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dohzman
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Joined: 2004/10/13
Posts: 2132


 Re: Frank

Quote:
I think the story Robert told, for rules being changed because large tithers complained, is the practical outcome of the system we currently have in many churches.



In some churches I can see this. The was a survey done in the AG (assemblies of God) some years ago and the average pastor only stayed a any given location for 6years. I think thats telling. I believe Wilkersons church serves as a positive example of a large church, I'm sure with some really big givers, and yet these men give a hard message that I believe is from the very heart of God. So I do believe that much of the local church condition is tempered by the leadership disposition and integrity, or lack there of.


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D.Miller

 2008/12/30 22:19Profile
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Joined: 2007/2/3
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 Re: Response To Mahoney's Questions

Hi Mahoney.

I hope you won't mind if I respond with one general answer to all the questions you asked me.

First, just to review what you yourself say is the answer to these things... that we have the written word, and all we need can be found there. In the written word. You said this a number times.

I believe this has been spoken to in earlier posts on this thread, particularly the one in which the following scripture verse was emphasized.

"He that hath an ear let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches."

Take note. This verse is in the written word.

I love the written word of God very deeply. I respect the Scriptures deeply.

And the Scriptures tell us that the Scriptures themselves are not enough to enable us to walk in the whole counsel of God.

We must have an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ the Lord of the Church in order to walk in the full will of God.

We must walk in the Spirit, be led of the Spirit, obey the Spirit of God.

This will often mean, perhaps always mean, leaving all that's written in the written word in the hands of the Spirit to fulfill, as we humble ourselves and walk in obedience to the Spirit.

At the same time, this kind of walk does not mean a total disregard to what is in the written word. If we are walking in obedience to the Holy Spirit we will always be in harmony with the written word. (I don't think I need to press this, it's been covered in other threads on this site.)

Just as an illustration. The Son of God Himself had the whole of the Old Testament before Him. He knew all that was in the written word concerning Himself. But did He try to fulfill it all? No, He simply walked in union with the Father, and all that He was supposed to fulfill in His days here on earth came to pass.

On one occasion-- the time when He read in the synagogue at Nazareth-- he stopped right in the middle of a sentence, and then said, "This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears" (Lk. 4.21).

But what about the rest of the sentence (about the Day of Vengeance of our God)? Wasn't that in the written word, too? Yes, but He was sensitive to God's timings. He would yet fulfill that part of the verse also. In its time. (And its time is very close now, in my estimation.)

The same goes for the verse generally known as "the great commission," which you called the pattern. But the early apostles didn't immediately set out to fulfill that commandment. They waited on God. They tarried in Jerusalem for a time. They went forth in obedience to the Spirit of God.

(And in fact, I think James and no doubt others never did "go into all the world to preach the gospel," but stayed in Jerusalem. Were they disobedient to the great commission? No, they were being sensitive to the leading of the Spirit of God. They recognized His Lordship in the church.

This is what I meant by saying we can know the pattern of true church to some degree, yet still be unable to manufacture true church. Only the Spirit of God can do this.

Philologos mentioned (after your post) his own experience with this. Knowing the principles doesn't enable us to put the principles into practice.

We must walk in faith. And faith is totally the province of the Spirit of God alone. We must walk in the Spirit, giving Him His total lordship in the church in all things, before we can be given the testimony that we are walking by faith.

...Just one last comment. I mentioned in my post that if we are hungry enough, and seek God, we will find Him.

Your response was, "What if we have already found God... in the person of Jesus Christ?"

What can I say but that I too found Him... some years ago. But now He is way, way bigger than when I first found Him. And way deeper, and way higher... and I am so much smaller than back then.

And now I have a hunger in my heart to FIND HIM in such an intimacy of fellowship that God shines forth from my life in a way that those who meet me meet HIM. As it was with the Son of God, who said that those who had seen Him had seen the Father, those who had met Him had met the Father.

I won't settle for any lesser testimony than that... because the written word tells me this is the very thing for which He called me... unworthy as I may be. But to HIM be glory in the Church...)

Thanks for your comments, Mahoney. I hope this is helpful.

AD


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Allan Halton

 2008/12/30 22:49Profile









 Re:

Quote


"What can I say but that I too found Him... some years ago. But now He is way, way bigger than when I first found Him. And way deeper, and way higher... and I am so much smaller than back then.

And now I have a hunger in my heart to FIND HIM in such an intimacy of fellowship that God shines forth from my life in a way that those who meet me meet HIM. As it was with the Son of God, who said that those who had seen Him had seen the Father, those who had met Him had met the Father."

Amen brother, my Spirit definately witnesses with that. I was driving from Kansas to Colorado(if I was still a Catholic, this would be a form of purgatory) and after almost nine hours of driving, there the mountains begin to rise up from the horizon. I could put my finger up and block their view. The closer I got, the higher they got, until I could not see around them or above them. The closer I get to God, the bigger He becomes, the smaller I become. Yet praise God, this vast God who is beyond knowing, says in His Word that I can be "filled with all the fullness of God." He is beyond knowing, yet He makes Himself known to us and He fills us with His fullness. This God that all the universe's combined does not contain, He contains them, who holds all the nations in the palm of His hand and they are like mere dust in the scales, deems to fill us with His fullness(a mystery no more)

When the saints seek the fullness of God, when the saints walk in the awareness of God, when the saints walk in His presence, then we will see what the Lord can do with a handful of men.....brother Frank

 2008/12/30 23:33









 Re: Thanks

First I want to thank you for your response and if, you would permit, I would like to continue the conversation.


Quote:
He that hath an ear let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.



And it was Jesus who spoke in the previous verses. It was something very specific to each church.

Quote:
And the Scriptures tell us that the Scriptures themselves are not enough to enable us to walk in the whole counsel of God.



The only place I can think of that might suggest what you are saying is John 5:39, but in no way was Jesus saying that the scriptures were not sufficient. All he was saying was that they were searching the scriptures for anything but Him.

And that was pretty much my point. I agree with you that we should not look at the Word as merely principles to follow. The Word of God is all about Jesus Christ...He said as much in Luke 24 and the Spirit's purpose is to reveal Christ to us in the scriptures

Quote:
This will often mean, perhaps always mean, leaving all that's written in the written word in the hands of the Spirit to fulfill, as we humble ourselves and walk in obedience to the Spirit.



And this what I meant by vague and ambiguous. The purpose of the Spirit of God is to reveal Christ and His work. It says as much in John 14 - 16. I'm sure you would agree that the entire Word of God is about Christ and His redeeming work. The Spirit of God will speak of Christ, I cannot know Christ without Him.

Quote:
But what about the rest of the sentence (about the Day of Vengeance of our God)? Wasn't that in the written word, too? Yes, but He was sensitive to God's timings. He would yet fulfill that part of the verse also. In its time. (And its time is very close now, in my estimation.)



First off...we are not Jesus, and I am sure you would agree that He is far more than an example for us. As you stated....He is the Son of God.

Is it really being "sensitive to God's timing" or is it just the reality of the fact that in the history of redemption and the plan of redemption, that part of the prophetic Word will not be fulfilled until the second coming of Christ. Which I know by the Spirit as we study His Word.

Quote:
The same goes for the verse generally known as "the great commission," which you called the pattern. But the early apostles didn't immediately set out to fulfill that commandment. They waited on God. They tarried in Jerusalem for a time. They went forth in obedience to the Spirit of God.



The Spirit of God had not yet come. When he did come all that Jesus taught them made sense which is why they glorified God. They understood the Cross. They understood their redemption. They would not have been able to fulfill the great commission because they would not have been able to teach anybody anything.

Look, I agree with you that we are to be led by the Spirit and we are to live in the Spirit...but what is that if it is not living by the revealed Word of God. In Him we live and move and have our being....in whom....Jesus Christ...The Living Word.

 2008/12/31 0:26
dohzman
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Joined: 2004/10/13
Posts: 2132


 Re:

Quote:
I know for myself, I have been unnecessarily moved, at times, by the "words from the lord" of men in pulpits that seem to be speaking to everyone but those people sitting in the seats in their own church


Wow!I didn't think anyone else saw that, I call that the user friendly church. Very accurate point .



Quote:
I think many young preachers have taken their cues from preachers who think it is their duty to preach to the nation instead of the local flock that God has given them.



You hit the nail on the head here too, I think the Word of God calls it selfish ambition.


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D.Miller

 2008/12/31 7:43Profile
RobertW
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Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Quote:
Quote: I think many young preachers have taken their cues from preachers who think it is their duty to preach to the nation instead of the local flock that God has given them.


Daryl's: You hit the nail on the head here too, I think the Word of God calls it selfish ambition.



I agree with this and observe further that young preachers do not understand that the local body is to be [i]edified[/i]. So many times (and I count myself formerly in the number) young preachers think it their job to correct every 'wrong' thing they see.

But the challenge is to examine ourselves whether we be in the faith and to speak those things that are good for the use of edifying. It is odd that those called to edify are in 'tear down' mode (lessen what is good, down play positives, weaken overall) more than 'build up' mode. :-(


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Robert Wurtz II

 2008/12/31 8:15Profile
dohzman
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Joined: 2004/10/13
Posts: 2132


 Re: Ron/Robert or anyone else who would respond?

I have read that the letter to eph. may have been a letter that was circulated before, but what I seem to see when I look at the churches in Asia was that each one seemed to be set up a little differently from each other in structure as well as basic function, while at the same time leaving room for the itinerant ministry that was in place from the apostle down. How do you see the churches in Asia as to structure and function one to the other?

What the church seems to want these days is a published speaker who is well known and who can gain them a crowd and produce a move of God like say someone like a Kathrin Kulhman (sp?) and all that on a $50.00 dollar budget :-o .

My question is this: Why are the churches in America so closed, even though what they are doing is failing? ( most do not use the itinerant any longer except once a year for a 2 or 3 day revival or camp style meeting and once a year for a visiting missionary)

It also seems that the church runs today so much like a secular buisness that they try to sanctify thier buisness dealings in the name of God! but they refuse to do things by the "BOOK" of God. Why is it we seem to fell that we can just use Jesus a blanket cover for all our local church failings? and operate things as normal or statis quo?


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D.Miller

 2008/12/31 10:48Profile
RobertW
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Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
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 Re: When the "Word of His Grace" is no longer sought after...

Quote:
Daryl's: My question is this: Why are the churches in America so closed, even though what they are doing is failing? ( most do not use the itinerant any longer except once a year for a 2 or 3 day revival or camp style meeting and once a year for a visiting missionary)



This is a great question. I have wondered and thought about it often and more and more as I see numbers in my circles dropping tremendously. I have seen youth groups drop from about 30 to 1 or 2 simply because of a location change. I have watched churches that once ran 200+ now running in the teens. Etc. etc.

I think that the problem is an unwillingness to change and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, but a willingness to change and follow some [i]other[/i] thing that is less threatening. The cloud and fire have moved but the tents never followed. But the same individuals responsible for leading spent their time in books and even on sermons that were dead in the water to put breath in the carcass. I number myself in that group.

I think also a combination of fears from false revivals, fallen ministers, money issues, etc., fear of offending folk and the ongoing influence of TV and radio ministries has caused (contributed to) the problem.

I'm going to get in trouble here, but ministers need to be careful not to lean to heavily on vintage, revival and repentance based sermons from well respected ministers. These men have some great points to make but we need to make sure that we are allowing God to speak to put things on our hearts to share that are designed to edify according to the present need. Otherwise we end up answering questions no one is even asking (so to speak). And treating phantom diseases and conditions that are not relevant today. It may be 'fun' to talk about- but what does it have to do with where we are right now? It may be a wonderful series on apologetics or some doctrine, but is it edifying the body? Is it what the body needs right now?

Only the Holy Spirit can build a Church that the Gates of Hell will not prevail against. If man builds the work- the enemy has and will continue to prevail. We have to decide on this. What are we going to do? Continue dying or get ears to hear [i]what the Spirit saith unto the churches.[/i]" To chose rightly is to live- to chose wrongly will certainly spell total disaster, I think.








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Robert Wurtz II

 2008/12/31 11:55Profile
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 Re:

Hi again, Mahoney.

Sure, let's continue the conversation.

But let's bring it back into the context of this thread about responsibility for the churches.

When Paul gave his farewell message to the church of Ephesus in a little gathering with the elders of that church at Miletus, there are two things he didn't do.

One, he didn't tell them he would send to headquarters in Jerusalem, or Springfield, or wherever... and have a new minister sent down to look after the helpless flock.

Secondly, he didn't pass around Bibles to them all and tell them, "All you'll need is right here."

What he did do was, again, two things:

One, he exhorted the elders of that asssembly that it was to be their responsibility "to take heed to themselves, and to all the flock over the which (in which) the Holy Spirit had made them overseers, to feed (shepherd) the flock of God which He hath purchased with His own blood" (Acts 20.28).

Secondly, he "commended them to God, and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up, and give you an inheritance among them which are sanctified" (vs. 32).

And so, to apply this to our own day, it's clear that God would have local assemblies grow in strength because of the provision of the word of His grace in their midst, instead of having them kept in a kind of chronic immaturity that requires pastor after pastor to feed them all the days of their life.

This "word of grace" should be alive and well in the assembly of the saints, each one walking in a close relationship with Christ, and contributing to the well being of all by faithfully ministering their portion of grace.

To my mind, the word of His grace includes all aspects of the word of God. Teaching, prophesy... all of it.

I understand where you are coming from, and in no way minimize the importance of the written word. But I think in our day, with our abundance of Bibles, God sees we are weak in the area of this "ministry of the Spirit." This is indispensible to the church, and I believe God desires to alert us to our weakness in this area, and get us seeking Him for His provision to change the situation.

Jesus did not say, when He went away, that He would see to it that the disciples had the written word to guide them when He was gone.

What He did say was, "It is expedient for you (better for you, to your advantage, your profit) that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you, but if I depart, I will send Him unto you..." (Jn. 16.7).

And so, the Spirit of Truth, the Holy Spirit, would be in the church as the Son of God Himself, when He was here.

He, the Spirit of truth, is to be the Lord and Minister in our assemblies, guiding, teaching, prophesying, praying... just as if Jesus Himself were here in the flesh.

...I think you are in agreement on what I am saying (if I understand you), for you said at the end of your post that we are to be led of the Spirit and live in the Spirit... and that is, to quote you, "living by the revealed word of God."

And we have the written word to keep us on track and help us watch out for those areas where, thinking we are being led of the Spirit, we are going down the garden path with you-know-who.

...What you said is right: we are not Jesus. But we have the Spirit of Jesus. We are not the Son of God. But "God hath sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, Abba, Father."

And so by His Spirit, we are to have the same kind and quality of walk with the Father that the Son of God did.

...As to that passage in Isaiah where Jesus broke off in the middle of a sentence, you are right that Jesus understood that the latter part pertained to something that would be fulfilled later down the road in the plan of redemption. But that is my point. He was sensitive to God's timings. He didn't say, "Look, it says this right here in the written word, so I am going to do this."

He was led of the Spirit. The timing for the rest of that verse had not yet come.

Thanks again for your comments, Mahoney.

AD



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Allan Halton

 2008/12/31 12:09Profile
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 Re:

Quote:

appolus wrote:

The closer I got, the higher they got, until I could not see around them or above them. The closer I get to God, the bigger He becomes, the smaller I become. Yet praise God, this vast God who is beyond knowing, says in His Word that I can be "filled with all the fullness of God."

When the saints seek the fullness of God, when the saints walk in the awareness of God, when the saints walk in His presence, then we will see what the Lord can do with a handful of men.....brother Frank




Good word, Frank. And a very apt illustration of the mountains growing bigger as we get closer to them. The mountains don't grow; they are always the same size. But the closer you get to them, the bigger they get. It is an awesome thing to get right up against "the rocks," so close that you have to look almost straight up to see sky. And you see the wild goats way up there, perfectly at home.

It seems so formidable to us, but there are those wild goats up there... perfectly at home (Ps. 104.18).

Now... if only I had hinds' feet!

...It is a very awesome prospect that God intends us together (ye, with all saints) to "be filled unto all the fulness of God." From this present distance I scarcely comprehend what that means. But as we get closer to Him...

AD


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Allan Halton

 2008/12/31 12:50Profile





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