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Discussion Forum : Revivals And Church History : Just who IS responsible for this state of affairs?

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philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Quote:
If I can say it like this, the Apostolic era was coming to a close.


Well to a degree THEIR apostolic era was coming to an end. It is key, i think, that Paul did not expect to see them again. He could write to them, but his personal presence would not be available. This is very similar to our condition today in that we don't 'see' Paul around, although we do have his letters. Paul knew he could make an input by correspondence but he knew they had to become 'a weaned child' and learn to receive from God.


Quote:
I also see an added responsibility to 'feed' the flock of God. A shepherd typically did this by preparing the land for grazing; i.e. removing hazards such as poisonous plants, fall hazards and ridding the area of dangerous animals


I wouldn't want to overemphasize this aspect. I have watched shepherds in Romania. Their main role is to guard the flock and leave them to get on with it. The shepherds will guide them to good pasture but they don't do any of the chewing for them. ;-)


_________________
Ron Bailey

 2008/12/27 16:20Profile









 Re:

Hi Robert, you write.....

"This may be due to the soulish nature of worship or because He is wanting a genuine church life pattern. just a theory I have. But truly the times will demand that we really come together with like minded believers and seek God together New Testament style."

I think your theory may hold some water. There is a leanness in the Church. I believe it is largely because we were given the desires of our hearts. Attendance is dropping of because people "have not time," yet if the genuine presence of God was there, corporately, you would have to put on extra services. As I visited various Pentecostal churches in the last several years, I noticed a change. Most of the churches I visited no longer had "tongues," and interpretation of tongues. Words of knowledge were gone. In some of the churches, if God put a hymn on your heart, you could just start singing it and people would join in. All of these things are "God speaking to us." Were their abuses? Yes. Was some of it merely soulish and generic? Yes. But, what price freedom? Should the "baby have been thrown out with the bathwater?" So, between the desires of our own heart, and a desire to control the service and follow the program, we have slowly butsurely ejected the Holy Spirit from the building(in general terms of course) So, the question is, what now?.......brother Frank

 2008/12/27 18:34
RobertW
Member



Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Quote:
All of these things are "God speaking to us." Were their abuses? Yes. Was some of it merely soulish and generic? Yes. But, what price freedom?



As Ron would say, the solution for abuse is right use. Abuse is no excuse for non-use (or something like that).


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Robert Wurtz II

 2008/12/27 19:47Profile
RobertW
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Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Quote:
I wouldn't want to overemphasize this aspect. I have watched shepherds in Romania. Their main role is to guard the flock and leave them to get on with it.



I'm still wondering what (if any) lesson can be learned by the walled in pastures in Scotland and England. Years are spent making walls then the latter generations don't have to shepherd any more. :-(


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Robert Wurtz II

 2008/12/27 19:49Profile
RobertW
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Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

I wonder if we can return to this passage:

[color=000066]Wisdom is before him that hath understanding; but the eyes of a fool are in the ends of the earth. (Proverbs 17:24)[/color]

I have been giving a lot of thought lately to just how effected I have been by TV preachers having so-called mega ministries. There is a sense in which so many men of past generations were mightily used of God and yet I have somehow felt that I needed to attain to that.

Surely I should concern myself with just doing what the Lord lays on my heart and that alone? I think this is one of the things that contributed to such terrible burnout in my life. Trying to do too many ministries to change the world when I needed to just do what God laid on my heart to do. Where did I get the idea that I needed to be doing all this stuff?

Where did the notion come from that somehow I am responsible for the world? I think about Mike Compton's post earlier in this thread. It is a true saying, I think. But why would we not think that way all along? there has to be some influence that we are trying to attain to. Were the men and women of old 'conscious' that they were making an impact like they did or were they just doing what God called them to?




_________________
Robert Wurtz II

 2008/12/27 20:00Profile









 Re: Holiness in the end.

This thread is rich, and important. We can only be healed when we realize our sickness and blindness. "I looked for my enemy, and I found myself."


The Laodicean Church had to come to grips with that. We may know of the reformers, but the reformers lived repentance. We, also must return to sola scripture, and be courageous enough to live it , and to lay down our Earthly crowns, no matter what they may be. This comes in the face of the greatest, and or the "qualified", and transfers into the pocket of the "called and chosen."



So were the 12. "Ignorant and unlearned" did the leaders say of them. The earlier church was probably a group of house Churches, that met now and then corporately. This model probably transferred into the dark ages, out of necessity, as Rome became the dominate persecutor of her. [the catacombs]. It is very similar in China today. Yes, there are elders, but they are real shepherds, and there is no professional ministry. The benefits aren't that good anyhow.


Also the form , or structure has nothing to do with the occupant. we can have perfect order, absolute integrity, but if the Lord doesn't build the house, it just doesn't get built; and what works in Romania, may not fly in Cleveland. This is one message we can derive from the 7 churches. They were independent, all a little different, yet the same as a temple of God!


Robert W., Funny thing about walls. The same walls built to define property and keep the wolves out, and the sheep in, will often keep error and coldness in, and new sheep out. The church has one analogy in Scripture as a river, flowing from the Throne. Always changing, always moving, always giving life. Ponds and lakes become stagnant, but not rivers. [I also believe that this is how our eternity will be...and that's everlasting life, like a river......it will be fun,,exhilarating!] I appreciate your insights and radical thinking to dare to venture upsteam against the status quo.
Tom.







 2008/12/27 20:32
ccchhhrrriiisss
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Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4501


 Re:

Hi BrotherTom...

Quote:
Robert W., Funny thing about walls. The same walls built to define property and keep the wolves out, and the sheep in, will often keep error and coldness in, and new sheep out. The church has one analogy in Scripture as a river, flowing from the Throne. Always changing, always moving, always giving life. Ponds and lakes become stagnant, but not rivers. [I also believe that this is how our eternity will be...and that's everlasting life, like a river......it will be fun,,exhilarating!] I appreciate your insights and radical thinking to dare to venture upsteam against the status quo.


Good point(s)!

It has been my experience that there are many, many would-be prophets and apostles who claim to "hear God's voice" -- which they then force upon their congregations. Anyone who thinks, feels, learns, or discerns otherwise is simply "wrong" and is often cast out from the fold. In a way, it is "their way or the highway" -- giving no room for prayerful searching, because these men preach the "umbrella authority" message and claim to "hear God for us."

I used to know a guy who would talk about having "heard God's voice" about nearly everything. He would then judge other believers by what he thought (or claimed) that he "heard from God." Most of the time, he would just reiterate things that are entirely clear from Scripture. Yet often, he would stray into all sorts of doctrines that aren't clear. For a while, he dabbled into the charismatic prosperity "health/wealth" message. He would even tell sick people who didn't receive their healing that they must be in hidden sin...or simply be "faithless."

I finally asked this brother, "Brother so-and-so, have you EVER told someone that 'God told me...' and later have found yourself to be incorrect?" I explained that this could be a "personal message" received from God about himself, someone or something, or a supposed supernatural knowledge regarding the interpretation of a particular doctrine. He admitted to this, but said that he simply and sincerely "missed it." I explained that this made him a person who bore false witness against God Himself...and that this was no different from a false prophet from the Old Testament! He thought that I was "judging" him, but later thanked me for the reproof.

Today, one of the problems that I see in the Church is that we (the Body of Christ) allow men to pour out their interpretations for us. Much of what the modern Church teaches or believes has simply been passed down by preachers attending another preacher's message (at church, from books or from a seminary). Sometimes, nonsense comes in waves like a passing fad (ala "holy laughter") while other times it has taken root for over a thousand years (the "Church" format as taken from pagan Roman traditions). Regardless, we are in a mess because we easily adhere to what we are taught.

We need to be Bereans in ALL THINGS. We should trust no man...even those dear preachers that we admire. We all have one thing in common: We aren't entirely perfect and are wrestle against our flawed humanity. We should listen to teachers and test each and every thing that they pass on to us. This is true of anyone -- from those charismania "prophets" to beloved men like Leonard Ravenhill.

When I met Brother Ravenhill shortly before he died, he told me that this would be the most important thing that I would ever learn. He told me that the Church of God is in such a mess because it operates through flawed doctrines and practices that were easily believed when handed down by our "leaders." He instructed me to remain passionate for intimacy with God, to "test everything" that I have ever learned or been instructed (even those things that I was sure of) and to "hold on only to that which is good." He reminded me that "there is none righteous" enough to teach us without us proving his words.

One of the big problems that I find in the Body of Christ today is not just from those who are willing to believe silly things (like the extreme ends of the prosperity message), but from those who are willing to believe "hard" messages without truly searching them out. There are so many guys who teach as if their messages are beyond reproof -- that they feel that anyone who thinks otherwise must be in "gross error" (sincerely, at best).

God help us to remember our flawed humanity enough to even question ourselves and the things we think to be true! God help us to remain so closely intimate with Christ that we realize just how unlike Him we are...even though we try. May we instruct others to question our words and the words of others through the light of God's Word! May we realize that the condition of the Church (not individually, or in truth, but that vast "body" that claims to be part of the body of Christ when gazed upon as a whole) reflects the inability of each of us to search out the Word of Truth and only hold on tenaciously to that which we are completely assured to be truth!


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Christopher

 2008/12/27 23:10Profile
RobertW
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Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Quote:
May we instruct others to question our words and the words of others through the light of God's Word!



Amen. I was thinking about this topic earlier as the potential for false or wrong things may come forth at any given time theoretically. But I also think that 'personal prophecy' is not exactly the same as 'the word of His grace'. It may function the same, but it is not what I would be looking for specifically.

[color=000066]Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the [u]multitude[/u] of counsellors there is safety. (Proverbs 11:14)[/color]

The wonderful thing about authentic church life is that most people come to the meeting ready to wait on the Lord and offer their oil to our Great High Priest. Since so many are really seeking God I think Proverbs 11:14 automatically comes into play. I think it provides a safer environment than most churches where the people come to service expecting to spectate with their mind and heart in neutral.

The wonderful thing also, is the [i]gentleness[/i] with which direction is to be maintained. You will notice that right in the middle of all those passages in I Corinthians on the gifts of the Spirit is the love chapter (13). The gifts in operation are expressions of God's love and grace to the people. I think that folk who come to a meeting with an ax to grind are of the wrong spirit already.

One does not have to be 'prophetic' to be of the wrong spirit. I think any message of repentance that does not flow from a heart of compassion is not of God. Typically it was the religious hypocrites that badgered the people that received the harsh words from our Lord. Those that were in sin and needed to repent there was an underlying compassion for them that [i]drew them near[/i] to Him that He might change them.

So any 'word' or contribution that comes forth that is not of grace and seasoned with salt may well be earthly, sensual or devilish. The wrath of man does not work the righteousness of God. A word of rebuke from a critical spirit is not the same as a rebuke that is carried on wings of compassion and desire for restoration and reconciliation.


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Robert Wurtz II

 2008/12/28 8:06Profile
hmmhmm
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Joined: 2006/1/31
Posts: 4991
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 Re:

Very much good in this thread, yesterday night i listend to a Zac Poonen sermon from the book of Daniel. And he spoke briefly on building the body of Christ, the church and building babylon.

The verses that stuck with me in my thoughts where these.

Dan 4:30 The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?

1. Mans Plan
2. Mans Power
3. Mans Glory

How much church building is it today, not buildings but the church. Is built like this, with mans power and wisdom instead of Gods spirits power and wisdom that is layed down in scripture.

As looking at the pastor dominion in the church where one man practically runs the show, some is undoubted very godly men and do a good job in what they do, but is this Gods intent and will for the church? or has God in his wisdom another plan that is foolishness to men?

Looking at most churches they sadly is run like any worldly company, where the main interest is really to make the church go around, financially. Instead of of "to God be glory in the church"

What my own experience is that for some years my only participation was to sit in a pew, and give in the collection box. The thing that struck me was that i was just going to church, it was a relatively large church, and i noticed that if someone was missing no one would notice. And I look at the picture we have in the word that we are a body. Have any woken up and been missing a leg or an arm and not noticed?

I believe the intimacy and fellowship is of most importance. Yet we have large churches, and it would be an interesting poll to take in a church how many feel lonely.

another thing that i noticed from moving to norway and a new setting in church is that everyone is more involved when a church have elders instead of a pastor. Everyone has something to offer instead of being forced to listen to a pastors doctrinal convictions, right or wrong.

And how the sharpening of our love for eachother to se maybe two brothers that maybe not share the same convictions can go up and speak a word if they feel lead. To see people come up the next meeting and confess the word i shared last sunday was not a true word from God.

And how there is a "recipe" if you will in doing things other then we so often been brought up in, and how Gods ways have "hidden" things that when is done purges and cleanses out in many other areas. And most important i think it rings the saints together. The sad tragedy of todays church is that many go to church, most people, when we suppose to [b]be[/b] the church.

But also, we can have the print of a church, like we can have a model of the tabernacle in the desert, we can rebuild an exact replica of that tent, and yet Gods glory wont be there, we need be careful we do not make the same mistake when we build the church.

And most sadly much of christian work today are just a copy of another "successful" ministries. Successful hen looking at attendence, economy or conversions. Or having a right doctrine.

But Jesus never said any of these things.

Jesus said when they se how much you love one another.... is your church bringing you to that? that you can love your fellow church members with a heavenly love? ever increasing and growing and put into practice.

People often ask my church do this, we have this doctrine we do this, or we dont do this and we dont do that.

The question should be

do you love one another?


I have really appreciated Art Katz messages on community life and Gods intent with the church, and how vital it is with fellowship.

as far as i myself am from this at the moment i am more and more convinced as Art says ;

Next sunday might be to late.......

But i am very glad to see and hear that many is allowing God to work in them and leading them forward to the church as it should be. I think this thread shows more then we realize that God is working in these last days.

Eph 3:8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;
Eph 3:9 And [b]to make all men see[/b] what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:


Can all men [b]see[/b] the what is the fellowship of the mystery? that has been hid but now is revealed?

and reading that passage and seeing how the church is a testimony to the power and darkness, and seeing the grand finale here

Eph 3:18 May be able to comprehend [b]with all saints[/b] what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
Eph 3:19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
Eph 3:20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
Eph 3:21 [b]Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.[/b]


I would suggest it is robbing God of His glory to "do" church the wrong way, at least we limit it.

just my thoughts on this huge subject and very important one

Christian


_________________
CHRISTIAN

 2008/12/28 8:50Profile









 Re:

Heard a wonderful sermon by Vance Havner last night called "Desperation in Prayer".

He quoted Evan Roberts.

Evan came to the pulpit and said - [i]"Wherever two or more are gathered in My Name - there am I in the midst of them"[/i] --- Do you believe that ?"

And all the people said "Amen"

He asked "Do you really believe that?" and all the people shouted, "Amen, Alleluia."

So he answered, "Then you won't need me." and he walked out.


 2008/12/28 17:47





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