Chris Welch uses Designer Pro 365 to illustrate all 3rd level concepts

Friday, 30 July 2010

It's Not Going Away- the latest blog review of CE


This simplified post was done on my Blackberry
Grace Thorson is a qualified web designer. This is a link to her blog where she writes about Corinthian Elders -
http://thechristianscroll.blogspot.com/2010/07/enlightening-read-book-review-on.html


Corinthian Elders by Jack Fortenberry is a 92 page commentary. The book consists of a prologue and ten sections. At the end, I found an epilogue, appendixes, and a short list of recommended sites.

The writing is deep and the information is well-researched. Jack Fortenberry did a great job of presenting it. He translates words from the New Testament into the Greek meaning. He brought to light entirely new ideas for me. It made me re-think the church and how it should look today. Not many books strike my interest like this. I had to share my new found knowledge with my mom and, in turn, I sparked her interest in reading this book. Corinthian Elders truly changed my outlook on what the church should really be about. It’s not a building; it’s not our leaders. Instead we should focus on Jesus and really fellowship with our brothers and sisters.

I recommend Corinthian Elders to readers who are interested in the church, and the roles we should have in it. I think that this book would make for an interesting Bible study for men and women. It’s enlightening, but it might not be for everyone; like I said, it digs deep. A really interesting book!

God bless!
~Grace

Posted by Grace at 2:10 PM ⁠

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

A Commissioning by Nancy Gilmore. His 2nd Coming by Ole Henrik

A Commissioning (from Facebook) by Nancy Gilmore
In a commission that I had been in for many years, I was commissioned by the Spirit to go to a certain place where this individual that I was in the commission for would be. I was told by the Lord not to let anyone stop me. Once there I found I would be standing in the gap physically (as a proxy) for this person who would have been seriously attacked, (harmed, even possibly murdered!). The Lord told me what to wear and what not to wear. Once I was on the scene I became the attraction for the one seeking to harm the one I was standing in the gap for. At the proper time, known only by the Lord, when I was completely alone and on location, I was physically attacked. While being physically attacked I was given instruction, by the Lord, what to do and what not to do; and I was told by the Lord what the perpetrator would do, also. I follow all instructions and everything happened exactly as the Lord revealed. At the proper time when all the instruction were accomplished, and the attacker had me pinned physically so I could no longer move, I cried out to the Lord to help me! Beyond instantly, I found myself located on the other side of the road, freed from the attacker and in complete control of the events, ordering the attacker, (who was now begging me for forgiveness), to leave. I told him to leave the scene before I got someone to help me! Which, of course he did! And the person who I had stood in proxy for was never harmed! Praise The LORD! Once this incident was made public the attacker was found, arrested, and charged (not by me) by the authorities who followed up on the attack.


His Second Coming



Posted on July 25, 2010 by Ole Henrik Facebook
This is how Lucas depicts Jesus’ ascension: “They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them.”Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

In John chapter 16 Jesus tells the disciples, “in a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me.” When Jesus used the phrase “in a little while” He obviously meant a period of days. We know that is a fact regarding His ascension. Since He uses the same phrase about His return He meant that after a period of days they would see Him again.

In the last chapter of his Gospel John writes that Jesus showed Himself three times to the disciples after His resurrection. It wasn’t a ghost they saw but a real person in flesh and blood as witnessed in particular by Thomas when he was offered to put his hand into Jesus’ side.

When the two men in white said that Jesus would come back in the same way as the disciples had seen Him go into heaven they meant that Jesus would return in flesh. He had ascended in the flesh and He would return in the flesh. The Jews are still waiting for their Messiah. They missed His coming, and are thus still waiting. Large parts of Christianity are still waiting for Jesus’ second coming. As the Jews they have missed the event, because Jesus has indeed returned in the flesh after a little while as He promised.

The Jews missed Jesus because they couldn’t fathom that He would be born as a poor unnoticed child in a manger. They thought He would come with flashing lights, great pageantry and ethereal splendor. Christianity has missed Jesus second coming because they cannot fathom that He has returned as you and me who are quite ordinary persons in the flesh. We



are that manger where Jesus is born again and again. Paul puts it like this: “To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

In the book of revelation John writes: “Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him.” In the literature we find a myriad of imaginative attempts at explaining this verse. Notably that all will see Him has puzzled many a commentator. However, if Jesus has returned in a host of born again Christians this passage suddenly makes a lot of sense.

There are passages in the Bible which allude to that there will be an additional second coming beyond the one discussed in this brief article. However, this particular event is hidden from me, so all I can say is: time will show.

Friday, 23 July 2010

BBC Series Victorian Pharmacy : Managing Change


Victorian Pharmacy is a brand new, quality BBC Production which recreates the social history and environment surrounding pharmacies in the Victorian Era. It is one of those programmes that is pleasing on many levels at once. The presenters are animated and enthusiastic. The research is second to none, and consequently presenting how remedies were made and applied is both accurate and amusing. Camera work and lighting, as you see from the stills are immaculate. But even more is revealed as the pharmacy is put into its context of a unique society. The information and pictures here originate from Episode Two.




Victorian society is unique in this way. Perhaps it was the last truly "old-fashioned" society, based on customs and mores from time immemorial, while the new scientific thinking was just breaking through into people's consciousness. In other words, many stupendous discoveries were just starting to be made across all the disciplines of science, but they were as yet too new to have made too much of an impact. Yet from this time on, the empirical approach resulting from hard science would gain ground, and out of this the very way we live our lives, which really hadn't altered a great deal for centuries, would completely change.
So studying a pharmacy isn't quite the narrow study you would expect.

Here are some elements.

As new science emerged, a new understanding of our daily world emerged too. Ideas behind health and healing would changeand consequently medicines would change.




The secondary element covered by the programme was traditional and the placebo effect. Traditional medicine did not disappear and still hasn't. Some of the tried and trusted herbal remedies still exist for a reason. They work. Others continued to be used because they were traditionally thought to work. Some of these, which have no rhyme or reason to them whatever, continued to be used because of the placebo effect. They were confidently and authoritatively dispensed, so for that reason alone, and with no basis in scientific fact, the purchaser would confidently take them expecting to improve, and they did.

A third element had more to do with what was fashionable. In today's society firms have to be very careful how they word their sales pitch.But still today, as then, items were purchased simply because it was fashionable behaviour. "Because you're worth it!"

One of these customs surrounded the fashionable feminine behaviour of swooning. Who has noticed that ladies don't generally do this any more....unless extremely excited by the presence of pop stars.s!








The habit of swooning, feigning swooning or threatening to swoon was the socially acceptable and attractive( to males at any rate) way of demonstrating their position as the weaker, dependable sex.




The pictures show how pharmacists prepared smelling salts : white ammonia salts collected from stale pee and smelling of such, in a solution which was then soaked into a sponge, (in order that less was used,) topped up with something to disguise the bad smell, like essence of lavender. This was then sold with a high price tag.

I wonder if any regular blog readers have already caught where I am going with this. If I was part of the "Discernmentalist Mafia", I would be comparing swooning with Toronto Manifestations. And dubious clips do appear on Youtube. But there are also great clips, such as the one where a baby goes straight out in the Spirit. (How many mums and dads are thinking I'd like some of that at 3 am in the morning?" )

But no, this post is about managing change in the Church and although triggered by the analogous changes demonstrated in Victorian Pharmacy, it turned out more than usually prophetic of 3 occurrences last week. Firstly, a surprise initial visit to our house from our University friend Mike Terry who was at Exeter University with Christine and myself.
A former naval commander during Falklands, he has just passed a Theology degree, flabberghasted us all by marrying (even later than me) and both he and his wife,American Nicky Sue, run separate local Anglican churches. Bear in mind that as a piano tuner and salesman I either tune or have sold pianos to many ministers of all denominations in the area...so not a few acquaintances are familiar to both of us.

The second element was hearing a podcast (No.10)between Darin Hufford and Frank Viola,two names pretty synonymous with Emerging Christianity in the USA.


The third element was my first ever meeting after 11 years alongside Christine with Peter Stott, who is effectively the senior overseeing pastor of Havant Church. He kindly spent 3 hours of his time with us and some basis of relationship was taking place. These 3 occurrences are entirely relevant to the subject of Managing change in the Church worldwide.

So let's work out from the Victorian Pharmacy.



  1. New science was emerging, so new treatments and more hygienic behaviours were appearing.


  2. Traditional pharmacy was often slow to change even if, from a scientific point of view,it could be proved to be of no use at all.


  3. The placebo effect was often king.



  4. Some practices were not just pointless, but both the remedies and the "conditions" in the first place were totally spurious, only existing for another reason entirely : to drive an entirely manufactured form of social interaction. Fashion.


Every stage of corporate and individual Christianity has its wineskins. Its attendant structures.


Before Luther, Christianity had pretty nearly been reduced to the taking of Catholic Mass. The Eucharist. For a more in depth understanding read Frank Viola's "Pagan Christianity"


Luther restated that justification was by faith. Not works. And the ball began rolling again, as each subsequent generation started to get more revelation from the Heavenly Sanctuary, whose earthly 3D diagram was the Old Testament Tabernacle and Temple layouts. This is actually what happened, and things are an awfully lot simpler seen in hindsight. The Anabaptists discovered water Baptism, but also believed in the "washing of the Word". So, without going through everything on this post, but if putting our faith in the Christ on Calvary is the same as approaching the brazen altar of God's judgment, and baptism as a believer is represented by the laver, which also represents the cleansing operation of God's Word, His scriptures......then you can pursue all manner of movements since then, like Darbyism which represented meetings where believers gather round equally to share God's Word in the manner of the Table of Shewbread, and Quakerism followed by later pentecostalism, this sense of meeting in the Holy Place, where there is NO NATURAL LIGHT....no pure reliance on intellectual understanding, but reliance on a relationship with the Holy Spirit.


It cannot be emphasised enough how big a change has come on the worldwide church in the last 100 years through Pentecostalism. This is related also to the Holy Place.


Now each type of church usually begins in Pyramid format, with a leader and congregation, typically matures and then more and more people grow into leading roles. If a leader's vision is all about him being leader, splinter groups form underneath his cork in the bottle approach,and they then hive off with perhaps a greater revelation, to either begin the same pyramid cycle, or to learn to proliferate in a more generous and organic way.



So what happens in the Third Level? The level represented by the Holy of Holies?


Is this where we now are? Well, in the USA, it means walking out of what they call the IC (Institutional Church)and learning the whole Christian Life from scratch based on a completely new set of findings. This would be the angle of Darin Hufford and Frank Viola and many others in the Emerging Church USA.


Neither Mike Terry representing Anglicanism, nor Peter Stott representing quite a serious seeking of God -charismatic-independent church seem to have fully grasped the unusual nature of the hour.


Some of the American believers who have left IC, are still in seeking mode. Others have been in finding mode.


Through my own prayer of desperation between 1978-1987 I too was led into a completely new understanding of things, and the substance of it remains pretty intact today. See the bloglink to the 1989 message "Third Level Christianity". Events drove me out of a charismatic church to spending a whole 10 years or so outside church altogether and learning a bit about how this third level works.... or, maybe, as I have said before, to thoroughly ground me in the true 2nd level before launching into full-fledged intercessory operations. Norman Grubb calls these faith commissionings.


How do traditions change? 1st level churches had seminary trained pastors. They had national conferences around Bible speakers. These became much more colourful in the 2nd level with the ability to sing praise and worship with completely new songs, spontaneous flow, singing in tongues. Leadership became less reliant on seminary trained individuals.


3rd level stuff is even more loose, organic; based entirely around real heart relationships, not the professional ones that still existed sadly in the charismatic setups. It's more about transference of the Living Word, from out of someone's genuine life experience straight through to other people's spirits. Do we go to church? We are the Church. The Church is doing what we are doing.


How does worship work? Well it should be purer. But that's really the wrong question. Or it's a 2ndlevel question coming out of a 2ndlevel mindset.


The truth is this. The whole idea of 1st and 2nd level church is blown out of the water by 3rd level realities. It's like someone coming into the pharmacy asking for a cure for an atmosphere of bad miasma. Science had just shown that the whole "miasma" world view was complete and utter baloney.


The problem was bacteria and you needed to wash your hands, because they were transmitted through air, water and by skin contact.

Here's a typical internal shift in our new reality.


June Melanson posts this excellent quote from Martin Kronback on Facebook "NEED "MORE" OF GOD?" People are looking for "more of God" We got the ALL of God in Christ but it's a mystery. "We carry this treasure in earthen vessels"..."if the same Spirit that raised Christ that raised Jesus from the dead lives in you..." That's because you are already "United with Christ" 100%... if you are born again‎(Romans Chapter 6) Rest in the I GOT IT ALL ON THE CROSS . True Sanctification is a fruit of that rest. No glory to us, but to HIM BE ALL THE GLORY!
We recieved a perfect gift like a Pandoras box (but positive) we got the full gift once but... it opens up in new dimensions and this treasure unfolds itself in and through us. We need to rest in the gift of Salvation!!!!!!!!!!


I tried to clarify this further:

It's the unspoken side of "More of God" that's the problem.What on earth do you mean Chris?Well,included silently in the equation is you as an "independent being" leaning out over a clifftop reaching with flailing hands to try and include "more of God" into your "separation existence". And we get so annoyed when our prayers aren't answered.

It's a similar frustration to Joshua asking the strange looking man "Are you for us or against us" and getting the reply "No!"

You can hear Joshua going"What d'you mean no? That's not an answer!" Then the angel of the Lord effectively says "Because I am the Commander of this show...and you...fall into line!"

In similar vein God would also say to us "I'm not answering your" more of God" prayers", because firstly I am not going to add my glory to your delusion of separation and secondly,I already answered your prayer 2000 years ago and you've just not been listening. I killed your delusional "separation existence" at the Cross and both raised you up and REPLACED you with Me...so how am I gonna add more of Me to your old-fashioned now out of date delusion!!!! "

Mike Terry approached things from a very interesting angle. He said that a Messianic believer

had been talking about the Bible representing both the priestly and the prophetic.But here the meaning of priestly is as in Anglican priest incanting repeated formulaic phrases into which people meditated and prayed. So Genesis 1 was more in this style, whereas Genesis 2 and 3 were more questioning, more prophetic in nature, cutting to the heart of things. The prayer of Jabez is more of a formulaic prayer, as are many many of the shared Israeli prayers. Mike stated the example of Catholic Rosary prayers and the Anglican system of using set services which people knew by heart, and could settle into with the things that were on their heart that week.


The point of singing new songs and choruses repeatedly has the same kind of meditative intent.For me personally, the routine of piano tuning has a similar meditational function, so I cannot really argue too much.


Mike also made another oft repeated point. That church history is filled with schism and why should it be so?
I have thought about this seriously this week and sought to address both topics in a Facebook message to Mike, also including information about our meeting with Peter.
----------------------
Chris Welch 24 July at 16:48
There are certain structures and frameworks.Daily routine/structures of things to apportion responsibilities.The Bible calls these wineskins.The big one is Genesis 1.
No generation yet has learned how to hold the wineskins(the smaller ones)so lightly that the Holy Spirit only has to whisper and we change them.

In Genesis 3 the devil enticed us into a whole new existence where we live thinking we have a separate life from God and we make our own choices from a Tree of 2 extremes.Good and evil.

The opposite of the Tree of Life is not anarchy but order.Man is held in a form of check,a cage of the law of sin and death until they live from the Tree of Life.

Religion and politics are two fierce arms of the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil.



The pliable wineskin filled with new wine ends up shortly as the dry cage of religion's next generation.
The e-cclesia-Greek- is the called out community ...German root KIRCHE-KIRK-Church.

The church is always called out by the Tree of Life to extend the borders...to suffer outside the city and bear reproach there Hebrews13:13.

To date no generation has learned how to move with the cloud....and even those Israelites that did fell in the wilderness.
Individuals have.Derek Prince for one.So we know its possible.

Jesus said the Kingdom field would be a mess.Good seed and bad seed.All seed is known by its fruit.

He also said seed has to go into the ground and die.We as individuals do,but on a much bigger arc the Church has too.

Luther was used at the Church's lowest point to start the trek through the heavenly Tabernacle again.The OT was a poor picture version of the Eternal reality.

Luther put his flag in the soil
Reintroducing the New Covenant version of the Brazen altar.
Each move since has taken us progressively further.

No generation has studied how church works like this generation.Initially we youngsters "moved"out from where we were because we did not yet have the authority to speak into the previous move.
I personally am at a crossroads which is why your visit was so extraordinarily timed.
You see,in America,the new move which believes the things I put on that tape cassette in 1989 on the Third Level see my blog(obviously they never heard this tape but the Spirit has taught them)have all left their churches and are calling themselves "Free Believers".
I became established in these things spending 10 years outside a church1988/99....but I believe in the vision of the church local and international.So it was pretty significant meeting I just had on Friday with our senior leader in Havant.The question is...can this generation walk at home with God's fire...or does He again have too recruit elsewhere once more beginning a totally new wineskin from scratch.
Jesus said take out the old treasures as well as the new.
I think you would agree that the church take this to mean old treasures=traditions. I believe it means that which is of God that has been revealed. So for us, it is the scriptures, notable writings that are tested by tons of saints over time, and also every confirmed revelation that has come since Luther. Certainly many of the Anglican practices are not confirmed among the international body of believers. The same goes for the Catholic practices, from whom Anglicanism is largely derived.



During our time with Peter, Christine and I were able to share about the good and the bad of both our times in charismatic churches. We both lived through the strict shepherding periods which came as a result of Yonghi Cho's teaching,Juan Carlos Ortiz and the Fort Lauderdale men.Peter shared the angelic prophecy given in the 50s that a "false move" would arise in Fort Lauderdale.Norita Roberts shared that one with me, and it tore me in two at the time, because what had come through Ern Baxter both in the 1975 Kansas City Shepherd's Conference, and the subsequent Lakes,Capel and Harrogate Bible weeks were SO anointed that I defend them to this day. But now that I see the 3rd level clearer through Ed Miller's eyes, I can see that most of the leaders who shepherded us were 2nd level themselves.


but without clear 3rd level dealings in your inward parts, you cannot help discipling people to you....and not to Jesus only. You also, like Jorge Pradas, will have this annoying habit of being chief apostle to a set of churches, when Jesus alone determines His own apostleship to a church, either directly by revelation,or choosing who He may from a whole raft of prepared 3rdlevellers.

At no point is an apostle in charge of a congregation. Neither is a pastor.Churches have many pastors.Jesus is the one maturing His church. ("You have not many fathers") But this is how it was in Jorge's framework, and how it was for Daniel Yordy in the Move under Sam Fife. Who knows, is that why Sam died early in a plane crash....because Jesus wanted His church back?


Ed Miller attacked this pedestal positioning of Jorge Pradas by Emsworth. People thought it was sour grapes, because Ed wanted that position. I actually think Ed had more understanding than that, because he always spoke of ministries as Taxi Drivers to the Throne of God.


To be fair on Mike Terry and Anglicanism, they also understand that ministers are not there to build people unto themselves. If bishops sense any leader doing this, they tend to get moved on in the system somewhere else. But the Anglican system actually favours the other extreme, not caring too hoots whether you are even born again. In fact in most Anglican Churches it is positively discouraged. So right there, you have the opposite extreme of cultish behaviour.


So, like the Pharmacy then, we could say that a certain amount of formalism allows for personal meditation, or we could also say it performs the function of a meaningless placibo that makes people feel better.


Please listen to the podcast of Frank Viola and Darin Hufford because it will introduce you to the hearts of these men. You will hear a more 3rd level approach when they are talking together.

They are not vying for limelight. They genuinely love, respect and honour each other's contributions and they both have one thing clear that is analogous to new science and the Victorian Pharmacy.


Both understand "Christ as us". Both talk about Jesus living our Christian life.

2ndlevellers talk about the Holy Spirit and them, or even Jesus in me. A few years ago the Elim movement ran a promotion in Britain called JIM....or Jesus in me. But the understanding is always God and a separate me with a bit of Jesus inside.


This non separate internal revelation of Christ in me the very hope of glory is what marks this new move out. Rather than even pick their way through the myriad complications of American Church life....they have upped and left.....to BECOME IT in their daily lives.


When the Catholic Church formed,(In my opinion, the Catholic Church began on February 27, 380 when Emperor Theodosius issued his edict, De Fide Catolica, in Thessalonica, published in Constantinople, declaring Catholic Christianity as the state religion of the Roman Empire.)

and their attempt at owning the previous history of the Church is downright dishonest, many left in droves for the wilderness. Without a clear "seeing" of what it means to live by the Tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil, as a spiritual empowerment, the religious, or Tree of Good component is SO DANGEROUS, true believers can be forgiven for running for their lives....for the Devil has been a murderer from the beginning.....commencing with the spiritual death of Adam and all those still found in him, and continuing with the King of Glory Himself.


So right now at a personal level I want to open up to a community that God is forming in Havant.If there is any residue hurt that comes from my past that sullies any behaviour towards saints, then may it be flushed out.


But I can trust Jesus on this one, because He is my Life.


If on the other hand , there is a denial going on in Havant caused by them seeing more than God in themselves or other believers, and still a separation in their thinking,

and the same sort of expressions that Jesus lived with like "Who is trying to kill you?....you have paranoia...or they actually said "you have a spirit"


Well yes Jesus did have a Spirit....the Holy One. And He read the thoughts and intentions of people's hearts.....and they surely did kill Jesus.


So the big question is:

Am I moving from hurt?

Are they just in denial? And using this as an excuse not to hear the "New Science"

Or both.



Is Havant just enjoying old Pharmacy medicine a little too much? Not really realising there are no miasmas, only bacteria. That a lot of their problems stem from the old way of seeing, and now it is totally totally irrelevant in the New Light God is blazing from His throne.
In the following linked article I spell out more of the meaning that I felt was being typified by the Victorian Pharmacy.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

The 8 Most important verses in the Bible Part 1 and 2

video
A huge sea change is occurring across the Body of Christ. The first traces that I came across were back in the early 80's with Jorge Pradas of Argentina, now Los Rios de Vida,Quilmes Argentina. He stated that evangelism was for the Glory of God...that the Lord Jesus may receive a greater glory. In the above 3m:40sec clip, Frank Viola is seeking to adjust the legacy that DL Moody left, and to raise our eyes to the Eternal picture. Daniel Yordy below was challenged to present what in his opinion are the really important verses of the Bible, that strangely are almost completely ignored by most of today's church.



The Most Important Verses in the Bible

By Daniel Yordy - July 17, 2010
PDF Version for printing and distribution

Someone posted a comment about my website on Facebook that got under my shell big time. In fact, it got to the core of my deep concern for God’s people, my brethren, who have no idea, really, what God actually says in His word. First, here is the comment:

“Daniel Yordy's home page, http://www.dyordy.com, reads, "Jesus wins; He utterly fulfills, in this age and in our lives, the purpose for which God sent Him - to make us just like Himself, to reveal Himself in us."

"to make us just like Himself"! -> does your Bible really say this is the purpose God sent his son? I thought John 3:16 said it was so that, "whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life".

Chris, don't take these comments the wrong way. There is so much apostasy in the Church we need to be careful to not just accept all the holy-sounding things we hear, but to check it is in the Bible.

The Bereans "received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so." - Acts 17:11. If Christians actually did this now the church would be so different.”

Here was my immediate response:

“Yes, God says exactly that His purpose and determination is to conform us to the image of His dear Son. Romans 8:28-29. I believe this to be the defining verse of the Bible. But regardless, it is God who says this and I can say what God says over and over as loud as I wish. "From the beginning God determined that I would be just like Jesus." God predestined me to be conformed to the image of His dear Son and in doing so, God (verse30) has already glorified me in all the glory of Jesus before Him right now.

Yes, yes, we must know what God says. But we must know what God says, not what Christianity says He says. Too often they are the opposite.

The problem is that Christians have never heard God's sons speak what God speaks with authority and faith and when they do hear it, it sounds foreign and "wrong."

When I read John 3:16, I read exactly the same thing as Romans 8:29, it says nothing different. Eternal life is to know the Father and to know Christ. Christ lives in my heart. I have the eternal life of God inside me right now. Eternal life is the revelation out from me of the Glorious and Holy One who fills me with All of His Fullness.

But what I do not find anywhere in my New Testament is anything God says that connects eternal life and salvation with a place people go to after they die.

My Bible really says that God's purpose is to transform me into the image of Christ and I will shout it at the top of my lungs with all confidence of faith and rejoicing that God does exactly what He says in all fullness and without limitation.

How can we look at ourselves and not see Jesus? Is He so small in our eyes?

God says that we know the unknowable love of the One who fills our hearts so that we can (right now) be filled with all the fullness of God. (Eph. 3) If some Christians pick some minor verses to emphasize above all others, am I at fault because I choose to emphasize the big verses that too many Christians find impossible to believe?

And the incredible thing is, the more I speak what God really does say, the more I find growing inside myself this strange, unthinkable idea that what God says is true and that everything else vanishes as it never was in the first place.

Please forgive me; I really don't want to be offensive. I am just so stirred inside when doubt is cast against the word my Father speaks. And it fills my heart with grief that too many dear and precious saints really do not know what God says because they have not ever been taught what God actually does say in the New Covenant they have entered into with God.”

And so this pebble under my shell inspired me to write this list of the most important verses in the Bible. Here is why.

Almost all preachers, almost all churches, use a handful of verses selected out of the 31,173 verses in the whole Bible from which to teach their congregations about God and about truth. Different churches may select a slightly different set of verses, but, especially when you get down to the Vacation Bible School level, those few selected verses by which every Christian child’s understanding of God and reality are set, those verses are almost the same across the board and very few.

The process of selection has taken almost 2000 years to develop within a church filled with in-partness, the tares of the enemy, and general unbelief.

The verses that have been selected by Christianity to serve as their definition of God, and of salvation do not include any of the most important verses in the Bible. Those verses are almost entirely absent. Some of these most important verses are never taught to believers anywhere at any time.

And so almost all Christians define God and salvation by a handful of minor and subordinate verses. Then, when they hear someone speaking out of the MOST important verses in the Bible, they are convinced that person is making stuff up that God does not say.

On the contrary, unless these MOST important verses in the Bible are filling our entire perspective of everything we think about God and every manner in which we interpret and apply all the other verses in the Bible, then we remain almost completely ignorant of the reality of God and what He is doing in the earth.

Theology is vital, contrary to what those who receive the Spirit of grace at first think. What I believe about God, about salvation, about myself, and about this world will govern everything I am and everything I do, and most importantly, what I believe is true about these things will govern all the course of my future.

May I suggest that you make these most important verses the definition, the structure, the warp and woof, the foundation, the pillars, and the capstone of everything you think, everything you know, and everything you are.

The less important verses have their place, but only to support and to expand these DEFINING verses of the Bible.

Now, let me say this. This list is from my present knowledge of God and His ways. It is not set in stone. It is not meant to be exhaustive or to be the “theology” of a new sect in any way. I am coming out of darkness; I am seeing light for the first time and my eyes blink as I try to understand things I have never really seen before. My hearing of these things may go back more than 30 years, but my seeing of the Holy One who fills my heart is a joy of only the last few years.

Also, when I use the word “verse,” I am using a very loose definition of that word. Some of these “verses” are actually two or three verses. Some may be just part of a verse, while others are two verses from different places joined together. At the same time, there are other companion verses that stand alongside some of these verses, yet they are essentially saying the same thing and thus do not need to be included, though they share in importance.


The Most Important Verses in the Bible

1. Romans 8: 28-30
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.”

The first four verses in this list are not salvation verses. The most important salvation verse stands at position #5. These are purpose of God verses. They tell us what God is doing, what His ultimate purpose is and why everything else happens the way it does.

The word “predestined” is a horrible religious word encrusted with millennia of barnacles and bloodshed and mindless controversy. No one in all the centuries of futile debate has ever gone beyond it to see what on earth God is talking about. To everyone it is a debate over who goes to heaven and who goes to hell. Demonic!

When Bible words and phrases become too religious the only way we can see God through them is to paraphrase them, to bring them into the language we speak every day, the Word made flesh and dwelling among us.

“From the very beginning, God determined to conform me to the image of His dear Son.”

This one statement is the entire purpose of God for creation. “Determination” includes three things, it includes purpose, it includes passion, and it includes certainty.

A Christian who does not have this word woven all through everything they think, hear and see concerning God, His word, and His salvation, if they do not hear it mentioned from the pulpit in some way more than any other verse in the Bible, then they cannot know what God is about and they cannot hear the present Word God is releasing to His sons. Every child coming through Sunday School should be able to repeat to you what God is determined to do. “God is determined to make me the image of Jesus.” And that little childhood phrase ought to undergird everything every Christian thinks and says about themselves, about God, and about Christianity.

The fact that it is utterly absent, the fact that people who think they know “what the Bible says,” regard it as foreign and wrong, is the greatest evidence we have that the serpent lies sleeping upon the church of Christ.

Then, verse 30 tells us that this great purpose of God is already accomplished in full, and verse 28 tells us how what is already completed works its way into full visibility in the physicality of life in this world.

Then the next three MOST important verses in the Bible take us to the three unthinkable realities of who we are as humans, as the image of Jesus Christ.


2. Ephesians 3:17-19
“That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you . . . may . . . know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”

Feel free to read the actual verses. I removed the in-between wording not to change any form of meaning, but to magnify and focus in on the incredible power of these words.

When was the last time you sat in church and listened to a preacher expound on the incredible glory and wonder of what it means for us right now to be filled with all the fullness of God?

You haven’t? Neither have I, even though I lived for 21 years among a people who believed this phrase to be part of their revelation and who preached the word endlessly.

Part of the reason is because this statement is so beyond our ability to comprehend as humans that we have no idea how to talk about it. For almost all Christians, the very idea is heretical blasphemy. Were I to place this phrase at the top of my website, “I am filled with all the fullness of God,” people would bounce off it much faster than they do.

All I will say about it here is this. When God created man, He created Him with the most incredible capacity far beyond any other created being. God gave man the capacity to contain inside Himself everything that is God – all infinity, all power, all love, all wisdom. All the fullness of God.

Kind of changes our definition of man, doesn’t it?


3. John 7: 37-39
“If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke concerning the Spirit . . .”

You and I contain inside of us all the fullness of God. We know that more and more as our knowledge of the presence of Christ’s love in us grows. Yet that reality is for two purposes. Here is the first and most important.

Not only is man created with the capacity to contain everything God is in all fullness, but God also gave man the ability to release God as a river of life flowing out, bring healing and life and joy to everything it touches.

Yet these words are almost as “blasphemous” as “filled with all the fullness of God.” Consider these two other verses:

“And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb.” Revelation 22:1

“To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.” Revelation 3:21

There is a simple equation of logic. If A equals B and B equals C, then A equals C. In other words if my orange has the same value as someone else’s banana, and a third person says that their apple is the same value as the banana, I can safely trade my orange for that apple, knowing that they have the same value.

We are free to use that same logic here.

If John says that the river of life comes out of the throne of God, and if Jesus says that the river of life comes out of my heart, then I can conclude that my heart is the very throne of Almighty God that John saw throughout his vision. My heart is God’s throne. Paul says (above) that Christ dwells in my heart. Christ is seated in the throne of God, my heart, and He invites me, as I overcome all things, to sit there in my heart, the throne of Almighty God, with Him.

Wow!

Kind of changes our definition of man – and of God, doesn’t it?

And out of my heart, the very throne of God, flows the river of life, RIVERS of living water – God Himself sent out from me! - that bring all of creation into the glorious liberty of the sons of God.

Again, this is way too much for us, far beyond our ability to grasp. We say these things only because they are there on the page before our eyes. We know God said them, therefore we know they are true. And even though they are far beyond all ability we possess to make sense of them, we speak them out loud with all joy of faith that they are true, they are true of us.


4. Revelation 12:10-11
“Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him (the accuser) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.”

This is not a salvation verse even though it positions salvation as its foundation. It is a purpose verse and the second reason why we contain inside ourselves all the fullness of God.

The very first thing the accuser said when he opened his mouth to speak was an open in-your-face accusation against God and against the Word God speaks. “Did God really say that?” Satan, the liar, standing before all creation, accused God of lying.

God, in His intentions and purposes, which we won’t go into here, placed that same accuser against the mind and heart of every one of us who contain in ourselves all the fullness of God. And God gave us the power to cast that accuser down.

Not only did God give man the capacity to contain all the fullness of God, not only did God give man the ability to release God Himself as a river of life flowing out from us to bring life and healing and joy to all creation, but God also gave man the ability, the authority and the power, to cast down every voice that speaks against God, against His Word, and against His redeemed.

Do Sunday school children know that they are called to be filled with all the fullness of God? Do they know that they have the power to release God in a river of life that brings healing and life to everyone around them? Do they know that they can cast down everything that suggests that what God speaks is not really true? Do they know these things, in simple, childlike language?

Why not? Does God not say these things? Many Christians, hearing them for the first time, will argue with all vehemence that the Bible says no such thing. Yet it is not hard to understand that if, in fact, they are what God says, there, in black and white on the paper, then they MUST be the most important verses in the Bible.

The answer to “why not” fills me with great sorrow, yet I know that God has set a time and a season for all things, and that the time of fulfillment, the time of the casting aside of all darkness, is upon us.


5. Galatians 2:20
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

6. Hebrews 10: 19-22
“Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way . . . let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

My heart is filled with such a groaning to impart to you the depths of meaning and reality found in these two verses. I will not do that here, as it would take many pages. Verse #5 I have expanded on over and over throughout these letters, and others, including Fred Pruitt and Dan Stone, teach its meaning better than I can. Verse #6 gives us the purpose of the blood by which we enter behind the veil into the unlimited holy Presence of Almighty God, and by which our hearts, the throne of God, are made pure for His seat – and how our bodies, the temple of God, are prepared for His glory.

I have chosen one more “verse” to round out the seven MOST important verses in the Bible.


7. Hebrews 3:14/6 and 2 Corinthians 2:14
“For we have become partakers of Christ if . . . we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end -- Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.”

Please don’t think I’m playing loose with God’s word. If you look carefully at Hebrews 3:14 and 6, you will see that the author is saying the same thing, repeating him(her - I like the proposal that this was written by Priscilla)self exactly, with slightly different words in both verses. I have put them together in this way to enlarge the truth God is speaking.

This is the greatest jeopardy verse in the Bible. Our salvation, our enjoyment of everything God has promised us, stands upon this largest of words, IF. IF we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end. That is a wonderful requirement in itself, but Paul explains the same thing better in 2 Corinthians 2:14.

God always leads us IN triumph, that is, God always leads us to celebrate total and absolute victory in all things and in every way, now, WHEN WE DO NOT SEE IT. To dance on this side of the sea, to celebrate the victory before we see it with our eyes. Peter says it this way: “Whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory.” James says it this way: “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials.” John says the same thing this way: “The twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl.”

“I always exult boastfully in the victory of Christ in me.”

In order for me to see all things that God speaks fulfilled in all fullness in my life right here on this earth and in this age, I SPEAK all that God speaks concerning me, out loud with my voice box. I speak what God speaks until I believe it, until I know that what God speaks is absolutely and always TRUE and that all that God does not speak does not exist.

And then, verse #8.


8. 1 Corinthians 15:24-28
“Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death . . . Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.”

I bring this verse in alongside the seven most important verses of the Bible as an equal, and not as a subordinate verse.

This verse shows us the end of all things and the nature of God Himself. The ultimate task of Jesus is to bring all creation back into reconciliation and submission to His Father – all creation, ALL. We know from Romans 8:21 that Jesus will fulfill His great purpose through us. Everything that exists, everything that God created, everything that is, we will bring back into the full joy of the love of God. And in the end, God will be all in all, everything in everyone.

Now, here is the point, these are the most important verses in the Bible. They should be woven through all the warp and woof, the weave and fabric, of our theology, our preaching, our teaching, our Bible study, our thinking, our talking, and our living. Our children should come home from all Vacation Bible schools with the answer to the question, “What did you learn today,” being “God is determined to make me the image of Jesus.”

Christians who do not have these verses at the tip of their tongues, who do not recognize them immediately as the telling verses of their lives and Christianity, who do not speak them or hear them in most every sermon and teaching, have no idea what God is doing, what salvation is about, and where they are going.

Crowding in closely beneath the seven most important verses of the Bible are many others, all very important. Many would say that “This is my commandment that you love one another/Love one another fervently with a pure heart,” ought to be among them. (And it is - I am filled with all the fullness of a God who IS love in action.) But seven is seven, and from my present perspective, I see all those close verses as extensions of, as support for, as the how to, the ways and means by which these seven verses move out into every aspect of our lives.

I suspect that most Christians would put John 3:16 at the top of their list. It is a wonderful verse, certainly, but not with the pagan definitions of “heaven” and “hell” imposed upon it. It is one of the easiest verses in the Bible for the serpent to sleep on top of.

When we choose the verses that come in close under these top eight verses, really, all we can do is to add those verses throught which God is speaking to each of us personally. I am convinced that every other verse in the Bible either flows into these 8 verses, or flows out of them, or both at the same time.

We could add the list of “The Ten Commandments of the New Testament” that I have written about in previous letters.

Here are some that I would add. These are process verses. They tell us something critical about how the first seven verses come to fullness in our lives in addition to the “ten commandments” of the New Testament. You can see that the core of each of them can be found somewhere inside the seven most important verses. But I had to stop adding verses, because, really, one could end up writing out most of the rest of the Bible in this, to me, delightful exercise. And that is a great idea.

Romans 12:1-2
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Luke 1:38/ Revelation 12:2-5
“Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word -- Then being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth . . . And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born. She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne.”

1 Corinthians 3:18/ 4:7/ 12:9/ Colossians 1:27
“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord -- But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us -- My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness -- Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

Matthew 6:10/ Revelation 21:7/ 22:20/ Isaiah 9:7
“Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven -- He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son -- Even so, come, Lord Jesus! -- Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end.”

Romans 8:14/ 19/ 21
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God -- For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God -- Because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.”

And last, but certainly not least.

1 Corinthians 12:12/ Romans 12:5
“For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ -- so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.”

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Make these 8 “verses” the defining verses of all your Christianity. It would not be hard to memorize them all. Let them fill our thinking, our study, our discussion, our preaching and teaching. Let us teach them to our children, let us tell our children that this is God, this is what He is about, and this is who they are.

Everything else God says in the entire Bible, everything, serves one of two purposes. Every other verse either helps us to understand more clearly these 8 verses, or it helps us to know more clearly how these eight verses are fulfilled in our lives.

Now here is something to realize. Look carefully at the eight MOST important verses of the Bible. You will notice that a number of churches and groups in today's Christianity do emphasize at least one of these verses. Those that do emphasize, even one (of the first 7), are the most alive churches and groups that there are. Joel Osteen and Lakewood church teach #7 to the body of Christ. (This is why he is hated by so many, people can't stand the idea that we should celebrate God's favor and our victory when we do not see it, they call obedience to the greatest jeopardy verse in the New Testament "shallow Christianity"!) Bill Johnson at Bethel church and many like him teach #3 to the body of Christ. The Christ As Us and Norman Grubb people teach #5 and expand on it to great joy.

But I am not aware of any group or church that teaches all 7 + 1 in all fullness at all times.

One more thing. You will notice that many of the defining verses of evangelical Christianity are found nowhere near this list. Many would brand me a heretic for leaving out “the Great Commission” for one, yet I do leave it out, except that it is an extension of John 7:37. The River of Life is the only true evangelism - and it goes far beyond the often misuse of the words of Jesus in Matthew 28.

By what rule are the verses chosen by Christianity to be exalted, and most of these eight verses to be ignored almost completely? What fault can we be charged with if we choose to exalt these eight verses (and others that are all very similar) as the definition of the revelation of God and of the Bible?

What kind of a Christianity would it be if these eight “verses,” filled most of what Christians heard on a regular basis?

Let’s find out!

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The Most Important Verse NOT in the Bible

By Daniel Yordy – July 20,2010
PDF Version
Note:
After completing the last letter, The Most Important Verses in the Bible," I quickly realized that beyond the first eight verses that I laid out, the important verses that come in right under those are simply the verses through which God is speaking to you personally right now. I had to stop adding verses lest I include the whole Bible, and others sent in verses that God is speaking to them right now, that certainly had a place. And so I have made some slight changes in the article as it is on the website to reflect that reality. Here is a link to the revised article.
The Most Important Verses of the Bible

But I also quickly realized that the MOST important verse NOT in the Bible was sitting in the minds of many readers, striking down the purpose of God as He actually says it. And so radical open-brain surgery is called for in the minds of almost all Christians.


(PDF Version of this article.)

(The Most Important Verse in the Bible)

Romans 8: 28-30
"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified."

My definition of the word "important" as I use it here is simply this. We all look through "rose colored" glasses at everything, especially when we look at the Bible. You can look at something dead on and not see it at all, if the color of your glasses automatically filters it out. Almost all Christians look at the Bible and everything in it through glasses strongly colored with the most important verse NOT in the Bible. If we were to remove the NOT verse from our lenses, which single central thing that God does say should replace it as the lens through which we see all that God says in the Bible?

The only verse we could pick to replace the most important verse NOT in the Bible is the verse that shows us in breadth and in depth the purpose and determination filling the heart of God from the beginning, a verse that gives us the path and the finish of the glorious thing God is doing in creation and in us.

But first we must deal with:

The Most Important Verse NOT in the Bible

"Heaven is our home. The goal of the believer, salvation, and eternal life are to go to heaven after you die. The only thing we will ever know on this earth and in this life is an in-part and limited expression of some things we read about in the Bible. Everything wonderful that God says is put off to heaven and will be known by us only after we get there. Everything meaningful for us that God does say, then, is only how, exactly, we get to go to heaven after we die and how many people we take with us. Everything else is more or less irrelevant for us here."

God's people imagine that they know what God says in the Bible. But they cannot see what God actually says, they cannot hear it, they cannot believe, because the most powerful word that God DOES NOT SAY sits on top of their hearts and minds and eviscerates, strips the guts out of, every single thing God does say, making it of no effect, useless, and not for us to know or to believe or to see fulfilled in our lives on this earth.

When I say most important, some people have the idea that I am making a choice of my "favorite" verse and pushing that as meaning something. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The MOST Important verse to almost all Christians is NOT in the Bible, God does not say it, ever, yet it rules every part of how they read the Bible, how they hear the gospel, how they understand God, how they regard salvation, and how they live their lives.

This overwhelmingly powerful verse rules all modern evangelical Christianity. And so it is useless to talk with most Christians about what is the most important verse, the verse that shows us God's intention and purpose. Because their most important verse is not in the Bible, but it sits solidly on top of every other verse that they read.

Let's get it clear, in the New Testament, God says that heaven is full of demons; He says that heaven is temporary, it is passing away, and He insists that He plans first to shatter it before our eyes and then to destroy it. More than that, God commands us through the Apostle Paul in Romans 10 not to say, "Let's go to heaven to see Jesus." He specifically gives us this most disobeyed commandment in Christianity because Paul says it is the very opposite of the gospel of Christ, which is the Word - eternal life - found inside of us. Paul did not see the nonsense that would come into Christianity out of that specific disobedience to the gospel, but he spoke the warning nonetheless.

But NOWHERE does God ever say that heaven is our home. He never ever says that salvation means going to heaven after you die. And He never ever says that eternal life is a location called heaven that you go to after you die.

People make this stuff up. And then they FORCE it on what God does say, and thus twist and pervert the meaning and intention of every purpose of God in the gospel.

The prevailing Christian doctrine, adhered to by almost all sects and held closely as the gospel by almost all Christians, that the goal of the believer is to go to heaven after you die, is the greatest doctrine of devils ever inserted into the Church of Jesus Christ.

More than any other thing that God does NOT say, this word that God never says effectively removes all Christians from believing God for the purpose and fulfillment of the gospel as God DOES say it.

God says, "that you may be filled with all the fullness of God" and NOT God says "after you go to heaven."

God says, "until we come to the measure of the fullness of the stature of Christ," and NOT God says, "not until after you go to heaven."

God says, "we shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is," and NOT God says, "only after you go to heaven."

And so this MOST powerful of verses that God does NOT say strips the blood of Jesus of its power and gives that power to a "place" called heaven. It strips the cross of Christ of its power and gives that power to "heaven." It strips the Spirit of God of His power and gives that power to "heaven." It strips away the Glory and the Power and the Awesome incredible Reality of the Holy One who fills our hearts with Himself, and it gives all that glory and beauty to a "place" called heaven. This thing that God does NOT say is the most powerful weapon of the serpent to strip all that is holy and all that is pure out of the gospel and make it for a "geographical location" and a time that is NOT now.

But God says, "NOW is the Day of Salvation." Not tomorrow and not heaven.

"Now is come the kingdom of our God and the power of His Christ."

And here is the most incredible delusion you ever imagined.

Whenever you speak what God does say, most Christians hear only what God does NOT say, and their minds run a little code that says, "Well, the Bible says that it's all about how we go to heaven so this guy is obviously making up stuff about what God says." Then they say, "See, you need to check things out in the Bible so you won't be deceived."

But they never do. They never check out to see if this most powerful of all verses in Christianity is in the Bible or not. They don't ever look because it is NOT there. None of it.

Yet every verse they do read, they read that verse with this most powerful NOT verse sitting upon their minds, and they define and force every single thing God DOES say to submit to and come under the power and direction and definition of this thing that God NEVER says and therefore must be most wicked in its source and in its consequence. Their own minds force the NOT verse onto every page of the Bible.

And so the serpent sleeps upon the rock. He does not need to stir Himself. His verse rules in the house of God and effectively does his work for him, keeping the church ineffective and useless for the fulfillment of the gospel.

Satan knows he will lose all who belong to Jesus. What he must do to keep his game going is to keep the revelation of Christ out of the earth. "Going to heaven" has done that effectively without his lifting a finger.

Satan loves to call God a liar, he has done so from the beginning. And his age-long hobby fills the hearts of almost all Christians with these words, "It's not for here, it's not for now, that verse you will know only after you 'go to heaven.'" Then he goes back to sleep.


One of the most useless phrases found in people who live in their intellect is "Well, I just don't agree with that," or "Well, let's agree to disagree." Those phrases are fine concerning things in this life, but they are meaningless concerning the word God speaks.

And so someone says, "I can't figure out if you're teaching jeopardy or predestination."

Exactly.

God says, "You are a new creation. Old things are passed away, behold all things are brand new and all things are of God." That is a mighty assurance verse and I BELIEVE what God says in all of its meaning. And I believe that God fulfills it in me right here and right now in all that it means.


God says, "Cleanse yourselves of all filthiness of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God." That is a mighty jeopardy verse and I BELIEVE what God says in all of its meaning. And I believe that God fulfills it in me right here and right now in all that it means.


Does God contradict Himself? Yes He does, big time. But that is His business, not mine. My place is to believe all that He says in all of its meaning and fullness for me, right here, right now, on this earth and in this age. I may not understand all that God means by what He says; I know that a million "years" from now I will still be awestruck at the new depths and meanings found in every word God speaks, things I had not known in all the million "years" of knowing Him. But I can BELIEVE what He speaks, as He speaks it, though I do not understand it or know how to fit it in.

Who cares what you or I "agree" with? What matters is do I believe what God says, do I believe all that He says in the New Covenant as He says it - and in the Old when I know how to see all that God speaks in the Old through the eyes of Christ?

But I will disagree with God if I hold in my mind things that God does NOT say. And especially if I speak what God does not say with my mouth.

I now understand why so many Christians are so anxious to argue that it's not the "Bible" or the words of the New Testament, but that we must follow the Spirit of Christ, almost "separate" from the Bible. Don't get me wrong, God says that apart from the Spirit of Christ, the words on the page will kill us. But it is evident to me that the Spirit of God apart from the words on the page becomes nothing more than following the fancy that the human mind is capable of dreaming up.

People who love jeopardy and hate grace use the same argument against the words of the New Testament as do those who love grace and hate jeopardy. Why? Jeopardy people know there is too much grace in the New Testament and so they must convince their people that the Spirit of God would take them beyond all that immature "grace" that is only for babes. I am not exaggerating here, this is half of Christianity I'm talking about, and I have heard this argument preached from the pulpit under a mighty anointing. On the other hand, Grace people know there is too much jeopardy in the New Testament and so they must convince their people that the Spirit of God would take them beyond all that immature "jeopardy" that is only for babes. And this argument also is preached under mighty anointing.

Why on earth can't we just believe what God says, all that God says. We cannot fulfill it by performance. We know that. Jesus said, "Apart from Me you can do nothing."

It amazes me when I read people say, "Well I just don't "agree" with Mr. Yordy." If I am not speaking what God speaks, then show me that God does not say that. If God does say that in His word, what is there to agree or disagree over? We may not understand all that God means, but we can surely BELIEVE it.

Search the word, search the word! But it will only do you or me good if we believe what God says as He says it.


God is a big God and He contradicts Himself in His word big time. There is a positive current and a negative. The positive must guide and rule the negative, but if the negative current is removed, the positive current will go off into left field, and vice versa. (A sister who reads these letters shared this analogy with me.) I am perfectly free to lay two words that seem to us to oppose each other side by side, to receive both, to teach both, and to believe both.

Jesus said "Man does not live by bread alone, but by EVERY word that comes out of the mouth of God." That is not so hard. We don't have to make God humanly reasonable, we just have to live.

Here is the point. Every single human being who approaches the Bible WILL see the words on the page through a LENS. That lens consists of the "rules of reality" that they have adopted concerning PURPOSE.

When it comes to reading the Bible, there are two primary purposes available for us through which to see all that God speaks.

1. God's purpose is to take a bunch of sinners to a wonderful place called heaven after they die even though they don't deserve it.

2. God's purpose is many sons just like Jesus, to conform me into the image of His dear Son - and thus to reveal Himself to His creation through me.

The first purpose is assumed by almost all Christians, though God never says it or anything like it.

The second purpose God says over and over in so many different ways that it is inconceivable that all Christians do not see it.

Yet they do not.

When I look at ALL that God says from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21, I see it through the eyes of Romans 8:28-30. Every other thing God says helps us to understand Romans 8:28-30 and helps us to know how it is fulfilled in our lives.

But if you are not brave enough to rid yourself of that MOST important verse that God does NOT say, you will always fall back on that NOT verse in unbelief. You will always settle for the in-part.

I am not, of course, saying there is no "heaven" or that those Christians who die are not in "heaven." Heaven is the realm of spirit. Heaven is all around us. Our spirits right now live and walk in heaven. I am in heaven right now as much as I ever will be. I am in heaven right now as much as those who have died. Their problem is they are not in the earth. And God says that they are awaiting their return to it.

If I am fully conformed to the image of Christ, if God reveals Himself to His creation in all of His glory through me, then it makes no difference if I am on earth or on Mars or in heaven or in Hades or "floating" around in some obscure place in some far distant realm of heaven or standing on some planet in some galaxy on the other side of the universe. Where I am makes no difference for there I am in the purpose of God and He reveals Himself through me.

And here's a thought for you. We will be far more in the purpose and intention of God busting into Hades and walking its murky depths, bringing light and love to all who live in its shadow than what those who are in-part in heaven are experiencing right now. Jesus said that Hades' gates and barriers CANNOT keep us out. We will bust them down and we will go into hell.

If that won't blow people's minds, I don't know what will. Part of God's future for me as the revelation of His glory is to send me into hell. [Though God does say a number of things that lead me to believe that, since God does not say that directly, feel perfectly free to set it solidly on your shelf.]

Please understand, when I talk about "the most important verses in the Bible," I am not interested in establishing some "summa theologica" or the directives of a sect or to pronounce myself to have arrived at the knowledge of what it's all about. Past the first eight that I shared in my last letter, I quickly realized that a swirl of "favorite" verses came sweeping in and yours are as great as mine. In fact, I had to make myself stop, lest I rewrite the Bible inside the "most important verses." Actually, the most important supporting verse is the one that God is speaking through to you or to me right now.

But I will continue to contend that those first eight "verses" are the lens through which we ought to view all that God speaks. And that everything God says and everything He is doing in our lives now and in the future fits itself into that framework.

I have constructed a rough and simple diagram that puts these 8 verses into a relationship together and shows how all other things God says finds their place inside that pattern. I usually don't care for "diagrams" of spiritual things, but I like this one, mostly because I made it. Have a look if you want. Feel free to print it out and to ponder it. I suspect God could speak to you through this pattern. God can speak through all kinds of things.


(If you print it out, when the print box comes up on your screen, click on Properties, then on the top tabs, click on "Finishing." Change it from Portrait to Lancdscape - then Okay. Back in the print box, open the Page Scaling list and choose "Fit to Printable area," then click "Print.")

The Purpose of God (pdf)

And so my purpose in using the term "most important verses" is to stir people's hearts. To cause them to ask themselves, "What really does God say?" and "Do I believe all that God says in the Covenant I signed with Him?" and "What things do I hold to be 'true' that God actually never says?"

I did challenge the brother who wrote the comment about the sentence on my website that paraphrases the most important verse in the Bible. He replied kindly, but with intellectual questions out of evangelical thinking that had nothing to do with believing what God says and in which I could not see (and I'm not good at seeing very well) a shadow of a longing, a cry, a thirst, to know more deeply and intimately the Glorious and Holy One who fills his heart.


I had hoped that somewhere inside this equation, he would be stirred by the very counsel he himself gave. Counsel I have followed all the years I have walked with God. I had hoped that he would get on his knees beside his bed, with his Bible open before Him and say, "Oh Father, Father, show me what you do actually say in your Word. Open my eyes, Father, and cause me to believe what You say as You say it." And to stay in the posture for hours and days and months and years. A heart opened wide with thirst.


I had hoped.


So I cannot answer his questions because I don't think that way at all. Others have that gift, and Jesus is well able to save each of us to the uttermost.

From the beginning, God determined that I would be just like Jesus.

I belong to You, let it be to me as You say.

Blessings in Christ, Daniel Yordy

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Deconstructing " 5 Attributes of a church in decline."





Five Attributes of a Church in decline


Lack of mission and vision clarity

Failure to Define a Concise Strategy to help Newcomers become fully devoted followers of Christ

Complex structure

Inward focused with little connection to the surrounding Community

Weak Leadership especially in the senior pastor role
as supplied by Archie Rhines on Facebook

My Examination of the 5 Attributes
This post is not being written in a vacuum. It is informed by two events this week.

Event 1. Two (IMHO) excellent posts appeared this week from Daniel Yordy and Rich Novek. In response I wrote on Facebook




A lack of inward revelation as to how and exactly why God is so mad on us and His work in us has kept the Bride in something like a "monkey's cage of separation theology"...so instead of hunting the Church down and screaming let me in let me in I want some of that (as we did when we saw Graham Pulkingham and the Fisherfolk in 73) people are screaming with laughter "Looookee, monkeys in the monkeyhouse!!!!"
Lionel Thomas (name changed) replied concerning Portsmouth Family Church's success under Andrew Elmes:
"Could it be that much of the church is still staring at its navel, picking it's nose and scratching underarms. We don't endear people because of silly antics, religious mumbo jumbo and silly behaviours etc.
The research has been done, answers are out there if people want answers. You only got to look at churches like Hillsong, and Abundant life etc... to see that it is only a choice if you want to continue to look and feel like a monkey house.
We are seeing almost double figures (weekly) across our congregations respond to the gospel message, and regular baptisms back this up. It's so exciting! God is on the move! "
While honoring Andrew Elmes and the anointing that is on his life, I have to take into consideration that Lionel himself just upped and walked out of his own marriage, leaving his wife to dig herself deep into God and find a completely new life, while her Christian husband breaks the covenant that you both as Christians, assume is a given and completely (save the instructions given by Jesus) inviolable.

Event 2.One of the ex-offender brothers I was writing to in the letter then blogpost this very week saw the man being tried for the ex-offender's abuse get off scot free. John had endured abuse alongside others in a children's home.Something inside him flipped and John poured petrol all over him. With a criminal record John was immediately taken into custody and sentenced to one year in jail. The deep irony being ofcourse-the original offender is now free, and the deeply hurt offended one is in jail.
From a legal point of view, if not enough proof can be come by, a man cannot be sentenced. And if any of us take the law into our own hands, we can be banged up! If it were not so, imagine Belfast this weekend, as largely kids take to the streets in Belfast to clash and hurt police officers. This would spiral out of control and spread much much further than Belfast. Elaine Waterfield's friend Matt Baggott (Head of Northern Ireland police) would have no legal arm left to stand on.
Yet all over northern Ireland, families from both sides are nursing permanent hurts: sons and husbands unnecessarily slaughtered. If everyone exacted revenge, there would be few left in the province.

So let's look at what Archie has posted in some real world situations. What I am asking is are we looking at a systems failure, or if you peer below the foliage in the Spirit is it something else?

Can I first explain my own position and why I am torn on this issue. I was born again in a school revival in 1972 in Dr Challoners Grammar School Amersham Bucks at the end of the Metropolitan Line out of London. When we prayed for somebody, they were often saved the following week. It was wildfire. When I received the baptism in the Spirit I received not just a nicey nicey anointing, but a bellyful of what Bono of U2 describes as "The Unforgettable Fire".
After this, when I preached or talked people got saved. And I was also used to pray for others to receive the baptism in the Spirit. All grace ofcourse!!!

But for the last 30 years or so, my life has taken a different course, all the while finding it abnormal not to have people being born again in my vicinity. The different course has been the researching the subject of this blog. It has been much seeking of God. It has been the simple response to a simple directive:
Seek first the Kingdom of God and
His righteousness
Why? because, get this and
All things shall be added unto you.
So it's been a simple equation for a simple man.

It does not say Bill Johnson and others -Seek first the higher gifts.....so primarily, while still being open to the 2nd Kingdom wind that was prophesied in 1990 (see Peter Stott's Lift Up Your Heads message referring to this) I have NOT being do so.

But as the events of this week have shown:
Just having mission and vision clarity (as do Transformed who evangelise offenders and ex-offenders among prisons and Andrew Elmes who has established church cultures that Go to the lost and bring them to Jesus)
-you still get quite mature Christians walking out on their wives
and
-evangelists pouring petrol on people.

Lionel's phrase"the church is still staring at its navel, picking it's nose and scratching underarms. We don't endear people because of silly antics, religious mumbo jumbo and silly behaviours etc." still has a ring of truth though. It is real. And it is real in this way. If churches are filled with people that DONT know who they are, that wander around in the desert of incomplete revelation and growth, they really will , like the Israelites, live and die their entire life without getting a smidgen's whippet near the Land that has been promised to each and every one THIS SIDE OF ETERNITY.
In fact most Christians lives resemble "the years that the locusts have eaten".

This is my response to The Decline List. Look at Jesus. "Aha," the systems person who drew up the list says "but I did." Well I say look closer. Jesus may have appeared to fulfil these definitions if you really must look at His Life through the specs of the CEO of Toyota, or the CEO of General Electric....but do you mind if we take the specs off and use more Biblical ones?


In Dr Challoners Grammar School we had an atheist English teacher called Mr Hennig. Before I was saved, from an unconverted point of view anyway, we had the unfortunate experience of being subject to not just one, but 2 assemblies given by him. These were not just any assemblies. These were assemblies just after Mr atheist Hennig had just returned form his first visit to the Holy Land. Now this had to be around 1971, still early in modern Israel's history. By far the bulk of his talks referred to the experience he had had at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem. Over and over again he tried to convey the impact of what he assumed to be the Presence of God...and the deep irony of the fact that he as an atheist, didn't actually believe what he was experiencing.


The church gathers around the Presence of God. The church , made up of believers and hopefully soon to be believers, are drawn by the Presence of God. In 1972, I saw two films by Billy Graham and responded to the Presence of God on the films. When I was baptised in the Spirit I was inundated by this Presence. This Presence can so easily be almost too much for the human frame. Blessing in Hebrew conveys the meaning of a vessel packed to the brim and then some, filled with absolute packed out fulness. God's not like the devil. You get your money's worth. And some!

Where the continued Presence is, there is growth. You don't need doctrine. You need actual Presence. If it is the True Presence, out of this will come articulation. You will begin to understand the things of God. Many of the things on this blog. But when you subsequently talk about the Holy of Holies, fire comes out of your mouth. People who have read the books only as an intriguing concept, when they talk, nothing comes out of their mouth.

The reason Andy Elmes is successful is that from early on he bumped into people like Vaughan Jarrold, a Londoner in New York State who has a fire anointing, and he was taught to seek and move in the same. And that's what Andy did. He went to New York , learned off Vaughan, and sought God for himself along with other youngsters.

But it's more than the Presence. If it was just some measure of the Presence, all we'd need to do is to hang around Morris Cerullo meetings and Benny Hinn meetings. Those that do, like Andy, get a measure of the touch of God that is undefinable. But you know folks, this is (in an unborn again kinda way) what the disciples experienced in their first few weeks of moving with Jesus.


But the power and distinctiveness of the Word that was coming through Jesus was of a whole other order. It was more like a letter by Rich Novek or Daniel Yordy. The power of this Word was perhaps "more" than we will ever know. Why? Because today we know about being born again and being baptised in the Spirit, and we MOVE ON FROM THERE.


Jesus' Word was so powerful it catapulted the disciples from a pre-born again miracle- experiencing kind of Jewish / Kingdom mix through to being fully breathed on born again, fully baptised in the Spirit, fully Father stage (1John2:12ff) reproducing Kingdom Key openers by the time of Acts 2. IN ONLY 3 YEARS.


Jesus had to believe that His Word was sufficient to carry these non born again 12, from being unable to twig much about His Word in the Upper Room, through His death on the Cross and His resurrection, to collect them the other side and to get them to a point where He could comfortably leave.


If your favorite Bible seminary Director was standing in the Upper room, kind of co-checking out Jesus disciples, in the manner that seminary graduates are assessed today, it wouldn't have looked good for Jesus.


"Ah, so Jesus, you're telling me that you have adequately trained these disciples of yours in the last 3 years in Biblical exegesis, knowledge of Jewish history, and what....you say you have been showing them the Father?......I'm afraid Jesus, your capacity as a future theological professor in my academy is very much in question."


Andy Elmes and John Affleck are leading people to Jesus all the time. But somehow we have to move on as a church to doing the impossible. Even Jesus had a hard time with this. More details on this are here We have to be churches that move simultaneously in the 3 levels of growth. Most ministries are totally unaware that these stages exist. They are not taught these things and anyway, because they are fundamental to our maturation as humans, and our inner seeing as discussed in the April article, people in the first stage can only perceive those in one stage above them. Two stages and you're in trouble! The Catholics burned Madame Guyon. But it is precisely this level we are re-introducing. And not just for a handful of individuals. The Holy Spirit is breathing among this beaten up, battered generation, many without fathers, many totally shattered through addictions, many like Mary Magdelan...having come to the absolute end of themselves...to raise up a generation of people who


KNOW THE PRESENCE OF GOD


KNOW THAT TO LIVE IS CHRIST- not just the previous outside kind of Christ but recognise the nature of Christ within them as expressed through their personalities and their bodies.


KNOW THAT TO TAKE UP OUR CROSS is not a religious term, it's a dynamic of Life whereby we see what Jesus is doing and ONLY DO THAT. Where we understand the completeness of the anihilation of our dead spirit centre at the Cross....where the Body death of Jesus actually means something, when we take communion, and not just the Blood. Just about every church celebrates 50% of the communion each time . Most ofcourse take bread and the wine, but only a small handful understand what it is to take the Bread. Mother Teresa was one....(and in the Protestant arrogant phrase) she was a Catholic!!!!



See, if Andy Elmes was teaching all three levels

-People would more and more ONLY be doing what they saw Jesus doing.(Which by the way IS NOT the same phrase as a WWJD or What would Jesus Do bracelet.)The disciples often grumbled, but Jesus kind of shrugged....I have to be doing what I see my Father doing, and my Father is working still. For us it is "seeing" what Christ is doing through us and around us and flowing in with that.


That doesn't include pouring petrol over people.


And it doesn't include walking out of covenants.