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 Re: Apostolic Fathers




I have given some consideration upon how I would reply to this post. I was saved in revival, the Jesus People Revival, in 1972. We were referred to a Jesus freaks first by the masses of hippies, and then [ with mostly disdain] by the establishment.


Many have thought that this was the last real revival on American soil. I was part of it. It was the glory of God for breakfast, lunch, Dinner, and bedtime. I awoke every day of my life in the Spirit, with the joy of the Lord. Our days were days of excitement,to see what God would do, and where we would be led. We were a rag-tag group, mostly without jobs..[though we did earn money in legal ways..]. We carried our well worn bibles with us EVERYWHERE we went, and consumed the Word. We felt it unusual NOT to lead someone to Jesus in a day, and preached the word at all times.



I lived at the "Hallelujah House", in Guerneville California, communally, with 21 other Christians, Jesus Freaks; there were 11 sisters and 11 brothers. For the 2 years that I knew of it, there was not 1 case of immorality. Not 1. Holiness was just natural, a part of living, and to be expected.



We hitchhiked almost every where, and "witnessed" continually. We were a family first, and cared about each other. I have seen the VISIBLE Shekinah glory descend upon us...I could go on...



This began to wane after about 5 years, and the church, that had began so small, had grown, and the brothers began to earn money...big money. We became rich. The glory departed, and today, I am appalled at the numbers of Jesus Freaks so reprobate.


I have read every post on this thread, and want to post in the current vein. We died, in general, because there were no Fathers; no real ones, anyway. The control of men, eventually strangled our community, and the Spirit was pushed out, as were the least of the brothers, because they could no longer measure up.



Men who began as the Pastors; [ just babies themselves, with 1 or two years in Christ..] began to see themselves as the reason for revival, and themselves as indispensable, and became Professionals. They had to control, and soon the control had no end. They monitored our paychecks to make sure the mandatory tithe was payed....


Soon, we became the establishment. We were no different than those we disdained just a few years before as hypocrites. We sat in pews,[folding chairs] listened to on leader talk on and on about the bible, and no longer walked with God. We dried up, and many fell away. How could it be?



The Spirit was quenched, and Jesus left when man took over. It's that simple. The hireling was born in our midst, and men who loved the glory given by men, more than the HONOR given by God alone encroached. We were destroyed, except for some. I'll speak for myself. I've been disciplined near death...but not forsaken. Our hearts were right, and I, as many of you, believe that this will return, with one great difference. There WILL be FATHERS at that time, who ARE NOT a PRIEST CLASS, or PROFESSIONAL HIRELING TYPES! they will lay their lives down, even unto the least of the brethren.


We are about to see the emergence of real apostolic fathers.

 2009/11/2 13:11
Leo_Grace
Member



Joined: 2009/6/14
Posts: 703


 Re:

There is much wisdom and truth in this thread. If this timeless idea of formally recognizing the Lord Jesus as the living head (not just a titular head) of each and every local church, and of instituting a plurality of ministers (servants) under Him who would implement church programs as they are moved by the Holy Spirit of Christ, much of the problems of the modern church could be avoided, and much of its true ministry could be accomplished.

But will this remain just another nice thought destined to fade as we grapple with everyday realities? I pray that the believers in this forum who are in positions of influence and authority in local churches will be willing to "step out of the box" and begin to preach and work to establish the Lord Jesus, once and for all, as the true living head of every local church, and to abolish the one-sinful-man-rule that prevails today.

 2009/11/2 13:20Profile
KingJimmy
Member



Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC

 Re:

Absolutely amen. This has been the thing that God has often dealt with me about. We are in desperate need of men who are truly fathers of the faith. In bible college they taught me how to be a professional. One professor boasted that when he was a pastor, not one member ever darkened the door of his home in all his years of ministry. His home was his sanctuary for him and his family, and he did not want people disturbing his domestic life. He meant well I know. But, it never occured to him that such a mentality smacks at the notion of elders needing to be a hospitable bunch, as mentioned in 1 Tim 3. If we are truly pastors in the biblcal sense, we will open up our lives and homes for all to see, without worrying about our precious "authority" being taken away. Our authority will be the work of the Spirit engrained into our lives, an open book for all to see.


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Jimmy H

 2009/11/2 13:22Profile
KingJimmy
Member



Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC

 Re:

Quote:

But will this remain just another nice thought destined to fade as we grapple with everyday realities? I pray that the believers in this forum who are in positions of influence and authority in local churches will be willing to "step out of the box" and begin to preach and work to establish the Lord Jesus, once and for all, as the true living head of every local church, and to abolish the one-sinful-man-rule that prevails today.



The greatest question I've grappled with for a couple years now is how to bring this truth into an existing church. Practically speaking, I don't think it can happen within a church that is officially part of a larger denomination, unless that church is willing to officially leave the denomination (which does happen from time to time). This is especially true in your typical episcopal structure, which simply will not permit such a governance which is at odds with the offical polity of the denomination-- which will be enforced from the top down. Because of the way most denominations are structured, that church will likely have to give up its property ownership, as property is usually owned by the denominational heads. This will have to happen though in the long run. The machine will have to be dismantled by force, or abandoned by saints.

The same goes with your typical non-denominational independent church. There is a great chance you could reform such a local church. But that will depend on how open the senior pastor is to doing such. If he's a control freak, it's not likely to happen But with prayer and gentle yet frequent exhortations, such a man can be won.

The best way to do this sort of thing though is from the ground up. I would love to do it in my area. But sadly, I know of no brothers or sisters who are like minded in this regard, and would be willing to start such a fellowship. I'm getting ready to find a new church to belong to. In truth, I might seek to fellowship across multiple local churches in hopes of forming such a gathering. Too bad no brothers from Sermon Index live in my immediate area (that I know of). "House churches" are almost non-existant in this area as well.


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Jimmy H

 2009/11/2 13:58Profile
Miccah
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Joined: 2007/9/13
Posts: 1752
Wisconsin

 Re:


KingJimmy wrote:

Quote:



The best way to do this sort of thing though is from the ground up. I would love to do it in my area. But sadly, I know of no brothers or sisters who are like minded in this regard, and would be willing to start such a fellowship. I'm getting ready to find a new church to belong to. In truth, I might seek to fellowship across multiple local churches in hopes of forming such a gathering. Too bad no brothers from Sermon Index live in my immediate area (that I know of). "House churches" are almost non-existant in this area as well.




Amen brother. I say this because what you are speaking of is not out of the ordinary for some me. As a leader of a House Church, I can tell you that regardless of where I go, so a House Church will go as well, God willing.

It starts with you brother. The institutionalized church is, for the most part, just that. Step out, with the Lord in full control, and be the first of many that are to come in your area.

Your loving brother. :-)


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Christiaan

 2009/11/2 14:45Profile









 Re:

"I wouldn't so much attempt to tie any of this to any of the mystery religions or any such thing though. This is just a common thing that in this fallen world, is natural to man. The idea of having one person is charge of everything is a very attractive thing. There is a seduction about it."

I would agree that it is a common thing and not a Godly thing. It has its roots not in God but in the enemy. Let me give you an example. The Holy Spirit says this to the church, "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking on the form of a bondservant, coming in the likeness of man. And being found in the appearence of man, humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God has highly exalted HIm and gave Him a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven and those on earth and those under the earth and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.

Now, what was this mind that we should have?

hp 2:2 then fulfill my joy, that you may be like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord and of one mind.
Php 2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves.
Php 2:4 Do not let each man look upon his own things, but each man also on the things of others. For let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus............."

And so Jesus represents how we should walk and serve. And for the better part of 200 after this writing, this was a reality, as opposed to what is "common," to man. What is common to men is the ways of the father of lies. Who forever seeks to exalt himself above his position and even had the audacity to ask Jesus to bow to him.

I believe that this new movement will not start in North America, it will start where the established church has all but been swept away, somewhere like Scotland. New wineskin for new wine. The old order is still very entrenched in America. I believe that people are so hungry and thristy for the things of God that they will move to where others of like-mind are. The very moving would signify how important this is to them. To serve God in a community of like-minded believers is something you either have a desperation for or not, I believe. The IHOP model(and this is not an advertisement for them, believe me) is not a bad model. People from all over the world have gathered in that little town of Grandview Missouri because they are sold out to the idea. They move into the area, buy or rent a house and work and so on but they are their primarily because they believe that they are called to be there. Whether they are or not is not the issue, but the model is not a bad one and I believe we will see something like that emerge. ............Frank

 2009/11/2 15:00









 Re: OH, for a brother today, who will pay the price; like George Fox

As I was reading I came across this post by appolus that I appreciated concerning the Prophet George Fox, and his ministry. It is relevant and self explanatory as to it's relation to this thread.



A FREE GOSPEL

The calling out of hirelings in the church was something that George Fox did regularly, he had a peculiar spiritual gifting of being able to discern true and spurious profession. He seemed to trumpet this message against the selling of Christ and religion with a burdened jealous heart, much in the likes of Christ Himself toppling the moneychangers tables. The worldly spirit of the priests made him suffer: and when he heard the bells ring to call worshippers to the steeple-houses, it struck him to the heart, 'for it was just like a market-bell to gather people together that the priest might set forth his ware to sale. Oh, the vast sums of money that are gotten by trade they make of selling the Scriptures, and by their preaching... notwithstanding the Scriptures were given forth freely, and Christ commanded his ministers to preach freely."

Another point that touches at the very heart of George Fox's ministry was the telling people that God has come to teach them Himself. It is brought out clearly in his journal when he said: "These things I did not see by the help of man, nor by the letter, though they are written in the letter, but I saw them in the light of the Lord Jesus Christ, and by his immediate Spirit and power, as did the holy men of God, by whom the Holy Scriptures were written."

 2009/11/2 16:10
elected
Member



Joined: 2004/11/21
Posts: 362
Tulsa OK

 Re:


Very enlightening posts, thx for sharing. In Hebrews 13: 7 is said, "remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God.Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith."

Leaders in the local church were prural, that was the divine pattern of NT church government.

They ministered the word of God to the church, they were godly men, an example to follow in faith as they followed their Chief Shepherd.

"Consider the outcome of their way of life." Their lives were holy, they were men of God with spiritual maturity and a great compassion for the lost and tender love for the flock of God.

Their character was blameless and noble. These elders qualified for spiritual leadership because they had the godly qualities and charisma to be fit for the noble call of shepherding the flock of th Lord.

There is one thing even more important than the divine pattern of church government, it is men of God in the church with a burning heart for Gods glory and for a genuine fellowship among believers.

There are churches who practice the plurality of leadership (eldership) in the church who aren't any better i believe than those who are led by one pastor.

God will keep us reponsible according to the light revealed to us by the Holy Spirit in His Word.


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Redi

 2009/11/2 19:16Profile
KingJimmy
Member



Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC

 Re:

Quote:

Amen brother. I say this because what you are speaking of is not out of the ordinary for some me. As a leader of a House Church, I can tell you that regardless of where I go, so a House Church will go as well, God willing.

It starts with you brother. The institutionalized church is, for the most part, just that. Step out, with the Lord in full control, and be the first of many that are to come in your area.



Amen, and I agree, and believe one should do such as well. But so long as the denominational/institutions exist, should you ever appoint an elder/pastor, I imagine the pastor of your institutional church isn't going to particularly like that too much. It is a conflict waiting to happen.


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Jimmy H

 2009/11/2 19:25Profile
KingJimmy
Member



Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC

 Re:

Quote:

As I was reading I came across this post by appolus that I appreciated concerning the Prophet George Fox, and his ministry. It is relevant and self explanatory as to it's relation to this thread.



Perhaps a better example could be in order. I'm not a big fan of George Fox. I know Ravenhill was, and many on SI are fans of him because of Ravenhill's influence. But um, well... :-)


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Jimmy H

 2009/11/2 19:27Profile





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