to fetch a wife. When Eliazer met with Rebecca, she had to be willing to go and be adorned for Isaac. In the same way, Jesus has sent the Holy Spirit to get Him a bride. We, Rebecca, the bride of Christ, have to be willing to yield to the Spirit, and allow Him to adorn us before we are presented to Isaac, the Lord Jesus.

    Without wedding garments of righteousness, we will be bound both hand and foot, and then cast into outer darkness; there is weeping, and gnashing of teeth. Isaiah said, “Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean. Shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem: loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion.” (Is. 52:1-2)

    As Kevin said, it is easy to say “words”, but we must – I speak to my own heart – see that we keep oil in our lamp. Only the wise virgins went into the wedding supper.

  60. Andrew

    Every generation has had its own strongholds that bound it, and within this God knows the keys that will unlock and set the captives free.

    This is how it has been since the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    I pray that our Lord shows you clearly what keys are needed for this generation, and that our Lord leads you into the place in Him, from which His stronghold breaking spiritual authority will set the captives free from this generation.

    In His Love

    Kevin

  61. Amen! Johan, Those are words from a man that has experienced and witnessed some things and learned from them.A leader in an organized church can only make disciples in their own image because they can only bring that disciple to the level of understanding knowledge they are at.If that disciple is hungering after God and says there must be more that leader will start thinking of him as a fanatic because he can’t feed him what would satisfy.A person can set in that pew forever and not come into the full knowledge of God,never be conformed to the image of Jesus.They get them caught up in false teaching and doctrine like tithing or once saved always saved[greasy grace].
    If people would be like the Bereans and search the scriptures they would see things differently.
    I sat in the church for years believing what they said from behind the pulpit.They tell you that you are just an old sinner saved by grace and couldn’t be [ye Holy for I am Holy] even if you wanted to.Just live your best life now and wait for the fictitious pretrib rapture.
    1Co 15:22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.
    1Co 15:23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; then they that are Christ’s, at his coming.
    This scripture tells us there are two resurrections.One is past which was the resurrection of Jesus.That leaves one more resurrection which has to be at the end at the last trump.Otherwise those saints that were killed during the tribulation wouldn’t get resurrected.
    Job 14:12 So man lieth down and riseth not: Till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, Nor be roused out of their sleep. Job confirms that it is at the end.That is when the last enemy which is death is abolished.
    The resurrection and rapture happen at the same time
    1Co 15:52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
    The people that can’t see this truth have been blinded by the lie of pretrib rapture which is a doctrine of demons.
    All these false doctrines lend themselves to the pyramid scam .
    What I see in the article is yet another attempt of man to heal Babylon.Zec 10:1 Ask ye of Jehovah rain in the time of the latter rain, even of Jehovah that maketh lightnings; and he will give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field.
    Prayer for the rain in the time of the latter and we will have a revival that man won’t have time to organize and ruin it.
    God Bless

  62. Averyl May 25th 2012

    Andrew: – Are you saying that out-of-churchers who don’t belong to a house church, are in rebellion?
    What are we supposed to do?
    I have a son-in-law who is a covenant member of an apostate church he attends. His problem is that he hasn’t been discipled properly & it’s very sad, especially for his family.
    I could disciple him, despite being out-of-church, but he won’t come near me because they are taught that people like me are in rebellion. To him, it’s either his church or nothing.

    You may see us as out-of-church, but we still belong & relate to the universal Church.

  63. Andrew May 25th 2012

    No – I am saying that rampant individualism is utterly ingrained in the modern way of thinking – and it is in all of us. It is also part of what is driving the “lone ranger” Christian movement in my view.

    But there are many valid reasons to exit today’s churches too.

    Bless you!

    Andrew

  64. Averyl May 25th 2012

    I’ve been submissive most of my life, to men of God who’ve led me up the garden path! They are also partakers in the division of the church, which I now boycott so as not to collude in that.
    Now, I still try not to undermine men of God but the Lord is truly my Shepherd.
    Don’t give up, Andrew! If you do, give it all into Christ’s hands.

  65. Andrew May 25th 2012

    Don’t give up what exactly?

    Sorry to be blunt

    -Andrew

  66. Roger Souden May 25th 2012

    @Martin – you said: “..You are where we are. It’s so good to feel less lonely, less cut off…”

    We were moved, by God, from UK to NZ in ’75, so I read your posts with interest :-)

    Over the years, since Lord Jesus has taken us into Him, to His Ekklesia, we have had contact with many – by letter, phone, email, face to face – across the world, who are in a similar place of preparation.

    Of those, there has been a mix, some in church, some out, some in house groups, some in small fellowships of one type or another – Lord Jesus knows best where ‘Living Stones’ in His temple, are to be placed as He desires and He knows best.

    In that time He has introduced us to others, as we or they needed that contact. In each case we have encouraged, shared, and directed each other to Christ Jesus as LORD.

    Some we still have contact with, most we don’t, as they are all about His business, doing the work that He has prepared for them as He disciples those individuals.

    Be encouraged, His Body, His Ekklesia, His Church is worldwide, and increasing. As I shared before we are ‘called out’ of the world and into Him.

    Those who are His, indwelt by the Holy Spirit, abide IN Him – He is our rest, He is our comforter, protector, teacher…

    We do not walk alone.. :-)

    Roger

  67. Daily Devotion, Open Windows, T. A. Sparks

    In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son. (Hebrews 1:1,2 NIV)

    What was the tragedy of the old Israel? Of course, the tragedy of the old Israel, finally, is their dismissal. Their dismissal: “The kingdom of God shall be taken away from you, and shall be given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.” That happened! and it stands today. The kingdom of heaven taken away – not for that Israel, but for another! The tragedy of Israel is that they are dismissed from the dispensation, or the dispensational movement of God. This has lasted for two thousand years. How many more years we do not know, probably, not so long, but you leave that alone.

    Here I am going to upset a lot of you: you leave Israel alone for the time being. You will only get into terrible confusion if you get down on this earth with an earth touch in these things…. You see, you go on like that and it leads to confusion if you come down onto this earth. Leave it alone and see what God is doing, and God is doing a spiritual thing, not a temporal thing. I could take an hour to enlarge upon that last phrase, “not a temporal thing.” Do you see, in the sovereign activities of God, that now He is confounding and confusing and breaking down all temporal representations of His heavenly kingdom?! Men are trying to set up local churches after New Testament order. You have never had more confusion in local churches than you have today. They are trying to set up things, constitute things, Christian movements, Christian institutions, Christian organizations, and they are all in confusion and do not know what to do with one another. You may think that is an exaggeration, but you see what I mean? – God is breathing upon every temporal representation in order to have a spiritual expression of Christ! That is the heart of what we are saying, and that is what is here…. This new Israel is so much greater than the old because Christ, this Messiah, is so much greater than their conception of a Messiah… I am talking about the greatness of this One Who is introduced in Hebrews: “God, …hath at the end of these days spoken in His Son, Whom He appointed Heir of…” an exclusive party? – No, “of all things.” That is Paul’s great word all the way through: “all things, …all things, …all things,” and in the end, “to sum up all things in Christ.” And if I need to safeguard, I am not talking about universalism. I am talking about God’s ultimate realm and sphere where it will be nothing but Christ.

    By T. Austin-Sparks from: But Ye are Come Unto Mount Zion – Chapter 2

  68. Andrew May 25th 2012

    “The kingdom shall be taken from you and given to another”

    Very sad.

    And the generation of Israel under Moses that died in the wilderness – also very sad. They failed to “enter in” and another generation took their place.

    Nothing ‘pleasant’ about any of that.

    Bless you!

    Andrew

  69. Roger Souden May 25th 2012

    @J.M.Shaw – with reference to your T.A-S daily, this is amazing – an hour or so ago, the host on another blog posted this same article, with the inferrence that Almighty God had finished with the nation of Israel.

    N.B. – However, I do not imply, that you are saying the same :-)

    ***

    On the other blog, I noted that T.A-S teaching (on Israel) was incomplete…

    My full response was to direct that person, and any others, to read Hosea, having already posted passages from Isaiah 11 and Ezek.36.

    Hosea was directed to marry a harlot (by God) – the analogy is that this book speaks of:
    – the falling away of Israel,
    – the result of this falling away,
    – and the final healing and restoration of the bride to the groom, of Israel to God the Father.

    Yes, we understand the teaching of ‘Spiritual Israel’ from Scripture – those who were gentiles, now believers, branches grafted in… but in the OT prophets books that I mentioned above, and elsewhere in Scripture, we are shown that God has not yet finished with physical Israel. The formation of the nation in 1948 is one proof of this.

    The beauty of Hosea, is that in the final chapter, we see the healing and restoration of the ‘bride’, Israel – so, we understand the truth of that same healing and restoration of backsliders, and with the healing comes the removal of the cause of backsliding.

    We may also see a similar analogy with the ‘church';
    As individuals, we may need that same healing and restoration – remember the bride will be spotless – and this is the ‘doing’ of Christ Jesus Himself.

    Andrew – Apologies if this varied ‘off topic’ from discipleship..

    In His love,
    Roger

  70. *Good on you Andrew for bringing up this article again.
    It is good to see that there are so many Saints that still have a desire to see the Church fulfill the call of God, according to the foundations already laid by Jesus and the Apostles.
    I was reading in 1 Cor. 12. the other day, where it says that the Spirit distributes to EACH one, individually, as He wills.
    Each one of us is to be a part, not a benchwarmer, you/we/I have all been given a Spiritual purpose, and those with the least honour, we should deem with more honour.
    These are those that are new to Jesus, and have a zeal that far outshines those that have found a higher understanding.
    I was talking to a fellow the other day, who most wouldn’t even give a second glance, he was a labourer and looked like he was in his sixties, though he was only 53.
    He was commenting on when he went out to share Jesus with any-one that would stand still long enough, the others commented on the fact that he seemed to actually glow.
    He may not have had much knowledge, except that Jesus saved him and that God loves him, yet the Glory of the Lord was all over him.
    When I got saved, it was the same thing, though I lost a lot of friends and family, through my persistence that they follow God, i would look in the mirror and be amazed at the whiteness of my eyes and the glow I felt all over.
    My wife was running an underground church in China, she’s Chinese, and a new guy came to her meeting, he got radically saved and went back to his village.
    He healed every-one in that village, he knew nothing, but the love of Jesus and what he had been told.
    I think that maybe the least honourable, may be the newest believers, that God seems to put more honour on, until some dry old believer, upsets the pattern.
    We need to get back to the pattern God set, seems He’s into sticking to patterns, we need to work as a body, each one supplying what he has to each other, whether healing, prophecy, words of wisdom, knowledge etc.
    There needs to be over seer’s, not this Catholic church model that we see these days, but people that have matured and put to death the things of the flesh, those that by reason of use, are being led by the Spirit.
    These people need to train the newbees how to battle against sin and put it to death.
    Not judge them, but give them strategies to overcome the works of the enemy.
    Oh, how my heart longs for such a Church, I hope that people like Andrew Strom and Ray Comfort keep drawing people out of the darkness into the light, and I’m sure that those reading this, that there would be some gifted with administrations, that could play their part as well.
    When people, when………..when will you/I stand up to the battle, will we just stand by and see millions go to hell, just because we don’t want to offend anyone.
    What are we waiting for, the next generation to do something, stop waiting, begin to move, even one step at a time, but, in the name of Jesus, please, begin to move.

  71. We have a pastor that is really trying to get the sheep to GROW UP, and make disciples. However, he also seems side-tracked by big ministries. I pray that God corrects this deception of enchantment quickly. New converts NEED to be taught the importance of studying The Word of God for themselves and doing what IT says, thereby becoming the disciples of Christ. Not the denomination, but literally disciples of Christ. Church has become, largely, entertainment. Knowledge is increasing in those who are watching, like it is foretold in chapter 12 of Daniel, but most are missing it……. caught up in church as usual, and even most that are in “church unusual.” Most there are missing it also. We need to really watch and pray. All hell is about to break loose and MANY are going to be deceived, by one who they will think is Christ. It will look so very familiar to them. May God wake up those who are asleep.

  72. Discipleship..?? You bet! That’s what I’ve seen going on around here sometimes when the Holy Spirit is allowed to have His way and flesh doesn’t meddle in it…..some wonderful moments, to me anyway, and I have grown a lot from things that have been shared not by somebody standing on a pedestal or behind a pulpit, but simply by precious brothers and sisters in Christ who thought nothing of bending down to wash my feet.

    Discipleship is a model for LIVING – some tend to separate ‘religious life’ from life itself for some reason – but wasn’t it simply the way Jesus LIVED?…..it is God’s way for fellowship, for families and even for businesses……..

  73. Amother good article from Lee Grady.

    I believer, however, that there is a more foundational issue which we must confront and deal with if we desire to see true Biblical discipleship. That is the issue of preaching the truth of the Gospel as it is given in the New Testament.

    Andrew, I’ve not had time to read all the posts above, but as I’ve skimmed I’ve read all of yours. You are correct. The real issue is rebellion. However, it is not this generation alone which is rebellious. It has been every generation since Adam and Eve which have been rebellious. That’s what the sin nature produces – rebellion against God – “me first,” self-indulgence, and sin as a result of spiritual death and degradation.

    That is why there was a need for a Saviour – not merely to save us from hell, but also to save us from our sinful selves. The true preaching of the Gospel addresses the issue of our sinful rebellion against a holy, righteous, and just God. It includes the fact that we must count the cost of becoming a true Christian. We must preach that it is not merely a “decision” to “accept Christ,” but it is repentance – turning from our rebellion and way of doing things our way to giving one’s self to Christ and receiving Him as God, Master, and Lord as well as Saviour.

    Will this type of preaching attract more people? I don’t know. I do know there are many of this generation who have found a great despondency, hopelessness, and vanity to this life. Some, at least, will feel the Spirit’s call, conviction, and revelation of new life in Christ.

    When one is converted already counting the cost, it makes Biblical discipleship much easier and more readily acceptable. One is already yielded to Christ, having died to self with Christ on the cross. One is already living in the new life which Christ gives and has a supernatural hunger for the sincere milk of the Word and truth of Christ.

    The real problem in most congregations, I believe, is that so few are truly regenerated and living in the new life of Christ which the Holy Spirit brings in the new birth. If pastors, preachers, and teachers started preaching and teaching the true Gospel, they would probably lose many in their assemblies, but would wind up with people who are truly born again and hungry to grow, develop, and minister as Christ to each other and to the world.

    Again, the real problem is that the true Gospel is seldom preached or taught. We teach an easy believism where one can “add” Christ to their own sinful lives like one might add a cherry to a ice cream sundae to make it better. They continue to live as they always have, except now they have “asked Jesus into their lives” and go to church on Sunday mornings instead of the golf course (they save that for Sunday afternoon now).

    The best foundation for true and good biblical discipleship is the preaching and teaching of the true Gospel with the resultant Holy Spirit regeneration. Let’s preach the true Gospel to the churched and the unchurched as usually both are equally needful.

    God bless,
    Wayne

  74. Stella May 25th 2012

    In my own years of learning; To many think that having to go to a bilding called a church is misleading. Like so many have already mentioned about leaders are those that stand behind a pulpit is not what Christ taught.
    A true believer is one who is lead by the spirit, and not one who has to present PHD. and credientials . If theres anything I hate is for man ( a church leader) to point out that; that certain person who has the right to stand behind a pulpit to be able to give out the word has credientals to prove his was trained in the word of God.
    The Authority for man to teach, preach, and etc. is given to them by the authority of the Holy Spirit in you. Not by having crediental .
    Every one in the body of Christ having the holy spirit has the authority in the name of the Lord to fill the office they were called. Go and make disciples of man.
    Strange that the word says: He set forth Apostles, prophets, evamglists , teachers and pastors for the work of the ministry.
    A disciple is a student that seats to learn how to righty divide the word of truth showing thyself ” to be approved of man” ( doesn`t mean to be approved by those who went to schools to get credientals to have the right to stand behind a pulpit; but approved by man means by the very ones who are hearing the spirit of truth speak the word of God that proceeds out of the mouth of God as they yield to the spirit of God and speak the words that will change the hearts to God and the disciple is being equipped for the work of the ministry to go out bring forth fruit unto repentance . This is not a life of going to church every sunday week after week seating warming the benches and being hears of the word; but not doers of the word.
    IN my own exoerience when I received the holy spirit we went out to the streets and hospitals and etc. and as a young teenager by the authority in the name of the Lord we as just a few went out healing, raising the sead, and etc. We saw the power of God manifested in ways you don`t see today. It takes a very dedicated life in prayer and some fasting. Jesus had a dedicated prayer life and fasted . H e was ready in season and out of season so that when a situation was before him , That is the sick and etc. All he did was speak the word and it was done. In the same way we as believers should be in prayer without ceasing daily. Jesus didn`t wait for the last minute in a petition asking him to please pray for the healing of a person and etc. Jesus said Be thou made whole” it was done. Yes Jesus went off to pray; but it was to stay in communion with the father this is being dedicated in prayer which actually means staying in communion with the father to keep one about the Father`s business.
    The disciples = students that jesus was teaching them how to go out and bring forth fruit he said to them: I will make you fishes of man. The commision to them was to go out and be witnesses starting in Jerusalem, Samaria, and to the outer most part of the world. for three years the disciples were being taught how to be fishers of man, for the work of the ministry. Everyone who is part of the body of christ has the authority in Jesus name by the working of the spirit in you to lead you and guide you into all truth..
    Wherever two or three are gathered together in my name ; there I`m in the midst of you. Nothing about huge numbers. or a one man show.

  75. When we can come to say from our heart “Thank God for the unpardonable sin” our eyes will be opened and we will have come to see that salvation is truly of the Lord If Father were to EVER forgive us for unbelief we could never be saved, for it is by grace through FAITH and not of ourselves lest any man should boast……Selah

  76. dagazz May 25th 2012

    Just reading through the comments I can see the pattern we are repeating. Just like Israel we have forgotten God and his commands and settled for what is ‘good for us’ instead. We are happy for the pastor [ Moses ] to go up the mountain and experience and know God but we don’t want to do it. We will follow people but this isn’t discipleship! Moses knew Gods’s ways but Israel only knew His works, because of this they went astray and died in the wilderness.
    Let me make this very clear…we are warned not to follow Israel’s example, but the modern church is as lost and idolatrous as Israel was in the wilderness. They don’t know God or his kingdom, let alone see his glory or hear his voice…and like Israel they love to rise up and play games and bow to false gods.
    I have begged and pleaded for Godly discipleship from leaders but very few have the time or interest to do it. I have also found that many christians are quick to write-off any of us who are honest about our struggles.
    I have just begun a new ministry but because I’m not qualified or very skilled in it [writing] most couldn’t be bothered offering advice or input, they just ignored me. The few that saw the calling have freely offered their input and expertise and I am several months from being published. I do wonder if this attitude isn’t widespread and also a reason many arn’t discipled…we feel it is below us to stoop down to help others. Thank God for those who have been obedient servants, the kingdom belongs to them.

  77. DeWayne May 25th 2012

    I hear many speaking and appear to be identifying their calling, but wonder truely how often some are able to identify the calling or gift of others.

    Certainly as the Lord foreknew he predestines, enabling each as part of the body within their gift, and each within their gift/s different in ways from another. Ever see one with a gift leaning to showing mercy, almost go fistacuffs with another (over a situation), where the other unfortunately has the gift say of discernment.

    What I am wondering is, if some are being misunderstood in this manner, from simply speaking of a hurt, surely it is not easy putting an entire lifetime down within a textual paragraph. A mature person in the Lord need not be bothered, but what of those not yet mature but somewhat as a babe in the Lord.

    I will keep repeating, the church is a body of many gifts, not all are likened to another, yet it is mportant to remember it is the entire body that brings everyone into unity and maturity… no pedestals. It may even be the mature gift teaches the babe of same gift.

  78. DeWayne May 25th 2012

    Forgive me, but I must say what is in my heart.

    There is a saying these days concerning warning against Judacizing the church. By this strong word appearing somewhat as happened with the new Gentile church began by Paul, it happened that apparent immature Jewish Christian began giving instruction of many laws and ritual needed.

    Paul went to Jerusalem concerning this, and there the church settled upon a few prohibitions such as not eating meat containing blood, and other proper prohibitions.

    There appears some misuse of scripture from the Old Testament, it should be strongly understood of need first to understand what Christ has taught (often from the OT), this will make it easier not being misled with teaching out of context, or used in error. Sorry again for off topic.

  79. Dear Roger,
    Thanks for post, and keeping the balance. We are the Israel after the Spirit, but God still has a purpose for Israel after the flesh; and when the fulness of the gentiles comes in, all of Israel shall be saved. May God bring peace to Jerusalem!
    Even in these blogs, I have been sharpened by many of the comments, and received edification.
    What is interesting to note is that the word disciple is never brought into the New Testament, but was only used by Jesus. Someone said that everyone is a disciple until he becomes a saint.
    With love,
    John.

  80. Ibelieve May 25th 2012

    Isaiah says:
    12 Those from among you
    Shall build the old waste places;
    You shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
    And you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach,
    The Restorer of Streets to Dwell In.

    Its not good to see any generation of people carried off to a devils hell. If we forsake those around us can we really say we love them?

  81. Hi Andrew,

    I really feel on my heart to ask you what the promises are which the Lord has given you and your family…

    I will support you in the promises which God has given you for you and your family…

    I will pray that these things which the Lord has Spoken to you will be fulfilled…

    This will be for His Glory and for your good and for the good of your family…

    None of the Lord’s promises for you will fail…

    They are sure…

    They are solid because every word which the Lord has ever Spoken will surely come to pass where He has Spoken in Love…

    And he will stand for the Lord is able to make him stand (Romans 14:4b NIV)

    Do not fret because of evildoers, Be not envious toward wrongdoers. For they will wither quickly like the grass And fade like the green herb. Trust in the LORD and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, and He will do it. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light And your judgment as the noonday. Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes. Cease from anger and forsake wrath; Do not fret; it leads only to evildoing. For evildoers will be cut off, But those who wait for the LORD, they will inherit the land. Yet a little while and the wicked man will be no more; And you will look carefully for his place and he will not be there. But the humble will inherit the land And will delight themselves in abundant prosperity. The wicked plots against the righteous And gnashes at him with his teeth. The Lord laughs at him, For He sees his day is coming. The wicked have drawn the sword and bent their bow To cast down the afflicted and the needy, To slay those who are upright in conduct. Their sword will enter their own heart, And their bows will be broken. Better is the little of the righteous Than the abundance of many wicked. For the arms of the wicked will be broken, But the LORD sustains the righteous. The LORD knows the days of the blameless, And their inheritance will be forever. They will not be ashamed in the time of evil, And in the days of famine they will have abundance. But the wicked will perish; And the enemies of the LORD will be like the glory of the pastures, They vanish—like smoke they vanish away. The wicked borrows and does not pay back, But the righteous is gracious and gives. For those blessed by Him will inherit the land, But those cursed by Him will be cut off. The steps of a man are established by the LORD, And He delights in his way. When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong, Because the LORD is the One who holds his hand. I have been young and now I am old, Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken Or his descendants begging bread. All day long he is gracious and lends, And his descendants are a blessing. Depart from evil and do good, So you will abide forever. For the LORD loves justice And does not forsake His godly ones; They are preserved forever, But the descendants of the wicked will be cut off. The righteous will inherit the land And dwell in it forever. The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom, And his tongue speaks justice. The law of his God is in his heart; His steps do not slip. The wicked spies upon the righteous And seeks to kill him. The LORD will not leave him in his hand Or let him be condemned when he is judged. Wait for the LORD and keep His way, And He will exalt you to inherit the land; When the wicked are cut off, you will see it. I have seen a wicked, violent man Spreading himself like a luxuriant tree in its native soil. Then he passed away, and lo, he was no more; I sought for him, but he could not be found. Mark the blameless man, and behold the upright; For the man of peace will have a posterity. But transgressors will be altogether destroyed; The posterity of the wicked will be cut off. But the salvation of the righteous is from the LORD; He is their strength in time of trouble. The LORD helps them and delivers them; He delivers them from the wicked and saves them, Because they take refuge in Him. (Psalm 37 NASB)

    I know that as you follow Him He will never forsake you, never…

    And if you belong to Him He will never let you stumble so as to fall but will keep you until you meet Him face to Face…

    Speak to us brother and tell us of what the Lord has told you – we can unite our faith together and believe together what the Lord has Said that He will do in this generation…

    Cover Andrew and his family with Your Blood Lord, in the Mighty Name of Jesus and let Your Peace encompass them around about, in the Mighty Name of Jesus…

    Fill them with Your Power as they submit themselves to You and wherever You lead them let them follow You, in the Mighty Name of Jesus…

    Let Your Spirit go before them and lead them every step of the way, in the Mighty Name of Jesus…

    Give him and give his family everything they need to be found pleasing to You Lord, in the Mighty Name of Jesus…

    Set them free into the path which You have chosen for them Lord…

    Everything, everything, everything which they could ever need, release to them Lord as they submit themselves to You…

    Amen, Hallelujah Lord…

    Thank You Jesus…

    In His time you and your family will be beautiful in His Sight…

    He will set you upon a Rock…

    And you will not be shaken…

    Thank You Jesus…

    Everything in you and in your family which is hindering the Anointing of God on your lives will be broken off you…

    You will walk in the Anointing of God unhindered for the rest of Your lives once the Lord establishes His fullness in you, the fullness which He has planned for your lives…

    Bless you, bless you, bless you, may the Lord bless you…

    Be free…

    Remove from them Lord everything which is hindering them, break it off them Lord…

    Set them free into that high plateau, that green plateau where You are honoured, where You are revered, where You are Loved, where You are Feared, where You are revered from a pure heart, where You are worshipped and where You are adored and where You are knelt down to and worshipped, lying prostrate on our faces before You Lord, for You are Holy and You are Love, You are Holy and You are Faithful, You are Worthy Lord Jesus Christ, You are Worthy of all the Love and all the Honour which we can give You, Holy Father, Blessed Holy Spirit, Dear Lord Jesus Christ, Glorify Your Name in all the earth…

    Fill Andrew and His family with Your Holy Spirit and let them Know You Lord, Know You and Your Closeness near to them in the Mighty Name of Jesus…

    Know Your Presence near them, in them, through them, encompassing them, in the Mighty Name of Jesus…

    Fill them with Your Holy Spirit Lord and Baptize them with Your Holy Fire…

    Finish the work which You have begun in them Lord for the Glory of Your Own Name…

    Give them the call, the high call of God in Christ Jesus…

    In the Mighty Name of Jesus I pray, fill them Holy Spirit with Yourself…

    In the Mighty Name of Jesus, Amen and Amen…

    Rise up to their defense as they put their trust in You…

    Thank You Jesus…

    Let them be found in You, not having a righteousness of their own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ–the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith as the Apostle Paul tells us…

    Give them all that You have to give them and may they serve You in Humility all the days of their lives, in the Mighty Name of Jesus…

    Love in the Lord to you brother and to your family as you follow Him,

    Speak to him Lord and show him where You want him to go and what You want him to do, in the Mighty Name of Jesus…

    Thank You Lord…

    Open the floodgates of heaven and pour out such a blessing – a spiritual and every other sort of blessing imaginable – over this family and this man as they submit themselves to You in the Mighty Name of Jesus…

    Thank You Lord…

    And what I pray for Andrew and his family I pray for every family throughout the entire world, that they would know You and that You would reveal Yourself to them in the Mighty Name of Jesus…

    Give them the high call of God in Christ Jesus, every family Lord, in the Mighty Name of Jesus…

    We all have a part to play, Come Lord Jesus and take Your Place in the hearts and lives of every man, woman, boy and girl in this planet, in the Mighty Name of Jesus, Have Your Way Lord, Have Your Way…

    And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself. (John 12:32 NASB)

    Let the Lord Jesus be lifted up through Andrew and his family, let the Lord Jesus be lifted up through each and every family of all who Know You throughout this earth and let the Lord Jesus be lifted up through more and more and more families of those who are coming to Know You throughout this entire earth in the Mighty Name of Jesus…

    Let us see what You are doing in the earth and let us rejoice…

    In the Mighty Name of Jesus…

    Let us have Your Eternal Perspective and see with the eyes of the Spirit and not of the natural, in the Mighty Name of Jesus…

    Lift up our eyes, our spiritual eyes to see You – High and Lifted Up – to see You and to rejoice at all that You are Accomplishing on the face of this earth, in the Mighty Name of Jesus…

    Hallelujah!!!

    For the Lord our God the Almighty Reigns…

    Love in the Lord brother,

    Andrew

  82. I remember our pastor at the time warning us against the shepherding movement so since I was in a good church at the time, I escaped it but I did hear about it. As with many movements we seem to over correct rather than go in the right direction, instead we go from one extreme to another. Good article. I notice too that because of lack of attendance many churches have dropped Sunday night services and even Sunday school so that leaves us with just one short sermon or entertainment whichever method we happen to be involved in and no deep biblical teaching like we use to get in Sunday school and bible studies. Usually the pastor quotes a couple of scriptures and then preaches from those and that is all the scripture that is taught. If we are lucky we have a preacher who preaches it in context but if not he or she can use it for their own agenda and we think the bible is saying something it is not saying, thus no real discipleship at all. We are supposed to be teaching and instructing believers which is what discipleship is about.

  83. J M Shaw said “The older generation has, for the most part, failed God; and, in His wrath, He has swore that they will not enter His rest.

    God is rasing up a new generation, and the old ‘leaders’ – if they are to go with God’s new thing (which is not really new, but predestined of old) – will have to submit to those God raises up….”

    me.

    I cant say I fully agree with this.

    What I observed was that the modern ‘church’ chose to prefer young leadership from the 70’s onwards and a whole generation of leaders were bypassed. Many of these are faithfully waiting for the real thing and will move into positions of responsibility when the time for the real Church to emerge finally comes.

    This particularly applies to the prophetic voice which was muted by the ‘system’.

    Blessings,

    Carl Emerson.

  84. William Smith May 25th 2012

    The thing I find annoying is the inability or the unwillingness to read the signs. After living in Christchurch for many years we moved away before the earthquakes hit and destroyed the cathedrals of every major denomination,
    Anglican…gone, Catholic…Gone, Methodist flattened, Baptist… destroyed, Knox Presbyterian damaged. In the 1990,s many prayer meetings were held for the city that bears the name of our Saviour but it was not saved so it looks like our Lord wishes to do something different. We are told that judgement first comes to the Lord’s house.
    so let us look at what He is doing. Bless you all and keep up the good work………… Bill.

  85. Hi Les, thank you as I was encouraged by your post. I like many others have experienced quite a lot in church. Just came out of a church that we attended for 15 years. Very painfull indeed. Lost all previous relationships. What is so painfull is that good and well meaning leaders are being deceived themselves and then they teach deception in turn. The main issue is this though: As a Christian leader you do not have the right ever to use control or manipulation to get people to believe in what you believe. Our jobs as Christians is too teach the word so well to people that they believe and understand what we teach them. If they dont believe all our doctrines then we are called to peace. This is where the wrong understanding of authority in church becomes so dangerous.

    In my post above I gave a few examples but let me say this as well. The NAR has the latter rain/kingdom now doctrine that they push as well. It enters churches affilitated with them and what they promote is partial preterism that really in a nutshell is a deception so that the church do not understand the season in which we live. We are not living in the times of us establishing a literal kingdom ourselves but at a time just prior to the revealing of the AC and great apostacy.

    Les I disagree with you on your pre trib rapture view but this is a good example of what we talking about, if lets say I was your Pastor I have no right to bully you to see things my way. I have no right to forbid you to visit certain websites that has teachings about the way you see things. That is but one example of what happened to me and many others. No one has the right to stand on a pulpit or say to any disciple in private that they are God Robbers for not tighthing. There is no scriptural basis for this. Many churches today have it as part of their constitution that you agree to tithe once you join. How scriptural is that?

    True discipleship is like any parenting in that the parent must raise children to become mature and to think for themselves and when they are of age the children can even have some different opinions to the parents. They are not clones of their parents.

    Now Les just something to think about. Rev speaks about the 2nd resurrection that is after the 1000 years. And that there is at least 1000 years between the 2 resurrections. That means that the first is not when Jesus was raised as you said. Jesus and the OT saints that were raised represent the first fruits that pointed to the full harvest yet to come of the resurrection of the righteous. So the resurrection of the righteous, the 1st resurrection was yet to come. And it happens at Christs coming for his saints during the rapture. The word reveals a coming for the saints and a coming with the saints. He must first come for us and get us ready to come with Him at the second advent. Also the second advent is 1000 years prior to the 2nd resurrection that you believe includes the resurrection of the righteous. How then can the saints come with Jesus at the second advent 1000 years earlier.

    Be blessed Les if we disagree about a few things no worries but I believe the word is very clear and it is imperative for us to understand this mystery.

    Regards
    Johan

  86. sharon May 25th 2012

    Everyone must work out their own salvation with fear and trembling.
    Others may see you as being in rebellion. Each in their own heart knows quite well if they are in that state of unbelief. Any who love the Lord Jesus Christ longs to fellowship with others, and never turns down a chance to do so.
    Martin said it better than I could.
    I pray Andrew for your perfect place in the body.
    It seems to me you have done your part quite good in this forum. Giving a place to ‘gather’ and speak our hearts, is a blessing only a few may have had a chance to do in the institutional settings .

  87. We know that if any Jew is going to come into the kingdom he is to come the same way as the gentile ,that being in Christ.When the scripture says all is Israel shall be saved it is speaking spiritually.Rom 9:6 But it is not as though the word of God hath come to nought. For they are not all Israel, that are of Israel:
    Rom 2:28 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision which is outward in the flesh:
    Rom 2:29 but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.
    So all Israel is born again Jew and Gentile[one new man in Christ].Gal 3:16 Now to Abraham were the promises spoken, and to his seed. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.
    God Bless

  88. Stella, you are so right on! What we have in the church of man is man looking towards man on what qualifies. The schools of man hinder the Holy Spirit and truth.

    The schools of man are based on the traditions of man which started right after Christ first left us…and really got a strong hold when Constatine (sp) decided to “organize” the believers into a structure that he could use to support his kingdom. That has been the way of the church since that time. The church supports the kingdom….and man rules! Churches of today think they have escaped from the Roman Church and the Church of England….but they brought much of the garbage of man with them. Why? Because they don’t trust the HOLY SPIRIT. Why? Because too often the HOLY SPIRIT points away from the glory of man and what man desires and finds comfortable.

    The falling away has already come upon the earth….and we are ready for the End of Days. The great revival will be the Real Church Body of individual Believers who follow the HOLY SPIRIT unto death if necessary, loving, helping, feeding, caring for, and warning their neighbor not to be deceived by the false one. Who is their neighbor? Any one who comes in contact with them, that has not gone over to the Dark One. Your HOLY SPIRIT within will show you those people who worship and desire the Darkness. Let those kind pass over you, do not welcome them into your home. Be wise as a serpent and gentle as a dove.

    Before someone judges my statement about those who worship the dark….defined clearly…they are not drunks, or those who have sinned…..tho they could have those attributes also…but those kinds of things do not label them as dark…only as self endulgent. The dark ones enjoy hurting others for no other reason than it makes them feel good. They are EVIL. If you are a true Christian, our Lord will deliver you from that EVIL when it is rampant upon the earth. The only reason that the dragon returns to earth is to destroy God’s People, even tho he already knows his fate. He enjoys hurting that which God loves. And….why does God allow him to continue? To separate out the tares from the earth, those who will once again, start pursecuting Christians just before the 7th trump sounds. Just as did the Roman Church and the Church of England did…..so in this time coming, ….the churches of man…some of them…..will also in their self righteousness…..think they are doing God’s work by pursecuting and killing those Christians who will not swear worship to the false one….who is claiming to be the savior returned…..5th and 6th trumpet period, as spoken in Revelations. Some of the leaders of the churches of man will even feel satisfied at how many they were able to turn over to the dragon….the dragon….who they see as their god returned. Why? Because the dragon will offer you exactly what you are seeking…..self glory.

  89. Les, many Jews will become Saints, in the same way the Believing Gentiles become Saints. But God wants them as a nation, and He goes the extra step to bring them back to Him. That extra step is the End of Days….and the Day of the Lord….ALL ABOUT THE JEWS! If your taught…. traditional understanding of man, concerning the spiritual conversion through faith unseen of the Jew was correct, there would be no need for the Mellinium Day of the Lord. My God is not a God of WASTE. He does not do anything without perfect cause. God fullfills all that He declared. The Jews are to bring Him Glory….and they will do that within the Mellinium Kingdom. Read the Old Prophets….and believe what God is saying through them……it is all there!

    Only those who believe in Jesus Christ as their All in All before He returns as King of Kings… at the last trump..7th….will become Saints in the Mellinium…at the last trump those who are alive in Christ and those who are dead in Christ will receive their immortal bodies and rise to meet Him, and they will enter the Mellinium to help Christ establish perfect rule and teaching for the next 1,000 years. That process was taken care of by Christ on the Cross, His sacrifice for us.

    But many nations will walk into the Mellinium with their flesh bodies after the Bowl Wrath, (which also begins after the 7th and last trump sounds) that destroys the tares (those who actively believe the dragon and do his will upon earth…taking his mark in their minds (belief) and on their hand (action).

    Yes, the Saints who were gentiles are adopted into the family. But they are adopted. The End of Days is all about bringing the original child, the prodigal child…..the tribes of Israel back into the Family of God. He has not forsaken them and never will….not until the sun does not rise anymore or there are no stars in the sky. They are His first love, and He will always keep them as a nation, for His Name’s sake, not for their worth.

    He has recorded through His Old Testament prophets (TORAH) all knowledge and prophesy that will show them as it unfolds, with the help of the Two Witnesses….who are real….not symbolic as some believe…..1/3 of them will still be alive and see Christ descending from the sky, and they will be overcome with the knowledge of Who He Is. They will mourn as for their only son who they pierced. These Jews will walk into the Melliniujm with their flesh/clay bodies where they will attend to Christ’s needs, and be established in the land surrounding Jerusulem. They will fullfill their original purpose that they drifted away from. They will be human, they will not have supernatural powers, as will the Saints in the Mellinium. At the end of the Mellinium (wherein lifespans are once again as in the days of Enoch because Christ’s full power is manifested upon earth through His presence and through the Saints) all flesh will once again be tested when the dragon is allowed to return once more at the end. (The Saints are spared the Hour of testing.) Those of flesh who remain true will pass the test (not being attracted to the dragon’s will…remaining true to God’s Will), and receive their immortal bodies. All others will be destroyed….forever…along with all who died in the past, knowing of but choosing not to worship Jesus Christ…not having their names written in the Book of Life……forever destroyed…..in the 2nd Death,….after the Final Judgement.

    After the Mellinium…..where the perfect Will of God is revealed to all…….than all who pass the last test will be circumsized in the heart to God’s Will…One in Will with God. Man has not been able to demonstrate or teach this perfect Will of God yet! Man glorifies himself too much thinking he is capable. Thinking that he has this Divine commission! No….man was given the commission to go forth and demonstrate the life and love of Christ through his actions, so that all would want to know who this man’s God was, that so inspired such behavior. We were to remain humble, teachable, relying totally on God daily for our direction.

    So few believers of today believe in the POWER of God and in our Faith. They dismiss so much within scripture as being symbolic, becaue they think as humans, and with what their eyes can see. They cannot read the scriptures without the harness and restrictions that have been passed down from the Roman and England churches who claimed the authority on earth of God for their own power and control of man. The HOLY SPIRIT cannot grow in a man who looks towards what man teaches as authority. Why on earth do you think Christ felt it necessary to send us the HOLY SPIRIT after He left us????? He knew we would be in the hands of man…..His Truth would be in the hands of man…..He knew the limitations of man….from the beginning of time unto the end. Being Perfect and All Knowling….He gave us the HOLY SPIRIT to hold the Truth, to be the LIGHT for us to see…..until He returns.

  90. look at the birds of the air May 26th 2012

    Tom and Kevin, I am with you on what you both have shared. Who taught the disciples? …Jesus did, did he not? why cant we let the Lord do His work because the biggest problem is man wants glory, man wants praise, man becomes hungry for power. It may start out all is well or maybe not, however.
    Gods word tell us, specifically, Jesus- I must go, but I will send the Comforter, to guide , to lead, to TEACH and to counsel you.
    Why do we fight this away and ignore it?
    Why does this seem to be so far away from some that
    you desire that somebody bigger and better than the Holy Spirit to lead you. Men fail, God and his word never fail us. It seems to me your basically labeled if your in a building and u come out, and if your not in a building your labeled.
    It is by the hand of God that raises up and pulls down. It is by the hand of God who sends people in and out of lives. Gods word is pure, simply, holy, why do we make it harder and hard to believe that He cant divinely lead and guide us to people, weather for gleaning, correction, reproof -meaning He sends one or vise a versa. So many are stuck in the old age of still desiring to go back, back to what? Its gone and you cant go back, we must move forward, keeping our eyes on the Lord, listening to HIS voice.

    Jesus has people in this generation and to say your giving up, isnt that doubt and unbelief that God has a people, though His sheep be scattered. I want fellowship but genuine fellowship, likeminded, not whacked and packed with sugar coated dung.

    Remember this:
    1I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. 2God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying, 3Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life.

    ****4But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.

    5Even so then at this ***present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.

    6And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.

    7What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded !!!

  91. look at the birds of the air May 26th 2012

    above from- Romans 11

  92. look at the birds of the air May 26th 2012

    *Correction- that people believe somebody could be better than the Holy Spirit to lead, guide and even TEACH as scripture tells us , plainly. Also people saying Oh, Im under this mans covering. What is that? the bible says this
    …. about that,

    ***Woe to the rebellious children, saith the LORD, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin: Isaiah 30:1

  93. Dear Carl,
    Thanks for post.
    I meant those of the past generation who have live in disobedience. Even in the days of Israel, Joshua and Caleb were still faithful amongst the faithless.
    God has people in preparation, and some are old.
    I believe that many of the baptists, evangelicals, and others who have took firm stand on doctrine, but have shunned the gifts will be used mightily. They have been faithful to their measure of light, and God will honour that.
    With love,
    John.

  94. Before Jesus comes, He will gather all of His elect, give them pastors after His own heart, and see them through. Praise His Name! Before Jesus comes back, His true bride will be without spot or wrinkle. It is God’s determinite counsel, and nothing will stop it.

    Jesus said, in the context of rasing people up at the last day, “Of all that thou hast given me, I should lose nothing, but raise it up at the last day; except the son of perdition, that the scripture might be fulfilled.” This was also said in the context of the feeding of the five thousand, and Jesus said, “Gather up the fragments that remain that nothing be lost.”

    Scripture says “He hateth casting away”, and God will not cast away His poeple which He foreknew.

  95. Averyl May 26th 2012

    Andrew, – You said, “Am I giving up on this generation? – Yes- pretty much”.

    ‘look at the birds of the air’ also picked up on it & commented.

  96. A consideration regarding the Bride of Christ.

    The Bride of Christ is made up of all who belong to Christ.

    The part of the Bride that is still on earth at the time of Christs return will be a very small part of the Bride, and will be gathered up to join the rest of the Bride who are raised up on that day.

    This is how all the prophecy regarding end times will be fulfilled with out any contradiction ie there will be a falling away, for a time the beast will be allowed to prevail over the saints on earth, then Christ will return to force His authority over His enemy here on earth.

  97. Andrew. What do you mean when you say that you have almost given up on this generation? and are you referring tot the church in the west in general?

    I do not believe that God has given up on those who are ‘out of Church’ but are sincerely seeking Him with all their hearts, to walk in the Spirit and in obedience to Him.

  98. The so called individualistic believer today could be a victim of an individualistic selfish culture that has left them marooned against a backdrop of a lawless, hostile society and an apostate Church. I know of some believers who are humble, sincere and would willingly submit to true Godly authority, but there’s the rub. What does one do if there are no Godly leaders around or no other believers to fellowship with for that matter?

    For the record I and my wife belong to a small home based fellowship. We are seeking the Lord together and are accountable with each other. The Lord clearly led us out of the established church and often it is no picnic, but we know that we are where He placed us.

  99. Martin May 26th 2012

    Paul, I hope you’re the same Paul I met a couple of weeks ago on an earlier thread.

    Your point is spot on. For the sincere Christian, finding Godly, Biblical leadership in a Godly fellowship is near impossible. Worse, to see your fellowship get caught up in one of the very many aberrations of Christianity so beloved of the populist fellowship must be heart breaking, the more because of one’s urgency to serve the Lord Jesus in the manner He desires.

    For my part, I no longer care what people think of my wife and I being outside the camp. We’ve heard all the words, suffered the finger pointing, being ignored in the street by people who the evening before called us brother or sister. But that doesn’t change our walk.

    Andrew is correct in his summary of so many who’ve come out. But so are you Paul. The Jesus of the Bible is the Jesus in our hearts. He has not forsaken us; rather, led us elsewhere; and that leading has taken us into some very rich pastures.

    We are not tainted by the unclean spirits, the humanism, the egos so deeply entrenched in the churches today. Our hands are clean in this regard.

    It really isn’t an easy ride out here. The Christian life is lived in the raw. But it is honest before a Holy God. As Roger Souden said earlier, we too are given fellowship by the Lord Himself; some is a continuing fellowship, others lose contact as they move on this their service to Christ. But that fellowship is rich indeed.

  100. DeWayne May 26th 2012

    JMShaw…
    For almost two thousand years the scattered by God were taught from Torah/Tanakh, of three vows impossed by God. For these two thousand years the scattered obedient did not attempt re-establishing Israel in Palestine, although this Israel was daily a prayer.

    Scripture says all of Israel will be brought back into Israel, yet in the last days of those yet living, only a remnant are part of this promise (Eze 20:32-38). Israel (all) then would be those holding to their faith and obedient, certainly those making it to the 1335-day holding to their faith.

    Also as Christ said to His people, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord’. Today there is much about Israel that needs closer study.

    Regarding when Christ returns (not to bear sin again), Matt 24:31 [NIV] gives most accurate translation, the saints are no longer in Sheol/grave, but (all) are in the ‘heavens’. There will be some still in the grave.

  101. DeWayne May 26th 2012

    Andrew
    You may be speaking from the prophetic, not your prophecy (giving up on a generation), but as Christ said, ‘let the dead bury their dead’.

    Also is the generation that wishes to believe a lie,these are like an ocean of floating bodies, some dead (spiritually), and some with a spark of life. Who would you go after to save?

  102. There’ve been a number of comments regarding whether born again believers should be under the teaching of a man or of the Holy Spirit.

    The true issue is not one or the other. The New Testament actually teaches that it is via both – and more.

    We fall into a spiritual trap of deception when we focus on one of God’s graces to the exclusion of the others. We also become imbalanced and out-of-whack when we focus on only part of God’s design and purposes and ignore the rest.

    What are the graces which God has given us for our spiritual growth and benefit?

    First, He has given us His Word which reveals His Written Word and His Word come in the flesh (Hebrews 1:1-3). This must be the primary and final authority for all matters of belief and practice to the one who loves the Lord Jesus Christ and desires to serve Him and grow up in Him.

    Then He has given us Himself in the form of the Holy Spirit to walk with us, live in us, guide us, teach us, lead us into maturity, and provide supernatural gifts and grace to minister Christ to others.

    Then He has given us one another. He plainly teaches that we should meet together, ministering to and edifying one another (Acts 2:44-47; 1 Corinthians 14 – esp. vv. 1-5, 26; Acts 20:7; Hebrews 10:23-25). We are members one of another and the one who deliberately cuts himself off from fellowship and meeting together with other Christians regularly is foreign to the teaching of the New Testament. Often this type of person sets himself up as the only authority in his life. He or she may think his or her authority is of God, but in reality they often set themselves up as their own god and authority. Additionally, we can use the analogy of a fire to demonstrate this aspect of the Body of Christ. If all the coals are together, there is a fervent fire. When one coal is separated from the rest, it grows cold and useless. Likewise it is with the Christian who separates himself from the rest of Christ’s Body and the fellowship with it Christ has designed.

    We cannot also ignore the fact that Christ has also given us the grace of special gifts in the form of those called to pastor, teach, evangelize, prophesy, and be apostles. Ephesians 4:8, 11-16 specifically speaks to the fact that sitting under the teachings of such men of God will protect us from being deceived and led astray by every wind of doctrine. It also makes it plain that partaking of the ministry of these gifts of Christ is “for the equipping of gthe saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” (v. 12). Partaking of these ministry gifts also not only brings the individual believer to maturity, but the whole of the Body of Christ as well.

    If all you have is interaction with believers on the internet, with an occassional interaction with another Christian in the flesh, you are living far below what Christ has died to give us.

    As I have said in the past on this forum, it is not only those living today whom God has chosen to speak to and teach His Church, but also those of the past, whom God has chosen to fultill these roles who have left us their teachings and examples.

    I was glad to see that Andrew has submitted an article in his mailing list attesting to one of these believers entitled, “GIROLAMO SAVONAROLA – a PROPHET of OLD” by David Smithers.

    It behooves us to not only sit under the ministry gifts of Christ today, but also to partake of those giants and teachers of the faith from the past by reading and studying the examples and teachings they have left us.

    Thus, it is imperative from Christ’s design,, giftings and callings that part of the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the individual believer can only be done through those five ministry gifts delineated in Ephesians 4. A professing Christian who despises human teachers. whom Christ has appointed, decieves himself and greatly limits the Holy Spirit’s work in his life. In one sense he or she is really despising the Christ they claim to follow. The Church is not man’s idea or design – it is Christ’s. True, there are many false churches, just as there are many false gods. Would you stop using money just because there are counterfeit bills in existence? No, nor should you despise and cast off Christ’s Church simply because there are an abundance of imposters.

    For those on this forum who insist that regenerated Christians only need the Holy Spirit and nothing else to teach you, you are walking in a warped, deformed, crippled, and misshapened form of Christianity. You deliberately ignore the many Scriptures which plainly teach us that these other graces of God must also play an integral part of a spiritually healthy follower of Christ.

    I know that many of you have experienced a perversion of Christianity and the Church of Jesus Christ. Many of you have been wounded by them (as have I). Many have been delivered by the Holy Spirit and the Word as He has revealed the spiritual deception in which you had been trapped.

    But I plead with you – do not retreat to such an extreme that you reject that which God HAS given us as spiritual graces to enable us to grow, serve, bless, and be blessed as He has designed for us to be and do.

    Yes, I know that the Church of Jesus Christ can be full of tension, problems, etc. However, part of what Christ wants us to grow up into is to learn to relate to each other in His nature – being patient with one another, “kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32).

    Yes, I know that such a fellowship of believers may be difficult to find, but I would encourage each of you (not involved in such a fellowship) to either (under God’s leading) find one where you can be such a positive influence or get together with like-minded believers and start one. Seek the Lord to provide the 5-fold ministry gifts He gives to His Church.

    Those of you who continue to want to disseminate your warped theology of “the Holy Spirit only and no human instruments to minister Christ’s grace”, I urge you to repent of your spiritual pride. Humble yourselves before God and submit to His design for His Church. Seek Him to provide what He has said He has given – in all its fullness, diversity, and blessedness. Stop providing stumbling blocks to those who are weak in the faith (according to 1 Corinthians 8:9), for “it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.” (Luke 17:2 KJV).

    May the Spirit of Christ lead you into all truth.
    Yours in Christ,
    Wayne

  103. look at the birds of the air May 26th 2012

    I believe their is a balance, but not a religious one as some speak. Without the Holy Spirit, the flesh goes where it wants, The Lord is quite capable of gathering people together. Man walking in his *own flesh driven way can not. I see more and more people desiring to give man the upper hand instead of submitting to the Hand from which our help comes from, Jesus
    the Maker of heaven and of earth!

  104. look at the birds of the air May 26th 2012

    Who is also to be the head and is the head- Jesus Christ!

  105. Martin May 26th 2012

    Wayne, with all the love in Christ I can share with you, this post could only have been written by a pastor. The strong implication here is to fellowship in an organised church, no matter the cost, spiritual or otherwise, to it’s fellows.

    Now, I know nothing of your fellowship, nor yourself: yet your descriptions of us who have come out of the church are in fact only the awful, and always misinformed, generalisations applied by those ‘in church,’ to those of us who have been called out of these often aberrant institutions. It’s a form of ecclesiastical blackmail against those THE LORD JESUS has called out from among them.

    I’ll cite just a couple of things to ask a question and give a flavour of church experience.

    I will ask you, as I’ve asked many clerics; in terms of Exodus 20: 2-6, the beginning of the first giving of the Ten Commandments, how may we as Christians carry out that commandment not to have others gods, not to bow down and worship them … and this is the very words of God, when our fellowship becomes grossly infected over night with the spirit which moved Wimber and the Kansas City mob? How may we continue to worship God as the only God, a jealous God, when another fellowship I joined after the Wimber episode, in the space of a weekend, changed to another deviant American export, the Discipling Movement under a new leadership of harsh, strident women who lived, taught and spoke feminism, a female God and that Jesus is a misogynist?

    Wayne, please tell me!

    Again, I humbly ask you, Wayne, in a genuine enquiry of you; in yet another fellowship when asked to tithe I said, yes, I’ll give you ten percent of my income, not as under Law, but from my heart, as is other giving as is required of me? But, is this tithe going into the Lord’s store house, or to pay the pastor and pay for his next denominational jamboree? I was asked to leave! It was then, in a deserted spot in Swaledale North Yorkshire where I lived, I came to the end of my understanding and sought the Lord for direction. He said, I heard, Come out from among them, for what fellowship has light with darkness?

    Wayne, I put this to you, as one Christian man to another: what is better before a Holy God? To obey my soul, seek fellowships elsewhere (in a rural area there aren’t so many) and the comforts of a deviant Christianity, or obey? Let’s bear in mind, disobedience is as the sin of witchcraft.

    Dear Wayne, your view of those who have come out from the churches is very narrow. Yes, of course you may batter us with Scriptures and pleadings; you may say, I heard the wrong voice. To which I will say, NO; I heard Jesus, the only time it’s happened for me. His sheep know His voice. He has led me, guided me, guarded me and provided for me this last twenty years, and praise and gratitude to Him flows from me. He has taken me from a penniless, unwell divorcee to a very modest home we own, a Godly wife in terms of Proverbs 31:10, a family, self employment in which we have a little to spare,. and the opportunity for service to Him, and some of that through the internet!

    Our household is not a Jesus and me home, as is described here; it is not always comfortable being ‘outside’ facing the scorn and rebukes of those who are ‘inside.’ something. They say more of themselves than they do about Jesus. Ours is a loving home, loving the Lord Jesus; our friends and family are numerous, and visit, as we visit them. In fact, even the locally powerful Masons, which is most of our small village, scorn us, and have all but destroyed by income. But the Lord graciously has provided another way. A more perfect way.

    Wayne, you need to see there is a move of God among His people, to bring about a people for Himself, a Bride, and the deviant churches just aren’t making it with Him.

  106. GordonH May 26th 2012

    There are some fundamental problems with the article quoted… and they can be seen by the terminology that’s being used….

    “relational discipleship—a _strategy_ Jesus and the apostle Paul modeled for us”
    “Reclaiming this _process of discipleship_ is going to require a total overhaul of how we do church. Do _we_ really want to _produce mature disciples_ who have the character of Jesus and are able to do His works? Or are _we_ content with shallow believers and shallow faith?

    Sorry folks, none of this is our job, and while we continue to think it is, we will NOT be “walking as Jesus did”.
    HE is the Master.. we are simply the humble servants.
    Our job is to point to Jesus, and most of the time, we can’t even do that adequately, because we are not listening to Father, and only doing what he tells us to do.. saying what He tells us to say.
    We are far too busy making up strategies, processes, and “discipling people for Jesus”. Far better if we let Him do the job !
    GordonH

  107. DeWayne May 26th 2012

    God did not want the chosen to simply be a nation, He wanted them to be a kingdom of priests, and a holy (nation).

    This is still Gods purpose, for saints to reign with Christ… warning about the Gentile authority of rulers that we not to become as such, but as He came not to be served (rule), but to serve.

    Nor as he warned the Pharasee about this Kingdom, saying they would not see it with their careful observation (on this earth), nor would anyone say, here it is, or there it is, because the Kingdom is within you (as the HS).

    Andrew…
    Rev 22:10-11 Then he told me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, because the time is near. Let him who does wrong continue to do wrong; let him who is vile continue to be vile; let him who does right continue to do right; and let him who is holy continue to be holy.”

  108. Your heart is pure before the Lord Martin with respect to His calling you out and with respect to your waiting for Him to call you back in to something new, something which is of Him, Be blessed brother, Love in the Lord, Andrew… :-)

  109. Roger Souden May 26th 2012

    We, my wife and I, had long been condemned for sharing that Lord Jesus literally ‘called us out’ of denominational structures – we received that condemnation, until our Lord introduced us to others who He had led out as well – He healed our ‘acceptance of condemnation’, and gave us His conviction that this ‘new life’ in Him was His doing not ours.

    @Wayne – when you say:

    “..For those on this forum who insist that regenerated Christians only need the Holy Spirit and nothing else to teach you, you are walking in a warped, deformed, crippled, and misshapened form of Christianity. You deliberately ignore the many Scriptures which plainly teach us that these other graces of God must also play an integral part of a spiritually healthy follower of Christ…”

    I, like Martin, question this attitude – and I refer to a few verses in John 14 – verses 16-20 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.

    John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

    These are the words of Lord Jesus, that the indwelling Holy Spirit will be our teacher.

    ***

    I personally do not know of any ‘out of denominational church’ Christian, (who has fellowship with other born again disciples of Christ Jesus), who is not willing, and desires, to share scriptural truths with each other, and to learn from each other. I have found a worldwide fellowship in His ekklesia, and most of these ones are open to His leading – be it directly through the Holy Spirit, or from another born again, Holy Spirit filled member of the Body of our Lord Jesus. It is the indwelling Holy Spirit who will give discernment and witness to whom we are to receive counsel from.

    We have received verbal taunts from ‘in denominational church’ ones, who will direct Hebrews 10:23-25 as a condemnation – yet Paul was speaking to Messianic Jews who were being persecuted (by ‘religious ones’), for their belief that Jesus was the Messiah of God, and Lord of their lives – which is an interesting comparison, isn’t it..?

    I ask this question of all:-
    Given that so many individuals, worldwide, over a number of years are being ‘called out’, and into Him – the majority of whom (that I have met) have the same or a very similar testimony and walk, and given the current apostate nature of many denominational churches, – how can one say this ‘calling out’ is not of God..?

    I share these things that are real experiences, learned during my walk with Lord Jesus, and I share in His love,
    Roger

  110. In Revelation 2 & 3 – which is still where we are today – the Lord gives us pictures of all the different types of fellowships (literal, local, physical, corporate expressions of His Church) which would exist while His Church remained on earth…

    He talks about Candlesticks…

    He talks about certain things happening which would cause a Candlestick or testimony or local, physical, corporate expression of His Church, to be “removed”…

    The trick is – by the Voice of the Lord and by the discernment of the Lord – to know when this has occured in a local fellowship, i.e. when the Lord has removed the Candlestick and thus removed His Presence or His Protection or even His “being there” anymore…

    We are told that where two or three of us gather “there I am in the midst”…

    That is what I’m getting at…

    When is it that He is no longer “in the midst”…

    Those with Prophetic giftings are always the first to know and usually the first to leave, whether it is a church building or a ministry or a forum or whatever, usual the Prophetically gifted sense these things and “move on”…

    Sometimes if there is a battle for the establishment of a Candlestick or a continuance of it the Lord will show Intercessors who are also gifted in the Prophetic that they are to stay and “fight” for the continuance or sometimes even to leave but continue to “fight” in the spirit (the spiritual realm) for the continuance of that Candlestick…

    If the Lord has departed then so should we – even if it is just for a season – like Moses said, “If you will not go up with us, send us not hence”, this should be the way we see things also…

    The verse which always convicts me – as to showing me God’s Heart for unity is Hebrews 10:25…

    not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near. (Hebrews 10:25 NASB)

    We are not to forsake the assembling of ourselves – those of us who love the Lord with all our hearts, souls, strength and mind – together – and why would we?

    Why would we stop meeting together with those who were of like mind with us in submission to the Lord?

    The early Church didn’t forsake their meeting together from house to house and in the portico of the temple but they met together and great grace was upon them all…

    You know very quickly whether someone is of one mind with you and whether they are of one mind with the Lord – it is not difficult to tell…

    There’s a “drawing together” of those ones and there’s a question mark over those who seem “stand-off-ish” and there’s nothing there but discouragement or silent criticism (those of you who have experienced this will be saying “Amen” about now :-) )

    What if where you are living there is no one who you can physically have fellowship with the Lord with?

    Is God holding this “as a gun to your head”?

    No He is not…

    Your heart will long for fellowship and He will give it to you…

    It may not be physical, face to face, but He will provide fellowship for You, He has for me…

    Even though there have been times where no one has understood me and I have literally had to – not that I wanted to – “walk alone” with Him – those times have been so precious that when He brings me back into contact with others I have treasures to share with others which encourage their faith…

    Unity – is of the heart…

    Unity is not about physical proximity…

    If there is no unity of heart no amount of physical proximity will make anything happen when you are gathered together physically…

    The Lord has times and seasons and the Lord looks at the heart…

    When we want to “judge another man’s servant” and “point the finger” we are to be pitied (it’s sad for us) in that the Lord has yet to teach us (which means we’ve got more pain to go through :-) )the lesson that “to his own Master” each of us “stands or falls” and that “wisdom is vindicated by all of her children”…

    Jesus came in one way, John the Baptist came in another…

    What is God telling you to do?

    Not what is God telling everyone else to do…

    Jesus told Peter to follow Him when he got focussed on John and what the Lord had in store for John…

    If people are bitter and twisted at the Church – the local, physical expression of the Church – and they leave for that reason then that isn’t what He wants them to do…

    If people have been hurt and wounded by the Church – the local, physical expression of the Church – and the Lord gives them a peace to leave then they should leave, they will go out and be healed by the Lord and be ready to receive what He has for them in the future…

    Bitterness and resentment never gets anyone anywhere…

    The Lord never calls us to bitterness or resentment…

    The Lord also never calls us to protect ourselves so we make “inner vows” never to place ourselves in positions “ever again” where we could be hurt “ever again”…

    We can’t run away from being hurt – we will be hurt as long as we are human – because the Lord is continually stripping away from us the rights which we think we have to be received and validated and listened to and respected and all those other things which the Lord strips away from us…

    As the Lord looks down at any of us as individuals or at any of us as corporate gatherings of His saints, He sees where each one is meant to be and He knows what He needs to do to get us to where we need to be – that’s His Job – He is the Good Shepherd – He is the One who guides us in the Paths of Righteousness for His Name’s Sake…

    If we are not being guided in the Paths of the Righteousness, i.e. not growing in our Knowledge of Him, then we would, over a period of time, need to ask ourselves whether we are really one of His Sheep…

    His Sheep will follow Him, more and more and more and His Sheep will display His Image – the Image of His Son – more and more and more…

    For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; (Romans 8:29 NASB)

    If this is not happening, growing into the Image of Christ, then this is a concern whether a person is “in fellowship” or “out of fellowship”…

    What is fellowship?

    but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. (1 John 1:7 NASB)

    If we attend a building or a home or an organisation or a venue where those who gather are not walking in the Light as He Himself is in the Light are we having fellowship with our brothers and sisters in the Lord?

    Can two walk together, except they be agreed?

    what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. (1 John 1:3 NASB)

    Our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ – if this is not the basis of our fellowship, if this is not “square one”, then anything else attempted to be built ontop of this “nothing” will fail…

    Those of us who have been called out and have been healed of bitterness or deep wounds or whatever else we might like to call them are open/able to hear His Voice when He instructs us to “do this” or “do that” and we do “do this” or “do that” as He directs…

    I personally have been seeking to “link together” with other believers who have Revival on their hearts, I believe the Lord has told me that there will be a physical meeting of such ones here in Christchurch at some point in time although as yet this has not eventuated…

    I am waiting and I am open to His Leading…

    I have no guilty conscience at all before the Lord regarding the fact that this has not yet eventuated, He knows my heart…

    Thank You Lord…

    Thank You Lord, Thank You Father, Thank You Holy Spirit…

    In the Mighty Name of Jesus, Amen and Amen…

  111. It was 2007 when my wife and I were clearly called out of the walls of religion.

    Interesting that at that time we were given many confirming words and ” sent ” with a blessing from the denominational fellowship.

    The summary of the words we were given was that we would reach those who would not come into the walls of the ” church building ” .

    However this goodwill only lasted a few months before the leadership in the old fellowship turned against us in all the usual ways.

    Now through all this I learnt some valuable lessons.

    Firstly the spirit of control within religion will often confirm you , entice you, then condemn you in order to control you.

    Secondly Christ gave us very clear revelation in many ways that we can’t serve two masters, so if we submit to self serving leaders we are in effect serving a different master than Lord Jesus Christ.

    Thirdly Who are truly called will show the nature and character of Christ. This the only true foundation . The gifts are added to this foundation , and that we can only submit to leaders who are truly submitted unto Christ, ones who show His true nature in their lives .

  112. Thank You Jesus… :-)

  113. Sorry, my “Thank You Jesus”, was a continuation of my post above (Where I said, “Thank You Lord” twice but meant to say, “Thank You Jesus” after saying “Thank You Lord”), not an excitement over any pain you went through when you and your wife were “called out” Kevin… :-)

  114. Andrew , I had seen it that way :-)

  115. So further to my post above, below is what I posted further up this thread, and puts it in context ;

    “Discipleship along with the five fold ministries and any other form of leadership in the Body of Christ, require firstly people clearly called of God , evidenced by the fruit of the Spirit and the signs and wonders confirming the words and authority that any form of leadership claims.

    The absence of true called out servants of Christ, is the missing link that causes many of the problems we see today.

    All who feel they are called to leadership in any way need to take responsibility for the power vacuum that exists and get their own lives right with God first, so their lives line up with what is written.

    Imagine how far Jesus would have got if when He went out to preach about the Kingdom of God , and the signs and wonders had not confirmed that He was called, was who He said He was, and that what He said was truly from God.

    I would love to see true discipleship along with the restoration of the five fold ministries , however I am not going to follow after a person that only has words to offer , a person that does not show the fruit and authority of Christ in their life.

    As it is written , ” by their fruit you shall know them ”

    So yes to true discipleship lead by true servants of Christ who show no contradiction or conflict in their lives .”

    ++++

    So to all who see themselves as leaders and would speak against ” out of churchers ” ;
    Are you willing to measure yourselves against Christs standard ?

    “For the Kingdom of God is more than just words” as the Apostle Paul said to some who were claiming authority over others .

  116. Roger Souden May 26th 2012

    Me too.. :-)

  117. look at the birds of the air May 26th 2012

    the title of this says:DISCIPLESHIP IS NOT a DIRTY WORD!

    I never heard anyone *ever say as
    stated above until now.

    Its not the word that is dirty, its the fowl/unclean
    who pervert the word, discipleship
    and the very word of GOD.

  118. Greetings Martin,

    I think if you read my post carefully, it does not condone being part of an apostate or false church organization. Rather I did state that there are many church perversions and counterfeit churches. I did not elaborate as the false and apostate churches are addressed here ad infinitum ad nauseam.

    Just so you know, I am sickened by the political, money-grabbing organizations called churches. Many of them started out well, but over time descended into man-made, man-run, political religious machines.

    As far as myself personally, I entered the pastoral ministry 36 years ago. I have never demanded any salary from a congregation but gladly accepted what they wanted to pay me. Two churches never, ever paid me anything. For the bulk of my ministry I have worked at “secular” jobs to allow me to pastor small fellowships of believers. So, my comments were not self-serving in the least.

    All I was doing was bringing the balance of the Word to a site where the comments often despise and debase anything which resembles a “church.” I was merely pointing out that the real Church is God’s idea. The assembly of believers together on a regular basis with elders, pastors, teachers, evangelists, prophets, and apostles is not an invention of man – but is the design and purposes of Jesus Christ.

    From many of the comments posted to this site one could easily conclude that the Church is a horrible, insidious monster which one should avoid at all costs. While this may be true of many organizations which call themselves “churches,” this is not the case concerning the true Church of Jesus Christ.

    Yes, the Church is not an man-made organization or a building, but rather born-again individuals. But it is still a group organized by Jesus Christ and led by the Holy Spirit – within the delineation of Christ and the original apostles as seen in the New Testament.

    Yes, Martin (and Roger), we are to be led and taught by the Holy Spirit. However, to stop there and claim that nothing else is needed is to ignore much of what Christ gives us in the form of His Church as I outlined in my last post.

    There are a number of individuals who contribute to this site which Andrew has rightly called “lone rangers.” It was primarily to this group which I was addressing my comments – but if the shoe fits, may I suggest you wear it.

    I, too, have been taken out of the man-made church by the Holy Spirit. Rather dramatically, the Lord dragged me (kicking and screaming) from the denomination into which I had been born, lived, and been educated. In fact, I have had seven churches in the last ten years which have either thrown me out or have rejected the ministry God was attempting to minister through me. I am very familiar with those false shepherds who misuse, abuse, and destroy the true sheep for their own purposes. I am very familiar with “church politics” and the destruction it brings to the true work of God. I have been stabbed in the back so many times that I no longer feel it. As a matter of fact, I have come to expect it when dealing with many in the established “churches.” I have been led of God to be part of churches which span a wide gamut – from old, mainline denominations to Pentecostal to hyper-charismatic.

    My comments come from knowing both sides of the issue. God has led me back to His design for His Church as described in the New Testament – after I had personally given up on it.

    I have met people similar to you – those who’ve been out of a church for a long time (by your admission, several decades) and have found in every case (in my experience, at least) that it usually resulted in stunted spiritual growth. By this, I mean that I have found such people to be stuck in the same spiritual ruts or hobby-horses for decades (often at the point which they left the church). While I have also observed this by those who have remained part of a church, it is much less likely for those who are part of a vital, growing fellowship of believers who live and operate as directed in the NT.

    I also understand that it may be difficult to find such a fellowship – especially in a rural area. I also live in a rural area and am still looking for a fellowship which more accurately lines up with that of the NT. I currently am not actively pastoring a fellowship of believers, as the Lord has placed me thus. However, I still make it a habit to fellowship regularly with a fellowship of believers. It is not exactly what I see in the NT, but it is the closest I have found in the area.

    I did mean to rebuke those who reject anything resembling a regular fellowship of born-again believers as described in the NT.

    I did mean, Roger, to bring a balance of the Word in the other graces Christ has given to His Church in addition to the Holy Spirit. You quote John 14, but you seem to ignore Ephesians 4 and the other passages which are as valid a part of the Word of God as John 14. Anytime one stresses one aspect of the Word to the exclusion of others, there is an imbalance – and things are not as God desires them to be. I urge you to prayerfully consider what the Word says about Christ’s Church and allow the Holy Spirit to do His work through the Word.

    While Hebrews MAY have been written to Messianic Jews, it is also written to “holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling.” (3:1). Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together is every bit as important as “hold[ing] fast the confession of our hope without wavering.” (10:23, 24). Rejecting this because of the group of people it was written to is as ludicrous as rejecting the rest of the NT, claiming it was written to groups of people other than you.

    NO! NO! NO! The whole of the NT are the teachings and instructions of the Apostles and Christ which is the foundation of the Church (Ephesians 2:20). It is our blueprint, not only for individual believers, but for us corporately, as the Church of Jesus Christ.

    I am not saying the fact that many world-wide have been called out from organizations posing as churches is not of God. What I am saying, is that the Bible tells us that we are not to be “lone rangers.” What I am saying is that there is a design for the Church which Christ originated and formed – a design that we should pray for, seek for, and do all we can to be part of.

    To cast off the true design of the church in a knee-jerk reaction to the false church is almost as far off base as staying in the false church. I am encouraging all who read here to know that Christ has a design for His Church. It does include regular fellowship. It does include pastors, teachers, evangelists, prophets, and apostles. And, yes, it does include the fulness of the Holy Spirit and His work and teaching. We must realize, however, that it is Christ’s design that the Holy Spirit work through the gifts He gives (Eph. 4; 1 Cor. 12 – 14; et al), as well as speaking directly to individuals. It is our responsibility to judge the fruit and works of those who claim to be those gifts according to God’s Word and reject those who are false, but accept those who are true.

    Martin, you say, you heard a clear voice from God to do as you did. I am not a judge over such things. You alone are accountable for such things. One thing I do know, is that the voice of Christ never contradicts what He has clearly stated in His Word, the Bible. If there is a conflict between the two, I would exhort anyone to always fall on the side of the Word of God, rather than what one may think is the voice of God to his own soul or spirit. God has taught me to do so as I have walked with Him in the forty-nine years since I was redeemed by Him, and His Word has never failed, though my heart, soul, and spirit have at times led me astray.

    The “lone ranger” attitude is also a product of our individualistic, “me-first” world. It is not to be part of the Church of Jesus Christ. Yes, we are all individually responsible for what we do, but we are also to be an active part of the corporate Church of Christ as He designed it to be. How can we be the Church if we do not work and operate together under His leadership? – any more than a disjointed body can operate as a whole body?

    Yes, He has pulled many of us out of man-made or apostate churches. However, that does not mean we are to be individual “lone rangers.” He has called us out that He might put us together as He has designed.

    I trust I’ve clarified what I was attempting to say, my brothers. There is something more than just being out of the false or apostate church – He is calling us to become the True Church He designed.

    I don’t have all the answers, but He has given me a vision of what He’s trying to do. He can’t do it, however, if we will not yield to Him and His design for us as His Church. Hence, I put forth the balance of the Word and will continue to pray for His washing, sanctifying, and perfecting of His Church “that He might present her to Himself a glorious Church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.” (Ephesians 5:25 -27).

    God bless you, my brothers, as you continue to seek Him, and labour with Him.

    Yours in Christ,
    Wayne

  119. JMShaw,

    Thanks for clarifying your thoughts.

    You also said “I believe that many of the baptists, evangelicals, and others who have took firm stand on doctrine, but have shunned the gifts will be used mightily. They have been faithful to their measure of light, and God will honour that….”

    Are you suggesting there is merit in shunning the gifts?

    Maybe I have misunderstood you ?

    Could you clarify that?

    Blessings,

    Carl Emerson.

  120. Roger Souden May 26th 2012

    @Wayne – thankyou for your comment, your testimony, and your expression of concern about the balance of my quoting one scripture :-)

    I shall try to clarify that as briefly as possible.

    Earlier in the thread, I said this:
    “…He also knows the ‘needs’ we have before we do, so He brings others to share, teach, counsel – to disciple.

    Christ Jesus promised His Comforter, the Holy Spirit, to counsel, teach all things, testify of Christ Jesus, reprove the world of sin, of righteousness, and judgement. (John 14-16)

    Those who have the Holy Spirit indwelling, who are born again disciples of Christ Jesus, will know one another, will be in spiritual unity, will be members of His body on earth. (John 17)

    This same Holy Spirit will divide to those members, His gifts and callings as He chooses (1 Cor. 12)

    In my experience, discipleship has never been a dirty word – when I submitted to Christ Jesus as Lord of my life, then I agreed to His discipling me – whether through His indwelling Holy Spirit, or through another truly born-again believer, follower, and disciple of Christ Jesus…”

    ***
    So, with regard to Eph.4 that you mention – these ‘apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers’, will be raised up by God, appointed by God, gifted by God, so that other members in His body will recognise them, and be directed to them by the Holy Spirit. They will not need to label themselves, their calling and gifting will be obvious to all others, who will ‘witness’ to these callings, by discernment of the Holy Spirit.

    In my experience, the ones who are called by God into these positions have shunned labels – preferring to always point to Christ Jesus as Head of His body, and Lord – giving Him the glory for everything that they are.

    The truly born again believers, followers and disciples of Christ Jesus are drawn together by the indwelling Holy Spirit – as and when He chooses. We recognise one another, when He brings us together, through Holy Spirit discernment.

    If I should present other scriptures that refer to this ‘leading’ of the Holy Spirit, I should present most of the N.T. – which is the opposite of saying that I reject writen scripture .

    Christ Jesus is the Word of God – it is He that spoke creation into existence, and it is by His ‘words’ that all creation remains in balance. It is He who first spoke through the Holy Spirit, to His chosen men, the words that we have, and know as Scripture, as our Bible.

    The Holy Spirit and written scripture will always confirm and support each other, and it is the Holy Spirit that interprets the truth of written scripture.

    This is how I know that the words Jesus spoke in John 14, (concerning the Holy Spirit as our teacher), are truth, and can be trusted and depended on – and is why I will continue to share that truth.

    Wayne – neither do I have all the answers :-) however, as long as I abide in Christ Jesus, and declare Him Lord of all, knowing that He will reveal to me what He has chosen for me to be involved in, or to do, or to say, that is all I need to know as I walk with Him..

    …and I do trust Him, and declare the risen Christ Jesus, Lord of all His Creation.

    In His love,
    Roger

  121. That is so true! May God raise up those who have a burden to make disciples of Jesus Christ.

  122. Dave S May 26th 2012

    This is strong meat, I have shared this concept/truth for months, you have to look at the admonition in Timothy to leaders, to be able to teach and not an immature convert. Unfortunately you cannot expect the immature to produce maturity !

  123. Roger,

    As you have shared above has been our experience also.

  124. I smile as I read Roger and Kevin’s posts as I see so much in what they share of the same things which the Lord has been teaching me…

    We must fully “come out” of all the “man made” religious systems before we can fully “come in” to the true relationship which God wants to have with His Church both individually (“Jesus and me”) and in fellowship with our brothers and sisters (“Jesus and us”)…

    And when I say fellowship with our brothers and sisters I mean all around the world – for we are members of one another – just as much as I mean any other brother or sister who the Lord physically enables us to have fellowship with (spiritual fellowship with) in our own home or in our own town or anywhere else in the world…

    I met a brother (from Finland) at Manila Airport – Divine Appointment – and we had sweet fellowship together on the plane to Hong Kong and he also (upon request) prayed for me on that same flight… :-)

    I really don’t care who I meet or where they are from – if they love the Lord with all their heart and their soul and their strength and their mind – then they are my brother and sister and I will fellowship with them as the Lord releases peace for me to fellowship with them… :-)

    Paul says who he was – an Apostle – but you never get the feeling when he says it that he is saying it in pride…

    You can always tell when people are saying things in pride – that spirit is just “around them” as they are speaking and you “feel it”…

    He knew that he was called to be an Apostle and he knew – just like everyone else now knows through scripture – that he had nothing to do with it… :-)

    Hard to be proud when you know you’ve had nothing to do with it… :-)

    When we know that what we are is because of what God has done and not because of anything we have done then we don’t need to try and convince anyone else of who we are or why we should be followed…

    In fact we don’t really care whether anyone follows us or not, we just keep following Christ and if anyone “tags along” – Praise the Lord… :-)

    If no one “tags along” I’m still going to keep following Christ… :-)

    “Imitate me as I imitate Christ”…

    No one is asked to surrender to someone who doesn’t demonstrate the character of Christ…

    In whatever way any of us see another imitating Christ we are to submit ourselves to that one out of reverence to Christ because that is a living, powerful, vibrant demonstration of the Power of Christ in that one’s life…

    They are “living Christ” in that particular area…

    When we don’t see them “imitating Christ” in another area of their lives we are not to imitate them…

    Simple as that…

    Those who need titles and need recognition still need to come to that place where they are nothing and know that they are nothing before God…

    Once we have come to that place if people recognise us for whom the Lord has made us then Praise the Lord and if they do not then that’s on God’s “problem list” not ours…

    “You follow me”, as Jesus said to Peter…

    To be a disciple is to be a learner – I have always tried to “get inside the heads” of those I’ve “looked up to” in the faith and tried to glean as much from them as I can…

    I hit brick walls, I hit areas where I can go no further but I take from them whatever I see of Christ in them and move on…

    I also believe in giving to everyone I come in contact with as much of what I’ve learnt of Christ as I perceive the Holy Spirit will enable them to take in in my interactions with them…

    I don’t believe in “holding anything in” or only “imparting” to those who somehow “join my group” or “side with me” or somehow “sit on my side of the fence” before I share what I know of Christ with them…

    My personal relationship with the Lord is what I have to share with others…

    To encourage them in their personal relationship with the Lord…

    Working together in unity with other believers is precious – whether they are right next to you physically or on the other side of the world (eg. Martin) – it doesn’t matter to me…

    I have reached out to as many as I can and offered what I have had to offer – do I have fellowship with the saints? Yes I do, in as much as I am able, yes, I do…

    My heart longs to fellowship with all who love the Lord Jesus Christ with a pure heart and with those who love His Truth, the Truth of Who He is and of His Character…

    True discipleship is to forsake all for a Knowledge of Jesus, in this place whether we hear from God Directly or through another brother or sister – or even through a donkey – we will hear the Voice of God and we will submit to it because we know His Voice…

    Thank You Jesus, Thank You Father, Thank You Holy Spirit…

    Love in the Lord to all who know Him and love Him above all others…

    Will I submit to man (to the voice of man or to the voice of the demonic through man)? No, because I do not know the voice of strangers…

    If I do not hear God’s Voice in what someone is saying, I will not submit to it…

    I will not, no matter who that person is…

    Even if what that person says sound “true” but there is a wrong spirit behind it – and I sense that spirit – I will not submit to it – I will not submit to anything that I do not have a peace from the Lord to submit to…

    If that person (through whom the voice of strangers comes) is an authority figure in a certain setting then I would rather leave that setting than submit to the voice of strangers through them…

    That is our choice…

    We must obey God rather than man…

    Is that rebellion or is that obedience?

    For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ. (Galatians 1:10 NASB)

    Love in the Lord to you all,

    Andrew

  125. Yes Andrew J Horton.

    There are many like us whom the Lord is leading in similar ways.

    Yourself , Roger and I all being from NZ.

    The real blessing I have seen over recent years has been the doors our Lord has opened to people including my family that only He could open.

    So I see the Body of Christ alive and well.

    Unless He build the house we labour in vain .

    In His time and will,

    Grace and mercy,

    and His love

    Kevin

  126. Dave S May 26th 2012

    It is the fruit of nil- discipleship, that is causing Christianity to be ignored, there are many buildings that have been erected on sand. Sadly many are taking refuge in unstable buildings. I am now seeing more fruit having come out from such ridiculous structures. Christ is calling us to know him from that source you cannot be silent, too good to be true news.

  127. Ibelieve May 26th 2012

    ……………………………………………………………………………….It was 2007 when my wife and I were clearly called out of the walls of religion……………………………………………….

    In our situation (my wife and I), we left our established fellowship over the laughing revival.

    The last Sunday we were there a man was invited in to preach. His sermon was on: Jesus was the great bartender and Mary was his bar maid. After the meeting he was praying for the Lord to pop the tap on individuals who came forward to receive the laughter experience.

    I was greatly saddened over the choice of words used to describe the Lord, when He turned the water into wine at the wedding feast. A few months later the church became more involved and ended up totally dissolving.

    It’s not that we do not desire fellowship around the Lord, but finding a place at this point in time has been next to nothing.

    The denominations are centered around programs, while the charismatics follow very strange practices and doctrines that I cannot set and support. The church is using entertainment for outreach, while “disciples” are taught to use their entertainment abilities as the new gifts for outreach.

    As one minister stated: What you win them with is what you have to keep them with. In other words you have to constantly have some form of entertainment.

    I don’t think in mentioning this that my attitude or others is wanting to just bash the church.

    Its reality!

    What ever happened to fasting and prayer in the churches?

  128. Dear Wayne,

    I have read your posts with interest and appreciate your genuine heart for His people.

    You said…

    “If all you have is interaction with believers on the internet, with an occassional interaction with another Christian in the flesh, you are living far below what Christ has died to give us….”

    Interestingly enough He has sent many out into foreign countries to serve Him with no more than the level of fellowship you describe. We have not labelled them as ‘lone rangers’

    The reality is that few modern churches (there are some exceptions) offer anything better than a surface relationship, the Love of Jesus is largely gone, we are light years away from an Acts church.

    I think it is better to encourage those who struggle to find a Christ centred loving family of fellowship than to give them ‘the guilts’ about not joining a dysfunctional Christian system that generally no longer represents the Fathers Heart and binds folks into human agenda’s.

    I am in my late 60’s having been in Him since 1959 and I have pretty much seen it all. It is time to call a spade a spade. We need to obey His call to walk in pure and undefiled religion from our own home base if the system has lost touch with His call to our neighbours. There is a mission field at our doorstep and the harvest is ripe. If the ‘church’ is not doing it, we have no excuse.

    Some are called to labour in a dis-empowered ‘church’ and some are not. Let is be as unto each others faith and let Him be judge of our calling and service.

    Blessings,

    Carl Emerson.

  129. Ibelieve May 26th 2012

    Carl Emerson’s comment above, was very good and describes what many of us are going through.

    In Him,
    Gary

  130. look at the birds of the air May 26th 2012

    I have to ask, now we have *labels for people who all some of , most of you dont really know, ( even by the Spirit of the Lord, though you believe you do, seeing though you do not really see)
    calling them lone rangers. Really? And what gives you the right to call people that? Did God give you the right or does it annoy you that they have a true relationship with Jesus?
    And spiritually by sight you do not recognize it as such, yet make up names as you go?
    Would you than have names for the people of the bible, and call them loners, lone rangers? Hmmm, Yes, you would, if they were before you today, you would not see them as hid in Christ. Though they had a TRUE walk with God!

    Religious spirited people, make names and labels for themselves and for those that dont take heed/nor listen to their long diatribes. What is truly scary to witness is to see such people knock people down, who walk with Jesus , instead of with the religious crowds. Im not amazed, just sickened by some speeches above!
    By the way if the shoe fits, than your wearing it!

  131. We battle not against flesh and blood.

    While we all, being the different parts of His Body, are on the road to maturity, it is easy for the remaining flesh to come into conflict and be exploited by the enemy of Christ.

    From what I have seen, those you truly know Him, walk in humility , aware of their imperfection, looking unto Him to complete the regeneration that is required for us to become effective servants for Him and His glory.

    It is only our flesh that is offended or wants to justify and defend its knowledge or position. Unfortunately this becomes fertile ground for the work of the enemy.

    Lord Jesus Christ appeared to Saul , changing him into an effective servant, so we must remember not to battle against the flesh, least we find ourselves going against a work that is in progress in the eyes of Christ.

    In His love

    Kevin

  132. look at the birds of the air May 26th 2012

    1 Cor. 11
    17Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that you come together not for the better, but for the worse.

    18For first of all, when you come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.

    19For there must be also heresies among you, that they who are approved may be made manifest among you.

    20When you come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord’s supper.

    21For in eating every one takes first his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken.

    22What? have you not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise you the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not.

    23For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:

    24And when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.

    25After the same manner also he took the cup, after he had eaten, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do you, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.

    26For as often as you eat this bread, and drink this cup, you do show the Lord’s death till he comes.

    27Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

    28But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

    29For he that eats and drinks unworthily, eats and drinks judgment to himself,
    ***not discerning the Lord’s body.***

    30For this cause many are*weak and *sickly among you, and many sleep.

  133. NOTE: Lee Grady talks below about today’s “free-wheeling, come-as-you-are, pick-what-you-want, whatever-floats-your-boat” type Christianity. This is certainly true of today’s “Internet” Christianity too. -No ‘commitment’ required at all. We would be interested in your comments on this article, my friends…

    I’m not sure what “Internet” Christianity is … I am assuming this is meant
    for those who do not attend the ‘church with walls’ and/or perhaps those who are not currently involved in a home base church.

    We are the church and can be found in various meeting places; yes, even “internet” Christians.
    Only God sees beyond the surface and on to the heart even
    the hearts of us “Internet” Christians.

    It is the fruits of the spirit that needs to be looked at – not
    where we choose to worship with fellow believers.

  134. 2Cr 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

    2Cr 6:15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?

    2Cr 6:16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in [them]; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

    2Cr 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean [thing]; and I will receive you,

    2Cr 6:18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

    Some still don’t understand that what we call “the church” God calls “unbelievers”, just as the synagogues and Temple had become in Jesus’ day and they are hoping to revive something that is not of God………….the above exhortation is not new but has always been the way of God for His elect, this is the very same command given in Isaiah 52. But in coming out we need to have our minds renewed of its defilement and become as virgins again, severing the umbilical cord to the past. Some still have an imprint of the “church” paradigm and need to be washed of it……this is one thing that the wilderness is to accomplish in us……until we see the gospel is in simplicity and is simply a way of living and journeying (pilgrimage), and is not a way that we practice our religion on certain days of the week, it is not a way of holding meetings/services, nor is it about roles for the titled and untitled etc, those thoughts are temporal and carnal and need to be crucified in us, we need to think nothing of ourselves whatsoever….Lay the past completely on the altar if you trust Him enough, and allow Him to burn it up and He will simply begin to build anew if you will trust Him to. The work of God is this, to believe (trust) Him.

  135. BTW – the “”Internet” is how I found this website.

  136. oneseekingGod May 26th 2012

    I truly believe that these kind of movements come from a Christian mentality but Biblical Ignorance. I being a muscian before being saved had the idea that the music venue would be the place to reach the lost. After all hunderds and thousands would show up for concerts right. So I believe that the movement of so called Chrisitan concerts and alter calls have created so many who believe that they have been saved and are followers in Christ with no conviction of change. They have no Bibles and most did not plug into a God fearing church. So we have a difficult task bring the truth and the depth of God’s Word to a world full of carnal Chrisitans which does not exist in my vocabular. In summation this article is so true.

  137. Dave S May 26th 2012

    Matthew 9 v 36 the people were harassed like sheep without a Shepherd.
    Looking at this verse I came to a simple conclusion that it was bad teaching/ bad religion that had harassed the people.
    The same today many do not know the power of the word to stand on it. Many Christians are harassed by poor teaching and the World sees it.
    They came out to a Wilderness and got taught the truth. There is a dearth of mature Christians, it requires teaching for people to obey. Reading some of the comments here it is obvious how confusion in Gods ways has taken hold.Jesus taught as one that had authority, I am now discipling Christians that move in Authority, speak out the word and see it come to pass. If you have no fruit you do not have a very valid opinion. I got rejected from the “rejected from Church group” for speaking out this truth on discipleship. My favourite boast to date :.)

  138. Most churches Ive been in that practice “descipleship” end up becoming “controlling.” It is part of the fallen nature, so in a part of the body that is lukewarm (the church of the western world), and where most are earthly in their thinking instead of centred on the kingdom and Gods word, I think this would be a backward step.

    Has anyone read/heard Derek Princes teaching on “witchcraft in the church” which identifies a spirit of control, particularly amongst leaders in the church, exemplified by the charismatic heavy shepparding fiascos in the 1970’s -and 80’s as a spirit of WITCHCRAFT.

    Is this idea scriptural anyway, I can see no evidence of it in the biblical church, There were leaders m- Apostles, elders/pators, do we really want to invent another level over the ordinbary Christian on top of this?? Wouldnt this be claustrophobic? It is the Holy Spirit who santifies and produces fruit. We should be encouraging people to get more into the bible and to put it into prcatice not just memorise it.

    Surely what we really need are elder Christians to be more open to give advice to those who seek it, not more layers to the authority structure in the churches??

  139. Where are all these wise men who would become sheppards anyway???

  140. Dave S May 26th 2012

    Steve
    Where are all these wise men who would become sheppards anyway???
    Not many is the short answer, the people I disciple are being left to make their own decisions. They come because I serve them rather than Lord it over them. The problem is we have all come under immature leaders that according to 1 timothy3 v6 have been puffed up. The verse says they come under the same condemnation as the Devil. Which suggests a perversion of gift where men seek to be God.
    There are men out there that are discipling into freedom, through knowing who they are in Christ first. Many of us have been so badly effected by Witchcraft that becomes hard to believe.
    From good results/ fruit after 20 years I believe I am breaking through, after the road I have trodden I would have found it hard to believe.

  141. I have been out of the traditional church setting for 7yrs now. I am not able to take my children to a place where they will become like given the message that it is okay to love the world and the things of the world. If I just had myself I would do the church rounds and would pull the pastor over at the end of each service and with bible in hand “gently and respectfully” begin to preach scripture to him and remind him of the seriousness of disobeying the Lord’s word.

    I suggest everyone do this. Do bot let a service pass you by and bring correction. BUT, do gently and kindly and respectfully, day after day after day. Then you will not become like them, and you will be reaching the world in the church…..until they decide to oust you or they receive and repent.

    Now that I am thinking perhaps i can take my children and they can watch me speak to the pastor at the end of every service to the pastor, bible in hand. :) Something I will truly think on.

    I believe in absolute accountability. In a home church our family attended for a while there is no accountability. There are supposed elders that are unspoken but I have dealt with them and they allow one another to get away with sin. They are not out of the trad churches because it looks like the world, but some were raised in the home church.

    I know that God wants everyone to partner with other people “who TRULY TRULY love them and not themselves” (being the key) and yield to those in subjection and humility. This is what God has called us to, “subjecting ourselves one to another.”

    A person in my life will not lead his sons to God not at all ever, but feels like he did the holy thing by attending church on a sunday, bible under the arm of course.
    This is utter foolishness. Men need to get some guts and lead the young men to Jesus every day. Don’t leave it up to some strange bloke to do your job.

    I think today the better word would be mentoring. Discipleship is for the newly saved people until they stand on their feet. Then mentoring needs to kick in and that is the accountability part.

    okay, I’m done then.

    Sarah

  142. Dear Andrew Strom,

    There was an evangelist that came to our larger community to speak in a two day revival meeting of his method of deliverance. Knowing of his coming I wanted to be of assistance to him, and reveal to him what God had revealed to me concerning the importance of our faith in Communion. The night before I thought he was to speak, my heart went into atrial fibrillation, one of many that I had suffered through out the years. For anyone with understanding, you would know that with the affliction, the physical life and death of the afflicted were hanging in the balance. The next day, I said to the Lord, if you want me to go to this meeting, then you will have to calm this heart. Round about three in the afternoon the heart came back into a normal sinus rhythm, but I was exhausted from the 20 hour watch, and waited until the last moments to gather myself for the hour drive to the revival meeting. I arrived late, and found another man speaking of his former corrupted life and of his salvation experience into a new life in Christ Jesus.
    When the brother had finished with prayer, afterward there were several people who went up to talk to him. I was standing off to his right side, and listened to the person in front of him asking about revival and how it was to happen. The brother said something to the affect that we will have to wait and pray.

    I had brought along with me a prepared CD that contained some electronic voiced over excerpts from my apologetic writings on Holy Communion and extend it with my right hand before his eyes. I essentially said to him that the answer was in our Communion with the Lord and with each other. He said to me; Oh we’re having Communion tomorrow night. I said within myself; good; Lord, if I am able, I will come again tomorrow to hear the evangelist and receive of your Communion with us.

    I had already heard the message of the publicized evangelist on U-tube, but was waiting for the Communion that I had previously been told would take place. However, the evangelist closed the meeting with prayer with never a mention of Communion. Exhausted, and not willing to be a spectacle, with the help of God, I mustered all the strength and courage with in me, to break in at the close. I stood, and no doubt with a voice louder than an assisted microphone, I cried out to the effect; “You will not see revival until you understand the Blood of Jesus Christ. I saw the [Communion] Blood of Jesus Christ put me to death”. After that, what ever words I labored under, I do not remember. The evangelist took control, and said that he had written on Communion and that I could speak to him later.

    I went up and stood in close proximity to him, but there was a line up of the members of the Body of Christ there to ask him questions or give him their affectionate input. I waited a few minutes, but left in my exhaustion and dismay, both in myself and the negative outcome.

    Dear Andrew, I know that you are familiar with John Wesley and the revival he originally bought to England. Also that you are familiar with with this excerpt of his writings: “Before I can preach love and grace, I must preach sin, law and judgment.” It is well and good for an evangelist to preach hell and damnation to bring conviction of sin to the lost, but a man of God like Wesley would reveal the loving grace of God that our Savior has for repentant sinners and where faith will find it. As you know, Wesley also wrote: “– till you press believers to expect full salvation from sin, you must not look for any revival.”

    Our expectation of full Salvation from sin will always remain in God’s provisions of His Grace in Christ Jesus. Wesley also seeing this need, wrote on Communion and gave sermons on this Holy Matter to lift the faith expectations of the hearers of God’s New Covenant in the Blood of Jesus Christ.
    Hear is a sample portion of John Wesley’s beginning dissertation on Holy Communion. For connivance the balance is saved here http://www.excellent-valley.org/John_Wesley_Methodism/communion_john_wesley.htm
    ————————————————–
    I am to show that it is the duty of every Christian to receive the Lord’s Supper as often as he can.

    1. The First reason why it is the duty of every Christian so to do is, because it is a plain command of Christ. That this is his command, appears from the words of the text, “Do this in remembrance of me:” By which, as the Apostles were obliged to bless, break, and give the bread to all that joined with them in holy things; so were all Christians obliged to receive those signs of Christ’s body and blood. Here, therefore, the bread and wine are commanded to be received, in remembrance of his death, to the end of the world. Observe, too, that this command was given by our Lord when he was just laying down his life for our sakes. They are, therefore, as it were, his dying words to all his followers.

    2. A Second reason why every Christian should do this as often as he can, is, because the benefits of doing it are so great to all that do it in obedience to him; viz., the forgiveness of our past sins and the present strengthening and refreshing of our souls. In this world we are never free from temptations. Whatever way of life we are in, whatever our condition be, whether we are sick or well, in trouble or at ease, the enemies of our souls are watching to lead us into sin. And too often they prevail over us. Now, when we are convinced of having sinned against God, what surer way have we of procuring pardon from him, than the “showing forth the Lord’s death;” and beseeching him, for the sake of his Son’s sufferings, to blot out all our sins?

    There are 28 points expressing John Wesley’s view on Holy Communion. Wesley sets a good example for an evangelistic man of God, who tries to disciple God’s people in the fullness of the Spirit of God. Andrew, I hope you take heart within all the possibilities that are in our Infinite God.

    Just an insignificant living member of the Body of Jesus Christ,
    Robert Glenn

  143. Martin. Hi and greetings again. yes I am the same Paul (must use my middle name also to avoid confusion) I am still alive and kicking praise God despite the battering I received last time out.

    I still have not received an answer to my question as to why Andrew is giving up on this current generation. Sorry if I appear dim but could someone clarify for me what he meant please?

    Briefly, I agree wholeheartedly with you, Roger and Kevin. it seems we share similar experiences and are on the’ same page’

    Pastor Wayne you state…………..”I have met people similar to you – those who’ve been out of a church for a long time (by your admission, several decades) and have found in every case (in my experience, at least) that it usually resulted in stunted spiritual growth. By this, I mean that I have found such people to be stuck in the same spiritual ruts or hobby-horses for decades (often at the point which they left the church”)……
    In my experience I have found the reverse to be true. I have met faithful ‘church’ goers who are stunted and have not grown spiritually. They are frightened to leave a system that is quite clearly dysfunctional and are unable/unwilling to take responsibility for their own walk with God. This is not to say all established churches are wrong, as some are very good and clearly many Christians have been called to serve in their local church. However many have also a legitimate call to be outside of the current established denominational structure(s) and meet with a group of other believers. If one is a ‘lone-ranger’ then it is their responsibility to find and meet as much as possible with other like minded believers.

  144. All people need to repent, in the churches and out of the churches. God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. God makes no bones about which roof we are under. God is no respecter of persons. We need to be led by the Holy Ghost, he will lead us and convict us to do right. Do not be deceived, God is not mocked, for whatsoever a man sows that therefore he will also reap. Everyone shall account to the great Judge. Not one person shall be let off the hook, whether in or out.

    We need to quit being high and mighty in our own eyes. If we think those in the church don’t have the “revelation” we have we will also fall ourselves. Then we will find ourselves years after on a wrong track just as lost as we thought they were. For without holiness no one will see God.

    Sarah

  145. Averyl May 27th 2012

    Paul, – I totally agree with you.
    One of my daughters was discipled by me & chose to live near me so I can continue to mentor her, (causing jealousy from some of her siblings!)
    I’m accountable to our Lord firstly, secondly to all I come in contact with. My daughter questions & reminds me when something I say doesn;t add up or my attitude needs attention.
    Even mature believers need to be teachable.
    Far from being stunted, many of us still have to face up to vestiges of the old wineskin mentality remaining in us. Thank God for the next generation who are able to expose these hindrances! and they keep us sharp too!
    I’m surrounded by different types of believers, – even among my neighbours. All I’m called to do at this stage is bless them in any way I can, so I guess that even though I’m not part of a fellowship as we know it, in reality I am! Does that make sense?

  146. Kevin – You made a great comment on your last post. If we would all remember that truth, ‘we battle not against flesh and blood’, there would be more love and prayer for each other to be ‘overcomers’, and to take our stand against the Devils schemes, than backbiting and division.

  147. Tyrone ,

    What you have said above is the key.

    For if we only point out the problems , faults or deceptions with a persons walk, then it is no different to poking and goading a prisoner in a cage with a long stick.

    If however we hold the situation up in prayer, then our Lord will give us the keys to unlock the prison door and set the captives free.

    Praise our risen Lord Jesus Christ.

  148. Further to above post;

    It is not enough these days in NZ for example to simply preach the truth from the written word of God, for this nation like many nations who once knew and feared God , has now turned its back on God.

    We much reach people in the same way that Jesus reached the Samaritan women at the well.

    We need the anointing , wisdom and keys that come from Christ through the Holy Spirit to reach people in a personal way that sets them free from captivity.

    If we fail to liberate the prisoners, all we do is make them angry and stirred up, for if they were able to free themselves they would have long ago.

    Christ holds the keys

    Praise His Holy name !

  149. Regarding the bondage that holds many in captivity ;

    I have heard many say that they wont leave a situation until they here from God to go, however if God is not the authority over the situation then the controlling spirits will continue to keep in bondage all who are submitted to them.

    What any of us can do at any time is to simply ask Lord Jesus Christ to set us free from any spiritual bondages and deception .

    Then ask Lord Jesus Christ to make His will known regarding what we are seeking.

    In His Love

    Kevin

  150. Andrew May 27th 2012

    WAYNE made a very important statement above that I believe needs attention. Here is what he said-

    “I was merely pointing out that the real Church is God’s idea. The assembly of believers together on a regular basis with elders, pastors, teachers, evangelists, prophets, and apostles is not an invention of man – but is the design and purposes of Jesus Christ.”

    I was horrified to see that this kind of plain, biblical “obvious” statement has met with total disregard and even contempt on this site.

    You know, we do not allow “heretics” and people who continuously post false doctrine to stay here for long. After a short time they will find we will not continuously allow heresy to be posted.

    So I need to say something to those who think it is “OK” to oppose a plain biblical truth that is so obvious from the New Testament.

    If you disagree with Wayne’s statement above, I have to say you are in DEEP ERROR and HERESY in the whole way you think. I have to believe that there is something inside you that is truly “ANTI-BODY” and therefore “anti-christ”. Something inside you simply is deeply “off”. You have imbibed a doctrine and a set of ideas that is utterly against the “Body” of the New Testament and everything that Jesus and the apostles founded in the beginning.

    Let me repeat Wayne’s statement again-
    “I was merely pointing out that the real Church is God’s idea. The assembly of believers together on a regular basis with elders, pastors, teachers, evangelists, prophets, and apostles is not an invention of man – but is the design and purposes of Jesus Christ.”

    How could you be more Scriptural and plain and true than a statement like that?

    Wayne made another statement above as well. Here it is-
    “If all you have is interaction with believers on the internet, with an occassional interaction with another Christian in the flesh, you are living far below what Christ has died to give us….”

    How true! How obvious when we look at the New Testament! The “Body” is a key element to the whole of God’s purpose in the New Covenant!

    People who want to argue against these basic truths truly need to get down before God and REPENT and RENOUNCE these ideas that they have imbibed that are so “ANTI-BODY”. I myself used to be a totally “out of church” Christian. When I finally faced up to these truths, I had to get before God and REPENT and RENOUNCE the unbiblical things that I had believed. And I was utterly cleansed and transformed by the experience.

    Please, my friends, I beg you to do the same.

    Bless you!

    Andrew Strom.

  151. Andrew Strom; YES…..Structure is always the Way of God…always….right down to how the molecules and atoms work!

    However….the structure of the churches will only function well in the Mellinium when it is totally supported by Jesus Christ and the transformed Saints, and overseen by them. One only has to look at how the Old Testament “church” was set up…temples and such. But man got the upper hand there also…and God left them for a while. Just as God is leaving the huge man led churches of today….that started organizing after Christ left, and after the Apostles were gone.

    I have found on this list most support getting together….they just don’t necessarily support the massive churches that are lead by man. Even as small as one or two or three gathering in His name, and He will be there. No where did Jesus state that churches were supposed to be massive. Massive is the glory of man’s ideas. God did not even like man massing together in the cities, but prefered that man led an small community life. God has been very tolerant of His Sheep, trying to lead them into correct ways and safety….but He does not yet force His Will upon man, but asks for it, out of love, that they follow His Pattern.

    Robert Glenn is so right about Communion. Even small groups of two or three can gather together for a serious Communion of Christ’s blood and flesh. And you can gather in the large groups, if those who take it like they take their daily coffee don’t spoil your state of mind by their lack of Respect for the Lord. Communion is a time for renewal and alignment of our hearts and will towards Christ.

    As to the internet….it is not a gathering of a church,….it is more like a gathering to discuss scripture…a Bible Study….much like they gathered to discuss scripture in the ancient Jewish synogogs (sp). It is a “fellowship”. The language that is revealed in person by our flesh is not capable of being spoken on the Internet. A church worship body gathering must require the physical body also….not just the mind, or just our opinions.

    The official and required gatherings of the Holy Days, the Sabbaths, and The Holy Feasts prescribed by God were times of respect and order….a time of reference, and celebrating love for God. They sometimes did occur in the home, and sometimes were required to gather at certain places. I need to study them more….there is alot about God to be understood by those required Holy Days.

  152. dagazz May 27th 2012

    I take my inspiration from the scriptures. If the early church functioned. It seemed to do pretty well with a mixture of ministries from Paul, Peter, Appollos and groups of prophets as well as leaders who had oversight over the gatherings in their houses. it would be ignorant and dangerous for me to think I can do without the same input and ministries in his church now.

  153. Hey Carl,
    It is wrong to shun the nine gifts of the Spirit, but towards the end God will perfect His bride. As I been travelling, I have seen God speaking the same messages among various denominations (or as Ravenhill would say, ‘abominations’).
    Without the oil of Spirit and fire of God, it is impossible to attain His full stature. Many people we would call “dry”, but have a love for solid doctrine and genuinely love the Lord, will be brought through to higher ground towards the time of the end.
    A lady I know was planted by the Lord in a church that I would consider “doctrinally sound”, but there is no manifestation of the gifts, no dancing, no expressing people’s hearts to God, etc. When God planted her there, she had a vision of a river flowing from the throne, and through into the church.
    Hope that helps.
    With love,
    John.

  154. Hi Andrew,

    God’s plan is for the restoration of the New Testament Church…

    Just as Abraham “saw My day and rejoiced” we look ahead to see in our own lifetimes the fruition of this restoration…

    This is already happening – as I have stated previously – in other parts of the world – but not so much here in the West at present…

    As God gives us faith we know that He will restore this – this pattern – here in the West also before He comes again…

    Where there is a demonstration of the New Testament Church – the local, physical expression of a body of believers – meeting and exhibiting the Power of God as they have all things in common and no one claims anything to be his own and sharing everything with each other liberally and the Lord adding to their number daily those who are being saved and breaking bread with one another from house and house and sharing the Lord’s Supper with one another and the gifts and offices being recognised and respected (not enforced) then we should take notice of this and be encouraged at the Power of God being demonstrated in their midst, Amen?

    If this is not yet happening “in a town near us” then this is what we should be praying for, Amen?

    This is what I am praying for…

    And I am preparing myself – by surrendering myself to the Lord as much as I am able – to be ready for when this “Power of God” is released (similar to the Upper Room experience) for this to become a reality in my town, Amen?

    I think you’d find that any true believer would rapidly “warm” to this occurrence occurring in their home town (once they saw that it was real) and would soon “rally” to become a part of it…

    Once the Holy Spirit is “alive and active” in a group of believers He brings liberty and oneness to that group of believers and if that group of believers are all in close proximity and live in the same town then that is even more powerful…

    We cannot force people to work together, we cannot guilt trip people into working together, we must demonstrate the reality of what we are saying by actions and by the Power of God…

    This is what I am waiting for – a demonstration of the Power of God…

    If you are a part of such a local body of believers Andrew and you have all things in common and no one claims that anything is his own and you share meals with each other from house to house encouraging yourselves in the Lord and breaking bread with one another and have the gifts in operation and submitting to one another out of reverance for Christ and lifting one another up and building up the body of Christ in your local area – please share this with us so that we may all be encouraged and rejoice with you…

    This will encourage our faith…

    If you are not, would you agree with me that we are to be about our Father’s business to encourage this eventuality by prayer and waiting upon the Lord as the 120 did in the Upper Room before Pentecost?

    Love in the Lord brother,

    Andrew

  155. Roger Souden May 27th 2012

    Andrew – I have no wish to argue this with you, although at some time I would love to sit and talk through these things with you.. maybe after one of your P.North meetings..? if you could please send me your meeting dates.

    **
    Whilst the comments I make may seem to deny the scriptural truths of apostles, prophets, evangelists, teachers and pastors being raised up by God – the truth is the opposite, my experience has been that over the years I have met (God has introduced) us to some who would come under one category or another..

    These ones needed no other introduction, they did not need to tell me who they were, or their position in the Body of Christ. They wore no label, had no busines card, no fine clothes – they looked no different from the outside. It was the indwelling Holy Spirit in both of us, who although we were strangers, unified us in Christ Jesus – within minutes of meeting, we were ‘old friends’.

    Some of these divine introductions, were so that we could help others, as led by the Holy Spirit.

    Other divine introductions, were to bring help, counsel and teaching to us.

    Still other introductions, were for fellowship, mutual edification and encouragement.

    My point is that Almighty God knows each one of His chidren more completely than we will ever know ourselves – so, He knows when we need help from another of His disciples (whether it be teacher, pastor, prophet, builder, mechanic, or friend) and He has already prepared that person to come help..

    It isn’t that I and others who have experienced similar walks with Lord Jesus, are against His Body – we already recognise that we are born again, Holy Spirit filled, members of His body, and as we are led, we give or receive as the Lord Jesus directs.

    Those I have described above, are not in rebellion, they understand the need for complete surrender and submission to Christ Jesus as Lord of all His creation. They truly understand the necessity for the other members of His Body, and their individual callings and giftings. They also trust and believe that God will ‘bring us together’ in His time and in His will.

    Yes, I have also met ones who declare themselves as prophets, teachers, pastors, anointed of God – sometimes they have ‘supporters’ who will confirm this. These are the ones whom the Holy Spirit will prompt, warn, discern, check, witness, (whichever word we use) us to watch, wait and observe for confirming fruit. He may even say ‘avoid’ immediately.

    I know I keep referring to John chaps. 14 – 17, it is because these are a record of Jesus words explaining who and why, He gives us the Holy Spirit. Paul expands on this explanation – yet he continually points us back to Christ Jesus, our crucified, risen and soon returning Lord.

    If we abide in Christ Jesus as Lord, then He will abide in us..

    In His love and desire that we may all have revelation of His truth,
    Roger

  156. Carl:

    Jesus said, “Take heed how ye hear; in the measure ye mete, it is measured back to you.” God judges us according to our measure of light/spiritual understanding. Many people believe the gifts have ceased, and have been thrown off by the counterfit. They do, however, genuinely receive from the Head, live by every Word from His mouth, and are faithful to their measure of light; and God will honour them for that.

    Recently, I was drawn to an old evangelical church I was brought up in before I was saved. When I was got born again, I attended there, but then soon left due to hunger for a greater depth. When I recently went, they are hearing from the Lord, and have said that they need the gifts (fivefold ministry); and they are trusting God to send them. I attended another bible group (Pentescostal), and they are waiting for the Lord to send them apostles.

    God is building His church!

  157. There were many sheep scattered in the wilderness who had fled there pens when the wolves attacked and the ” shepherds ” failed to defeat the wolves.

    These scattered sheep had to fend for themselves out of necessity in order to survive.

    Now if they hear a voice telling them to return to the pen they fled from what do you suppose they will do ?

    If they hear the voice of a true shepherd who has defeated many wolves using Christs authority, calling them to a safe place what do you suppose they will do ?

  158. It is not enough to know the truth and speak the truth to gather the scattered sheep.

    Servants/ Shepherds need to demonstrate that Christ’s authority is with them in order to gather the scattered sheep.

    Scattered sheep will not return to the pen on verbal assurances only.
    They need to see that the shepherds who are calling them truly serve Christ and know how to defeat the wolves.

  159. The model for biblical discipleship is pretty simple really:

    An elder, one who is experienced in the faith, teaching another person Christ – who He is – by their word and way.

    As a “young man” gets sharpened and matures, he can help the babes.

    AS we all mature, we can sharpen one another, building ourselves up in our most holy faith: communicating in the Holy Ghost.

  160. I am in agreement with your comments regarding the “shepherds” and the “scattered sheep” Kevin (and the “wolves” too), this is the reality of the situation… :-)

  161. Martin May 27th 2012

    Andrew, I sincerely and deeply thank you for your care and concern for those of us who are out of church, as it is deprecatingly termed by others. It is uncommon, uplifting and for that reason far more worthy of attention.

    Here I speak for myself only, not defending a stance, nor in any way advocating it. The questions asked of Pastor Wayne have also been asked of clerics of most flavours, perhaps thirty, or more, of them, and more questions than I’ve recorded. Never has an answer be offered; just a few Scriptures hurled at me which don’t answer the case, and certainly not in terms of the OT quoted above. I have sought here, and elsewhere on JBT, to explain and describe the events, for the edification of others. Nowhere do I seek to justify to man this place out of church; It’s not required of me. It is a work of the Holy Spirit in me, and now I learn, so many others.

    Yet I will ask of you, Andrew, how do I repent of obedience?

    I’ll put some context to the account; not that it will change anyone or anything. That is in the hands of the Holy Spirit.

    I chose to leave the wealth, power and privilege of my upbringing and become a farm worker, my maternal family’s roots. Whilst it’s common place now to plead poverty and deprivation in childhood prior to success of some kind, this was not my lot.

    Much time was spent in solitude; weeks spent lambing sheep on the North York Moors during cold wet winter nights, cultivating a crop from poor soils in difficult and changing weather, eking out a living and having just a little to spare, and all the way just my Bible and prayer. It is an AV. I read the NIV to see what others are reading and the AV to read what God says.

    So often the glory of God was witnessed to me in that countryside, in a newly birthed lamb or calf, and in the lives of animals, in the ever changing countryside itself and the rich Christian fellowship around me in Chapels, singing our hearts out in Charles Wesley’s hymns. Fellowship was on Sunday in a Methodist Chapel with a local preacher, usually a man of the soil too. A mid-week faith supper always had sufficient food and some to spare to give away. That entire area was itself a fellowship; no one suffered need, we shared and were blessed.

    Theology for me then, and now, is a literal rendering of the Greek; God’s words about God. To be ecclesiastical, the self revelation of God to man.

    This was no cold Bible study, The Book was open to me, spoke to me, and fed me. It was my life, and put all of life in the context of God.

    After two years in Ireland I came out of farm work; I’m small of stature and heavy work took a physical toll which is still with me with me. Moving to a town where there were nineteen expressions of Christianity, each one disagreeing on a least one point of doctrine. Their enmity was tangible, and evidenced in every day life which actually amounted to, well, nothing of real importance! Methodists wouldn’t deal with Anglicans, Charismatics wouldn’t socialise with Fundamentalists and no one wanted to know the Catholics. As for a small Orthodox outfit, don’t ask.

    The newly opened Christian bookshop was a disaster until we learned to say to the ladies, cream bun dear, and sugar in your coffee? It was a good lesson; we may have our religion penny plain, but most prefer tuppence coloured, but that’s a secret between us. Just as well the nearest synagogue was forty miles away else there would have been a run on bacon bagels! All tuppence coloured.

    The events recorded above, and elsewhere on this forum by myself culminated in seeking the Lord Jesus in a cry such as I’ve not made since.

    Church attendance was with me from birth; I’m a fourth generation born again Christian. I did not want to leave fellowship. It’s ingrained into me. Yet in coming out, I knew also I was being birthed into something. Only now, twenty years on, is it becoming apparent, just what.

    Blessings received in these years have briefly been recounted above; not that I count material blessings as a measure of Grace imparted, but nothing of this could have come about but for Jesus ordering events.

    As a matter of fact, my wife divorced me and the first contact with my second wife, years later, came when the last thing I wanted was another wife! , That first contact was on the internet. Our first meeting showed me, the favour of the Lord rests upon her. And it does now. I’m so grateful to the Lord Jesus this Godly lady is my wife.

    As I sit here this evening, very late on a Saturday night, the God of the Bible is not the God of the churches and fellowships in my experience. It is another god. If I knew it’s name I would have unusual power over it.

    I agree with you, Andrew, and Pastor Wayne and so many others, Christian fellowship is required of us in the New Testament. It’s not an ideal, it’s expected of us. I do not argue against that; indeed, the hearts of my wife and I long for it. Yet if we would open our spiritual eyes we must admit, a great part of what passes for a Christian fellowship is not that. Worship in such places is as strange as sharing the Body and Blood of Christ in a Catholic Mass. I’ve been there!

    To echo the words of the man who was driver to Smith Wigglesworth during the War, a man whose parents were used of the Lord to bring a Pentecostal Church to a town in the north (that’s the one with a minster) a man so disillusioned, so perplexed as to what had become of that Church in his lifetime; I’ll say, if the Holy Spirit is not here, why should I be here?

    Strange fire or acceptable worship? One day soon we’ll all face that.

    Paul, Pastor Wayne, I’ll reply tomorrow; right now I’m very tired.

  162. Andrew May 27th 2012

    This is not about “going to church”.
    That is not what we are arguing about here.
    If you think this is the point, then you are mistaken.

    I am arguing against a DOCTRINE that I have seen on this forum again and again. It is a very dangerous and deadly doctrine. It says we can live in the “wilderness” fine for years – with no desire or need for “BODY”. Wayne is exactly right in a lot of what he said above.

    You know – a lot of the New Testament is aimed at bringing forth something. What is it? It is the CHURCH – the “BODY” – close knit and functioning with all the ministries, gospel, power, miracles – everything. I see a lot of people who no longer actively seek this. In fact they now have a DOCTRINE where it is OK to just forget the BODY and live totally in the Wilderness as a “permanent” state.

    They SAY they want real Bible Christianity. But everything they believe about BODY totally ruins the very idea of it.

    There are people on here whose views on BODY amount to pure HERESY. I say “REPENT” and RENOUNCE those beliefs.

    Bless you!

    Andrew Strom.

  163. wife and I are among those victims from the 1980’s, then left that church, only to fall into two more soon thereafter. 3 out of 4 churches there were right out of the shepherding movement. Wife is deeply burned out with ministry/church. Covet your prayers.

  164. Are the scattered sheep meant to come together of their own accord ?

    Or are the true shepherds meant to call the sheep together ?

    Did the NT church start from the assembly of men ?

    Or did Jesus and the apostles walk in the anointing of the living God drawing men unto God ?

    Does the cart come before the horse ?

    We have a power vacuum, that leaders seem unwilling to address, by looking at their own walk with Christ, in order to find the keys that bring about the restoration of all that the body of Christ is.

    Jesus combined the power of the Spirit with the truth of the written word. He set the example that has been followed by all His servants throughout history who have been used to bring about restoration.

    This is the pattern of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    In His love

    Kevin

  165. Andrew S,

    I don’t think you can really say anything to anyone who is caught in the wilderness in the absence of true revival.

    You have the truth and know the truth.

    Seek Christ for the spiritual power and authority to break the strongholds that bind this generation.

    Then when you have broken through and established a true fellowship of spirit filled believers moving as the Body was intended to, call to those in the wilderness .
    If they do not respond, then rebuke them.

    This should be the challenge for all who are called to lead and lack the stronghold breaking power to reach this generation.

    In Christ’s love

    Kevin

  166. Hi All,

    All I know in my own heart – speaking for myself – is that I desire fellowship – deep fellowship – with every other child of the Living God “alive and kicking” on the planet… :-)

    I am very happy to receive from them every good thing which the Lord has imparted to them and to share with them every good thing which the Lord has imparted to me…

    Sometimes people contact me and I have no unction from the Lord to respond to them, I don’t know why this is, but I go with that… :-)

    Other times I have people on my heart for months on end and they don’t seem to “leave” and I pray for them until the Lord releases me from that burden (until I feel a “lifting” over their lives)…

    Sometimes people don’t want the “support” I offer but until the Lord releases me I “stay at my post”…

    This is fellowship, this is obedience, being faithful to those whom the Lord has placed on our hearts to minister to…

    We each minister to whomever the Lord places on our hearts…

    When we hear from someone who is walking with the Lord and we ourselves are also walking with the Lord we know them in the spirit (the spiritual realm) – we know that what they are saying is truth…

    Unless there is that “witness” in our hearts – then we cannot have fellowship with them…

    Here’s the thing…

    If the Lord calls someone to a wilderness experience He will always bring them through it…

    There is no “permanent” wilderness experience for the children of God…

    The Lord called me into the wilderness to learn what true faith was…

    That was what He told me when He called me out…

    I still remember very clearly the day it happened…

    A brother had come to see Nancy and I and after dinner told me a parable (I won’t go into the details) which the Lord used to speak to me of what was ahead for me…

    The next day as Nancy and I led worship at our AoG church I suddenly saw everything very differently – like scales had been lifted from my eyes – and at the end of that service as this brother and I sat in his car at the fish and chip shop waiting for our order, I turned to him and said, “The Lord has told me to leave the Church (the local, physical expression of the Church) and to go into the wilderness to learn what true faith is”…

    He turned to me and placed his arm around me and the Presence of God filled his car… I wept…

    He then said, “The Father is here”…

    That was in around October 2004…

    I resigned my membership at the Church (the local, physical expression of the Church) straight after…

    After this, I experienced a number of deaths…

    The Lord was “removing” His Presence from me so instead of seeing my “giftedness” I and everyone else around me could see what I was without Him…

    I was a little bit like a Nebuchadnezzar experience…

    The only Presence of God I experienced was in my work – I felt Him completing my work through me but that was about it…

    All the “sin” which had been “bottled up” inside me which I’d been repressing for a number of years was “released” and started “spewing out” all over the place…

    Things went from bad to worse in my life as various roots were exposed and as I waited on the Lord – knowing that the parable He’d given me basically left me “dead” at the end of it before the Lord could do anything with me – I started to see improvement…

    The first thing He showed me was that I could forgive from my heart…

    That was amazing when He showed me that…

    And a great relief… :-)

    The next thing I saw was that as I spoke in tongues things would eventually be broken in me…

    The next thing He dealt with was my need for comfort…

    He showed me that this was only found in Him (He is still showing me that)…

    Coveteousness was dealt with (and is still being dealt with) in terms of not wanting anything…

    Fear of man…

    Loneliness…

    Being understood…

    Being accepted…

    Being recognised…

    All these things and many more He’s been dealing with in a way in which He would never have been able to if I’d kept my “ministry position” and continued to “sweep” all these “deep and hidden” things “under the carpet”…

    I’m not through yet but in March 2010 there was a major “step forward” as the Lord “brought back to life” all the words which I’d laid down which He and others had had over my life and He Spoke to me very directly about what He was going to do with me…

    Since then I suppose I view it that I’m on the “outward journey” from the wilderness – as I shared yesterday or the day before (I think) – I think it’s not long now until we come out “the other side” and can get “plugged back” into a local, physical expression of the Church again…

    But, be clear, that local, physical expression of the Church will not be what we left…

    No, it will be an expression which is pleasing to our Lord Jesus Christ, an expression which is His Heart for a local, physical expression of His Church – one which He Himself has initiated and one which He Himself will Guard and Keep and Protect…

    That is my testimony…

    Love in the Lord,

    Andrew

  167. Roger Souden May 27th 2012

    Andrew Strom – I’m not sure whether you read all of my last comment in reply to yours…? I will copy/paste just a few para’s., here in case you missed it, which partly speak to your concern about others like myself and their understanding of the Body of Christ Jesus….

    ***
    “…Andrew – I have no wish to argue this with you, although at some time I would love to sit and talk through these things with you.. maybe after one of your P.North meetings..? if you could please send me your meeting dates….

    ….My point is that Almighty God knows each one of His chidren more completely than we will ever know ourselves – so, He knows when we need help from another of His disciples (whether it be teacher, pastor, prophet, builder, mechanic, or friend) and He has already prepared that person to come help..

    It isn’t that I and others who have experienced similar walks with Lord Jesus, are against His Body – we already recognise that we are born again, Holy Spirit filled, members of His body, and as we are led, we give or receive as the Lord Jesus directs.

    Those I have described above, are not in rebellion, they understand the need for complete surrender and submission to Christ Jesus as Lord of all His creation. They truly understand the necessity for the other members of His Body, and their individual callings and giftings. They also trust and believe that God will ‘bring us together’ in His time and in His will….”

    ***

    In His love,
    Roger

  168. Andrew Strom,

    To clarify.
    You know the truth and preach the truth, however it is not enough to ” reason ” with people who are bondage.

    Every generation is bound in some way and revival comes when servants of God are given the keys for breakthrough in the spiritual realm.

    It is of concern that you would say that you have given up on this generation .

    You have the foundation of knowing the truth. Don’t give up on anything, rather seek the keys that are needed to bring about a breakthrough.

    This has been the pattern throughout history , in that many preached the truth as you do with out the results , becoming despondent leading up to the time when a breakthrough in a spiritual way gave them the stronghold breaking anointing to be effective in achieving the plans that Christ had set before them.

    In His love

    Kevin

  169. Roger Souden May 27th 2012

    Paul – may both you and your wife continue to seek the truth of Christ Jesus our risen Lord, as you seek His comfort – tired as you are, be assured He hears your cries and knows your situation.

    His purposes and plans will be fulfilled in your lives, if you continue to seek His Will for you, and Abide in Him…

    Heb 4:9-11 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

    In His love,
    Roger

  170. Andrew May 27th 2012

    Kevin – I have preached around the world and seen people repent in tears and all kinds of things. -Seen people truly transformed again and again.

    I don’t know what more you want of me.

    If I had no real anointing to preach I would not do it.

    But I have also seen again and again that there is no real “hunger” in the West for Truth – even most Christians. And in our own circles, no real hunger for the true “Body” to arise – or at least not enough to actually make a difference.

    I believe God is leading me away. I have put a great deal of prayer and literally risked everything on this path.

    If you ask me why I have pretty much given up on this generation, those are the reasons. After years and years, I am simply telling it how I see it.

    Bless you!

    Andrew Strom.

  171. Andrew – to clarify, when I said above ” with out results ” I meant in terms of breaking through into true revival.

    I can understand that God is leading you away, as my understanding of you is that you have always sought after true revival.

    I have felt for some time that you were going to have to move away from much of what you have previously done in order to find that which our Lord has put on your heart.

    Blessings in His name and love

    Kevin

  172. Andrew May 27th 2012

    The saddest thing is I truly feel there is a danger of a generation “dying in the Wilderness” – and God having to call a “new generation” to enter the Promised land.

    I think nothing could be sadder than that.

    There was nothing “good” about it in Exodus – and there is nothing “good” about it now.

    Bless you!

    Andrew

  173. Our Lord will harvest those He intends to.

    For every generation and country He will have particular servants in mind to achieve His plans.

    The challenge we all face is to understand how , where and when He is calling us to serve.

    In His love

    Kevin

  174. Hi Andrew,

    Do you believe that you personally have “broken through” into true Revival?

    Because if you do then you have the keys for this generation to also be “broken through” into true Revival…

    You have these keys in prayer…

    If you do not believe that you have these keys and you genuinely want true Revival then you need to ask the Lord to give these keys to you and wait for Him to do so…

    There is nothing “wrong” with this generation that the Lord can’t “fix” through you if you have the keys in your own personal life for true Revival…

    If you have “broken through” into true Revival then the Anointing will be upon you to “break others through” also…

    Even in the “wayward West”… :-)

    Amen brother?

    Love in the Lord,

    Andrew

  175. Roger Souden May 27th 2012

    Andrew (Strom),

    My friend – may I encourage you with this, an account of how we can trust God to perform that which He has purposed to do, with those that He has ‘called out’ of the world, to abide in Him..

    Three dear NZ friends of mine have died in the last 4 years – two of cancer, – the third of age and other health issues. A fourth died in Canada, of a heart attack, some 6-7 years ago, at the end of his last world trip that Lord Jesus had called him to.

    All four were members of His body here on earth, now – they will be members of His Bride when the ‘dead in Christ’ meet Him in the clouds.

    All four were considered to be ‘in the wilderness’ by others.

    Two of those I considered to be elders in the body, teachers, preachers, counsellors – men who walked and talked with Lord Jesus, who were obedient to His call and direction. One of whom, I had a long association with, over some 16 years – he (and his wife) were ones whom Lord Jesus used to disciple us (my wife and I)

    A third was our neighbour, an ex-con, regenerated by God whilst in prison – I was told (by God) to watch, observe, answer his questions – but keep my hands off – as God worked in Him, cleansing the vessel for His purpose. I knew this man for some 3 – 4 years, watched as he was stripped of wife, children, material possessions, and was priviledged to speak at his funeral, sharing the ‘new creation in Christ Jesus’ that I knew – with his family who had lost touch with their criminal, drug addict, son and brother.

    The fourth died a few weeks ago, his diagnosis was so late that there was no time for man’s medical help – he and his wife had complete faith and trust in God – whether he was healed or died, they were both determined that God would receive all the glory and praise for his life. Their desire and prayers were answered.

    All four had separate callings and giftings, given by the Holy Spirit – at times I have learnt from all four, at other times I was able to help all four. With each person, it was the Holy Spirit that introduced us, and was also the ‘witness’ that we were united in Him, and members of Christ Jesus body.

    Andrew – these are but four that have died in the wilderness – but only in the understanding of man – those that knew these four, will testify that they were about their Fathers business…

    …and these are only four of the ‘dead in Christ’, ‘living stones’, in His temple that I am aware of – others will give testimony to the ones that they know.

    I share this as a gentle encouragement that we, as individuals, are able to trust God that He is in control. It is His body, not man’s. Yes, we may share His concern for all memers of His body, but the care and protection, growth and calling, are all in His hands.

    May you be blessed in Christ Jesus our risen Lord, as you continue to seek His will in your life :-)

    In His love, (and friendship)
    Roger

  176. Andrew,

    I have been in Auckland since 1984 and stayed here because He showed me that there was a great revival appointed here.

    Since when are His plans thwarted by the state of the church or anything for that matter?

    Did the dry bones in EZ 36 a hinder to His revival power?

    I am sure that past revivals did not only break out when His church was in order…

    Blessings,

    Carl Emerson.

  177. Amen Carl, Revival usually breaks out when the Church (the physical, local representation of His Church) is in the opposite of order… :-)

    Arise, shine; for your light has come, And the glory of the LORD has risen upon you. For behold, darkness will cover the earth And deep darkness the peoples; But the LORD will rise upon you And His glory will appear upon you. (Isaiah 60:1-2 NASB)

  178. Andrew May 27th 2012

    The prerequisite for Revival is “hunger”.

    Jesus made this clear.

    I have not seen any – and I have been looking.

    In Africa and other poor places – yes.

    In the West – no.

    Hopefully some real “hardship” may make the difference. But it will take time.

    Bless you!

    Andrew

  179. Andrew – hunger might provide fertile ground, however Finney took the fire of God into dark places of bondage where there was no hunger , and set the captives free.

    When we look at the apostle Paul there were clearly places that he was directed not to go into at times, and we have the example of shaking the dust from their feet at unwelcoming towns,,,

    So,, I see that part of our challenge as servants of Christ is to be where He wants us, at the time He wants us, in order to be in His will , for if we are truly in His will , He will provide the fire power for His glory.

    If Paul had gone against Christ and gone into Asia when He was directed not to , would Christ’s authority have been with him ?

    Andrew, I’m not suggesting that you are willfully disobeying Christ, I am just saying that at times if we are not really clear it is possible to make plans ourselves and this could result in us being a little out of step with Christ.

    In HIs love

    Kevin

  180. Hi Andrew,

    The hunger is always there in those who are praying…

    They may not be many but they touch God’s Heart…

    There is always someone praying before Revival breaks out…

    And for Revival to be sustained there is always someone needed to be praying to sustain that Revival…

    Someone has to be “paying the price”…

    Even one person…

    I searched for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land, so that I would not destroy it; but I found no one. (Ezekiel 22:30 NASB)

    Are you willing to be that one person Andrew?

    Do you believe God could have called you to be an Intercessor?

    If you don’t, don’t you believe that God would call Intercessors to you to support you in the work which God has called you to accomplish for His Glory?

    Love in the Lord,

    Andrew

  181. With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. (Ephesians 6:18-20 NASB)

  182. dagazz May 27th 2012

    Hi again, firstly I will be praying for you and your wife Paul, not an easy thing to go through.
    Solutions…I would advise you to go to the least Andrew. This has been a big part of your calling in the past. They will hear, they know they have a need and are often poor in spirit. Look for what God is doing in your new location among them and become part of it…that will be your revival. I empathize with what you are saying and agree that it will not go well for many christians in their current condition – this shouldn’t stop you from demonstrating the genuine ministry of the kingdom though.

    We also need to stop looking to the big names, the professional ministries and the ‘glossy’ elements of ministry and go to the humble, the least and the weak. From my personal experience they have a more vibrant and real relationship with God than a lot of these figureheads. I actually think it is an idolatry that needs to be repented of…the whole laity – clergy practice is a hinderance to revival.When we do this God raises up the common people, enables them by his Spirit and builds His church.
    Every discouragement I have faced is because I have put my faith in people [especially leaders ] and not in God. God is building his church…these are exciting times and we do have the answers in christ.
    God bless, G

  183. Andrew S-Wow you have stirred a hornets nest. The five fold ministry you mentioned of course is essential for the body and I would be shocked if any on this site disagrees. However evidence of these ministries operating in the church here in the west this for the most part is absent and at best incomplete, thus resulting in a dysfunctional stagnant body. This is one of the reasons why THE LORD has called many out of the current denominational structure.

    I am concerned that you are judging many who you consider to be lacking the hunger for revival. For my part I am desperate for revival and change and to see the Lord re-establish a true mature body of faithful believers operating the gifts and ministering according in their call and I believe I speak for most on this site.

    I say again, you may have given up on this generation, but the Lord hasn’t. Please be careful that you only minister as the Lord leads and directs and not as a result of your frustration with what you perceive to be a lost cause.

  184. Coming back to the article ,

    I consider that parts of the article note go too far in being critical of people who are caught up in deceptions and bondages that they don’t understand, and who have never truly being set free.

    We need to be looking for the answers instead of always pointing out the problems, otherwise we are guilty of limiting our Lord Jesus Christ and in effect saying there are some things He can’t fix.

    We humans of flesh and blood are the only limitation to true revival . We can’t imply any limitation on our Lord Jesus Christ.

    We are not going to be able to overhaul anything until the spiritual strongholds are broken first and the true anointing and authority of our Lord Jesus Christ is restored

    Christ alone knows the hearts of us all , and if are willing to truly lay down everything , He will lead us to the place He wants us to serve Him effectively.

    In the love of our Lord Jesus Christ

    Kevin

  185. Andrew May 27th 2012

    Some of you are talking about “hunger” in scattered individuals. I am talking about general hunger in nations and groups of people. I have seen real hunger in Africa – which is the big reason they are seeing Revival.

    I see almost nothing like that in the West.

    Until you have seen this difference with your own eyes, I think it is difficult to understand. Suddenly the words of Jesus become very real. And yes – the poor of the earth also often have spiritual hunger.

    Complacency and comfort are usually the worst enemies of Revival. In the West we have those things in droves.

    Do not tell me this makes no difference. It makes a HUGE difference.

    I have spent years coming to these conclusions. They are very clear in Scripture.

    I will shut things down only as I believe God leads, not on a “whim”. But I am serious about it.

    Bless you!

    Andrew

  186. Andrew – by shut things down are you referring to this internet part of your ministry ?

    If so I have long considered that much of it has been a burden and potential distraction that could be keeping you from your true work.

    Kevin

  187. Andrew – you said ” Complacency and comfort are usually the worst enemies of Revival. In the West we have those things in droves.”

    I agree, particularly within believers, however there are still many non believers in the west who are open and looking for answers about God. Unfortunately you probably aren’t going to reach any of them through the existing Christian establishments.

    Blessings

    Kevin

  188. Andrew May 27th 2012

    I do not see this happening for at least a year.

    It has been a very long time coming….

    Bless you!

    Andrew

  189. Kevin- I have found this site quite time consuming and I agree that it could be distracting for not just Andrew but for many here from ‘making the most’ of every opportunity’ for the Lord. However it would be a shame for Andrew to close the site down as it can be helpful and encouraging.

    To be quite honest I am staggered at the length of some posts. Perhaps there should be a limit set on the number of words as I give up on many posts that launch into long exegetical sermons.

    Andrew, if you do close it down, may I just say thank you and bless you for the stimulating, thought provoking and challenging site. You are in my heart. I see your passion and your heart and I want a portion of it. May the Lord fulfill all His purposes for you and through you.

    With Love.

    Paul.

  190. Andrew – I have often considered that who you are in Christ was not going to be allowed to work successfully through established Christianity in the west.

    You strike me as been one for reaching the unsaved rather than preaching to the converted or those who think they are converted.

    So what you are considering it is not surprising .

    You have within you all that is needed to establish true foundations within non believers.

    May Christ lead you and guide you into His plans and purposes for your life.

    In His Love

    Kevin

  191. Andrew May 27th 2012

    Actually, my burden is for the CHURCH, Kevin, and for the restoration of NT Christianity. Always has been.

    I do not believe there will be any “shut down” of anything for a year yet, so there is still time to ponder it all before the Lord.

    BTW – I see very little real “hunger” in either believers or unbelievers in the West.

    Bless you and goodnight to all,

    Andrew

  192. Andrew, I have to go out and don’t have time to say much, but just that I’m a simple person who just believes where it says that if we plant our lives like a corn of wheat in the ground to die, it WILL produce a spiritual crop……in other words wilderness has a goal and an end……crossing the Jordan into the rest of God. My hunger right now is to be conformed into His likeness…….after that I trust that He will fulfill His personal promises concerning what He intends to do with my life.

    Please don’t be discouraged with this generation, we are living in unique days, the end of the age, and as far as I can tell this is the most wondrous thing the Father is doing this side of the Cross and early church since the Exodus, literally! Though we are scattered according to human eyes and understanding, He knows exactly where each one of us is and how to fulfill His plans and purposes, and I agree with many of the things our brothers have been saying above, and that the wilderness is not a permanent condition.

  193. Andrew – had you considered that reaching unbelievers could bring about the restoration of NT Christianity. ?

    Blessings

    Kevin

  194. Hi Johan, When someone disagrees with me about how I see the scriptures,in this case the subject of the rapture I can accept that and move on. When I think that I might be misunderstood then I feel compelled to try and clarify my stance.I agree with you the word is clear concerning the rapture but I think the waters[word] have been muddied by false shepherds,teachers and prophets.
    I am not a preterist .I don’t believe in dominion theology or kingdom now or latter rain teachings that incorporate either of these views.I do believe in the latter rain of God’s Spirit spoken of by Joel.
    The scriptures are clear as you say and the scriptures speak of 1 resurrection of the righteous,the just. Several scripture say THE resurrection.Jesus spoke of the resurrection.Martha spoke of THE resurrection and that it would be the last day.Jesus did not correct her on her timing for she was right,He only added that He is the resurrection.
    There are 2 more resurrection the way I understand it.The first is for the just,the Saints.This will happen at the last day as Martha said after the 7 year tribulation.They will go to the judgement seat of Christ.The second is the resurrection of the lost and all the unbelievers.This happens at the end of the 1,000 reign and they will go to the Great White Throne Judgement.
    The first resurrection pictures Jesus coming in the clouds[the clouds are the Saints that have died from Abel to the last Saint that dies in the tribulation] The rapture is those Saints still alive at the end of the tribulation.We all receive our new bodies at this time in a moment in the twinkling of the eye.
    I don’t want to belabor the point.
    Here are some good sites pertaining to the rapture resurrection.
    http://robertwells.tripod.com/Rapture.html
    http://endtimepilgrim.org/rapture.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAZlQcgtxEs
    If we don’t agree on this subject of course we are still brothers in the Lord.In due course we will see eye to eye in him.
    God Bless

  195. Good comment Mum.

    John 12:24-26

    “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.”

    2nd Corinthians 4:7-11

    “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.”

  196. One of the most dehilitating things a Christian can deal with is: Anger. Hidden anger. Some start practicing it from childhood, due to their home environment, school, broken friendships, namely blaming self or others for their woes. If we don’t renounce this quickly and continueously, it can be a death-nail in our walk with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Anger is not to be tolerated to fester for any reason, no excuses. It henders our faith and truth and retards our growth. We are to beseach the Lord to search our hearts. Hidden anger is a true death of a Believer, not only spiritually, but physically.

  197. Dave S May 28th 2012

    Just out of general interest is anyone on this thread actually discipling anyone. To a place where those people are confident to share their faith and disciple others. Some figures I have heard suggest that 90% of Christians are not brought into a place of confidence in Christ.

  198. Kevin said…

    Andrew – had you considered that reaching unbelievers could bring about the restoration of NT Christianity. ?

    This is my vision exactly…

    Lead by example and demonstrate to a sleeping church what Jesus is all about.

    Blessings,

    Carl Emerson.

  199. Michelle May 28th 2012

    Andrew,

    Then there is the situation where a person does want a fellow body of believers to function in, and they get booted out of that church body both in the physical church groups and online because of the things the Lord has shown them is not in line with the religiosity of those groups.

    Praise the Lord, though, that He is faithful to each member of His Body. He brings people into each persons life for a blessing, and to be a blessing for. Sometimes crossing the Jordan looks different in one person’s life than another. There is no cookie cutter Christian.

    If the prayer and intention of the person is to function within His Body, then He will bring that into reality. No matter how long the prayer has been prayed without seeing any evidence. Sometimes I think people try to force the unity rather than depend on the Lord for the gathering of a group.

    The future functioning of the Body of Christ will have all the gifts and functionings, but it seems it will look different than the meet in church on Sunday with the same group of people. Would it be too far out in left field to think that the Lord could bring into a worker’s life teachers, envangelists, helpers, and prophets that have no connection with each other for the purpose of fulfilling what the Lord had called them to. Is it a “new” concept that the Lord could use each in the same way for another’s ministry. Not knowing who else the Lord is using for different purposes, but it all comes together for the one person that it was meant for?

    Being apart of a body is important, but I really think the interaction of that body will look different than the traditional church. Especially since technology is such an integral part of society.

    The problem with the west, and America imparticular is the defiant pride that has replaced repentance. Unfortunately I see the need for the whirlwind to do it’s job as you have stated. The ease and comfort has done much harm spiritually.

  200. Dave S asked ;

    “Just out of general interest is anyone on this thread actually discipling anyone. To a place where those people are confident to share their faith and disciple others. Some figures I have heard suggest that 90% of Christians are not brought into a place of confidence in Christ. ”

    ++++

    Dave , yes Christ has me doing this , often with the ones who He used me to reach for Him

    In His Love

    Kevin

  201. Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

    First, I want to thank you all for your comments, insight, sharing of very personal experiences, and sharings of the Word. I thank you all because in it all I believe there are issues which have come to the surface which speak to what God desires and is doing.

    It is very important for the people of God to know the times in which they live and to be attuned to what the Spirit is saying to His Church at any given time.

    If you would allow me, I would like to share with you some of the things I believe the Holy Spirit has been sharing with me.

    Until just today, I have not read any of the comments on this site since my last post two days ago. However, the Spirit has been working within me and the comments I have read confirm what I believe the Spirit is saying. I know that I am given to some of the longer posts sometimes so I will try to be as brief as possible.

    I believe we ALL recognize the disaster which much of the established church has become. We all realize that it is contrary, or operating contrary, to the things of Christ. Much of it is apostate, corrupt, abusive, and self-serving. Many of us who have tried to bring correction and reproof have been met with hatred, persecution, and such things. We know that very much of what calls itself the Christian church is anything but Christian or Christ-like. In many cases such churches are, in reality, anti-christ organizations.

    Thankfully, God has graciously brought us out of these dens of iniquity and has mercifully called us to a closer walk with Him. His Holy Spirit has been leading each of us on individual courses -but often with similar stories of how the Chief Shephard of our souls has been developing Himself within each of us.

    I believe that we have been in a transition and are on the verge of a major spiritual shift which our God is engineering. Some of you have alluded to it in your posts above and this confirms what the Spirit has been working in my own spirit these last few days.

    The church or churches we have been apart of are dying and/or joining the dead religions of the anti-christ, but God is about to build His Church anew. It will be vastly different from the “churches” we have known and come out of. It will be the Church which a number of you have described, which the Word of God also describes. It is the Church I was attempting to communicate in my previous posts, but perhaps did not do such a good job of communicating.

    This will be a Church of those who have been called by the Master, who have clung to Him by His grace through trials and tribulations and rejections by the false churches. It is His Church which will be put together by His Spirit, after His pattern which He has given to us in His Word.

    It is a Church where local groups of believers meet together on a regular basis as well as informal fellowship wherever they meet by appointment of the Lord. It will be a Church in which the five-fold gifts of Christ in Ephesian 4 will obviously be operating and building up the believers to be mature, solid, and minister Christ to each other and the lost.

    It will be a Church where the various parts of Christ’s Body know their place within the Body and are free to be the parts Christ called them to (without the hindrance of self-appointed taskmasters or dictators). Rather, this Church of Christ will humbly serve one another, forebear with one another, be tenderhearted to one another, forgiving one another, and esteeming each other better than him/herself.

    It will be a Church which will subject itself to the leading and direction of the Holy Spirit and thus will be one with Him and one with each other. It will be a Church where local bodies of believers do not put a denominational label on themselves, but rather will know one another by the love we have for one another.

    It will be a Church where the control and leading of the Holy Spirit is so sought and submitted to that gatherings together will not center around a liturgy. Rather He will lead and direct the services through various parts of the Body to accomplish His purposes for that particular Body for that time of meeting together.

    It will be a Church where the nature and characteristics of Christ (or the fruit of the Spirit) will be visible in the lives of believers as they rub shoulders with the unsaved in the marketplace.

    It will be a Church where, when a believer falls or fails, he/she will not be shot or kicked to the curb. Instead, his brothers and sisters will uphold that one and seek to restore that one to a proper walk with God. In cases where it is needed, they will also be faithful to administer proper and loving spiritual discipline to that wayward or rebellious one.

    I believe we all long for such a fellowship of believers, who have separated themselves from the perverseness and stain of this world and the worldly “churches” – a fellowship of believers who truly love God with all their hearts and love each other as themselves.

    Could I encourage all of you to pray that our Master will soon bring His Church to such a place as He has designed in His Word?

    I believe our Father desires to raise up a true Church after the design we see in the New Testament. Let us pray for it, labour together for it as much as we can, and seek others of the same heart and spirit to begin that move toward the development of this true Church.

    In the wilderness travels our Lord has lead me on in the last 20 years, I believe He has been forming this vision and placing this deep desire for His formation anew of the Church He died to birth and bring to Himself as His bride.

    As I read and study God’s Word, I don’t see Christ returning for a Church which is torn, divided, and living in isolation from each other. I see Him coming for a Church without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing, but rather a Church which is holy, without blemish, united in Him and with each other – a Body walking in submission to the Head. It will be a Church where we all walk humbly before our God and will be approved vessels of honour which He will use to minister His light to this lost and dark world.

    May God lead us together as we pray, seek, and work towards the Church He designed. May He bring it together – whether it takes a slow time of progression or He brings it about “in a day.”

    God bless each of you,
    Wayne

  202. This generation will not pass away before Christ acts. If He were to wait, what with the ability for dark to spread so fast now with technology….the dragon would win all upon the earth…..and we know that does not happen.

    Have hope…He is coming….He will not let His Work come to nothing!

  203. May God lead us together as we pray, seek, and work towards the Church He designed. May He bring it together – whether it takes a slow time of progression or He brings it about “in a day.”

    Amen to that brother Wayne, Amen Lord, Thank You that You are building Your Church and that the gates of hades shall not prevail against It… :-)

  204. Wayne,

    You have pretty much expressed my hope also.

    May we see it.

    May it start with us.

    Blessings,

    Carl Emerson.

  205. Roger Souden May 28th 2012

    Wayne – you are describing the worldwide ‘body of Christ Jesus’ in operation. His Ekklesia, His ‘church’.

    We do not see the fullness of this as yet – however, it is working this way in a number of areas around the world right now.

    When you say:
    It will be a Church which will subject itself to the leading and direction of the Holy Spirit and thus will be one with Him and one with each other. It will be a Church where local bodies of believers do not put a denominational label on themselves, but rather will know one another by the love we have for one another.

    It will be a Church where the control and leading of the Holy Spirit is so sought and submitted to that gatherings together will not center around a liturgy. Rather He will lead and direct the services through various parts of the Body to accomplish His purposes for that particular Body for that time of meeting together.

    This was exactly what He showed me, some years ago, and He is accomplishing, building, placing, directing, and using, His ‘living stones’ right now, and I know of others to whom He has given this same vision.

    Hab 2:2 And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.
    Hab 2:3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.

    In His love,
    Roger

  206. Roger Souden May 28th 2012

    My apologies – I quoted two of Waynes paragraph’s

    *******
    Wayne – you are describing the worldwide ‘body of Christ Jesus’ in operation. His Ekklesia, His ‘church’.

    We do not see the fullness of this as yet – however, it is working this way in a number of areas around the world right now.

    When you say:
    It will be a Church which will subject itself to the leading and direction of the Holy Spirit and thus will be one with Him and one with each other. It will be a Church where local bodies of believers do not put a denominational label on themselves, but rather will know one another by the love we have for one another.

    It will be a Church where the control and leading of the Holy Spirit is so sought and submitted to that gatherings together will not center around a liturgy. Rather He will lead and direct the services through various parts of the Body to accomplish His purposes for that particular Body for that time of meeting together.

    This was exactly what He showed me, some years ago, and He is accomplishing, building, placing, directing, and using, His ‘living stones’ right now, and I know of others to whom He has given this same vision.

    Hab 2:2 And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.
    Hab 2:3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.

    In His love,
    Roger

  207. Martin May 28th 2012

    Pastor Wayne, I stand with you, a true man of Christ. And I thank God for you.

    My post of a couple of evenings ago now seems harsh. I offer you no excuse, but an unreserved apology. Please Pastor Wayne, and all of you, forgive me in Jesus Name.

    Like you, Pastor Wayne, much has been made known to me in recent days: I had no idea so many people around the earth had also been called out from dead or demonic churches. No idea the Lord Jesus had implanted the same hopes, and knowledge, in quite so many people. For those who have made public their ‘called out place,’ I sincerely thank you.

    Ours can be a relatively isolated existence, there just isn’t a place to worship regularly together and say we have a spiritual home we call Church. My maternal grand parents spent an entire lifetime living spiritually in one place of worship. This has not been the lot so many in our time.

    Yet there has been other provisioning; sweet, pure, penetrating; times of comfort, refreshing, instruction and leading by the Holy Spirit unparalleled in our earlier days. No intermediary, no fellowship to apply balm, but a total dependence on the Lord Jesus for every provision. Holding the opinion those of us outside the main stream are spiritual dwarfs is generally much mistaken. Andrew J Horton expressed it perfectly, called out and called into. Thank you Andrew.

    The functioning Body of Christ we all long for, pray for and look to is not yet; but it is close. We are unwise to press in on it until told to do so. This is not quite yet the season. His ways are higher than our ways, and for a certainty His word will not return to Him void; it will accomplish that which He purposed for it. There’s are assurance. The promise of God.

    My long time understanding is we will get a massive revival, on a scale never before imagined; but first comes yet more, and more intense, judgement. Judgement on the House of God and judgement on the nations; none will be immune.

    World events, as we are allowed to know them, are moving at such a pace if I were not in Christ there’s sufficient reason to be frightened indeed. Biblical prophecy is being fulfilled, the age is closing as the Bible says it will.

    Andrew Strom, I stand along side those who thank you for this forum. If it is the will of the Lord to close it, please allow us the opportunity to exchange email addresses, for fellowship such as this is sweet indeed. I do believe firmly, this is a part of our Father’s business.

    Again Andrew, my wife and I share your despair for this generation. The fields are barren, the harvest is small at best. My brother in Christ whom I respect and admire, I care not to offer counsel to you, my senior, but instead offer for just a moments thought. Just maybe you’re pressing in too hard and too quickly. Do keep us posted, Andrew.

    Thank you all for what you have become to me. In Jesus Name.

  208. Pastor Wayne, just to confirm that what you shared in your last post are the same insights others I am in contact with share.

    In His love

    Kevin

  209. Averyl May 28th 2012

    I think most of us posting here have the same burden for the Church. Many of us would be considered, as Andrew said, – “lone rangers, not belonging to anything”. Just because we don’t belong to anything visible, doesn’t mean we don’t belong to the Church.

    Andrew said in his article on ‘The Church of Tomorrow’ that people will be leaving the denominations, there will be miracles, & there will be no division between ministers & laity. So one can’t very well preach that message in churches, you would be escorted to the door!

    Aren’t we putting ourselves at risk by looking for those anointed with the 5-fold gifts? Andrew, you left the Prophetic Movement in 2004. Now the New Apostolic Movement has replaced it.

    We don’t enjoy being in the wilderness, we are looking for & desire to be united with the Body.
    Leadership may be desirable, but where do we find it???

  210. Just a reminder. Today May 27, 2012 is the day we were to celebrate Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit was first poured out on the first fruits of God’s Salvation in Christ Jesus.

    Robert Glenn

  211. AVERYL: I don’t presume to answer of behalf of Andrew S, but you asked a reasonable question which I could perhaps shed some light upon.

    You asked one question in two parts; “Leadership may be desirable, but where do we find it???”
    and, “Aren’t we putting ourselves at risk by looking for those anointed with the 5-fold gifts?”

    First, I believe we need to recognize that it is Christ who puts the call upon those designed by Him to fulfill the role of the 5-fold ministries.

    Second, you are correct that it is possible for us to be at risk when desiring a full measure of the true 5-fold ministry in Christ’s Church. We are always at risk of being deceived by our own hearts, as well as through others. It also seems to be our tendency to put a man on the pedestal instead of Christ. Ephesians 4 tells us that these roles are given as gifts by Christ to His Church, In the natural, when we are given a gift by another person, we appreciate the gift, but we thank the giver – not the gift. So it is with the 5-fold gifts. We appreciate their ministry, but our focus is upon the Giver and we give our thanks and worship to Him. The minute we begin to elevate the gift rather than the Giver is the moment we are in grave danger.

    Third, as we have seen that these gifts are Christ’s will and design for His Church, then we ought to be praying according to His will (read Matthew 6:9, 10; and 1 John 5:14, 15).

    I believe and know that there are those called to these giftings who also have been called out (and in some cases cast out) of the institutional churches. They, too, have been in the wilderness being prepared by our Father to better fulfill His calling upon their lives. I think it quite possible that some are in place already and fulfilling their roles in small, obscure places and serving small fellowships. I also believe it possible that God may be raising up and preparing some in what we call the Third World nations – places where vibrant assemblies of believers are in existence now. They may be coming to the western world as missionaries to minister to us.

    Until that time I would suggest that if you can find true believers in your own area that you start gathering together regularly for fellowship, Body ministry, and prayer – especially for God to bring His renewed Church to full fruition. If this not possible, I urge you to continue to seek God, and don’t lose that desire for the fulness of His Church as we see in His Word.

    You may not “find it” – “It” may well find you in His timing. Don’t be discouraged. God often teaches us His patience over the course of years (ouch!! LOL). I can attest to the fact that the wait and His teaching is well worth it. He does ALL THINGS WELL!!

    God bless you, my sister.
    Wayne

  212. Andrew May 28th 2012

    Does this now mean that Wayne has made his peace with the “ANTI-BODY” faction that practices “no leaders” and “no meetings” and “no body”?

    We will find out in due course.