Five-Fold Today - The Apostolic/Prophetic Emphasis - A New Type of Preacher - Broken Pane - Visitation - The Ultimate Intention - Spiritual Abuse, The Abusee and the Abuser - Teams and Teamwork - Jesus, Our Kinsman Redeemer

March 23 200l

The Apostolic/Prophetic Emphasis

Jose and Mary Alvarez

1 Corinthians 12:28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps,(" taking up the cause"; to aid) governments( from the word for "helmsman"; hence first to steer the church, and then to rule.), diversities of tongues.

Greek: And certain has God set in the church, first apostles, secondly prophets, thirdly teachers, then varied and numerous works of God's dunamis, spiritual gifts consisting of cures, helping and aiding in a variety of ways, governments, and diversities of tongues.

Eph 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

Greek: It is He who gave some to be apostles, and some prophets, and some evangelists, and some shepherds and teachers.

Please observe with me the two lists that make up the structure of the New Testament church. In both of these spiritual inventories we take note that apostles are placed first and prophets second. Pastor and teachers, which are really not two separate ministries but one class of people operating both; (in that a pastor must also have the anointing to teach his congregation), comes after the mention of apostles and prophets in the second list. Church governments, which todays are primarily in the hands of the pastoral staff are also found towards the end of the first list.

When the Lord Jesus inspired the apostle Paul with these two blueprints for His church, He was certainly not saying at any time, that apostles are more important than prophets, who in turn are more important than pastors. Neither did He say that the gifts of healing are more vital than the governments within the church.

All ministers and ministers are of equal importance. When they operate under the leading of the Holy Ghost, they complement each other to bring the fullness of the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ into the earth.

These lists of ministers and ministries are not describing RANK and IMPORTANCE but EMPHASIS and STRESS.

The EMPHASIS and the STRESS on the New Testament church must be the apostolic and prophetic ministries, and not on church government. This is an incredibly important point, as we shall study.

The emphasis today however is on church government. This great error on our part severely limits the glory of God, has thwarted the salvation of men and women for two thousand years, obstructed worldwide revivals, forced the church to become like the world in order evangelize it, and is now slowing down the second coming of Christ.

Today the church focuses on a host of administrative issues, the promotion of church programs, the establishment of committees to supervise these programs, and innumerable hours of pastoral counseling given to the congregation. In no way would I ever say that these things should be disregarded; they will always be an integral part of church life. However, church governments have ended up majoring in the minors of what God called the New Testament church governments to be.

The main responsibility of New Testament church governments is to administer and conduct the apostolic and prophetic ministries (which includes the evangelist's miracles ministry manifesting itself in signs and wonders) within the local assembly.

The apostolic and prophetic ministries, and not church governments, are the foundation on which any local assembly must build upon.

Eph 2:19, 20 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone.

This is an introduction to The New Testament Church by Jose Alvarez and may be found at:
http://christianindiantv.homestead.com/files/TheNTChurchone.htm

jealvarez@worldnet.att.net

A New Type of Preacher

A. W. Tozer

But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. --Acts 20:24

If Christianity is to receive a rejuvenation, it must be by other means than any now being used. If the Church in the second half of this century is to recover from the injuries she suffered in the first half, there must appear a new type of preacher. The proper, ruler-of-the-synagogue type will never do. Neither will the priestly type of man who carries out his duties, takes his pay and asks no questions, nor the smooth-talking pastoral type who knows how to make the Christian religion acceptable to everyone. All these have been tried and found wanting.

Another kind of religious leader must arise among us. He must be of the old prophet type, a man who has seen visions of God and has heard a voice from the Throne. When he comes (and I pray God there will be not one but many), he will stand in flat contradiction to everything our smirking, smooth civilization holds dear. He will contradict, denounce and protest in the name of God and will earn the hatred and opposition of a large segment of Christendom. Such a man is likely to be lean, rugged, blunt- spoken and a little bit angry with the world. He will love Christ and the souls of men to the point of willingness to die for the glory of the One and the salvation of the other. But he will fear nothing that breathes with mortal breath. The Size of the Soul, 128-129.

"Lord, in the first half of this current century this need is even greater. Send to Your church today many who have 'seen visions of God and...heard a voice from the Throne.' Amen."

_______________________________________________________________
Read "Insight for Leaders" online at:
http://www.litmin.com/tozer.php3

Broken Pane

Ras Robinson

You have a "pane" broken and shattered in your life. Your heart has been smashed in an area. As with an automobile windshield, there are those who can come and stop the spreading of the break. But you will always see and be able to feel the damage. It will be ever before you. Listen. I feel your pain and I see your struggle. There are times when despair and hopelessness prevail. You wonder if healing will ever come. At times you give up completely and end up with bouts of depression. May I tell you that it is My very nature to heal you? Your healing has always been in My heart. Jesus has the healing of the brokenhearted as a permanent, perpetual assignment. He heals by the power of the Holy Spirit Who lives within you. Listen to me. I don't want to heal your "pane," I want to heal your pain. I am not interested in just stopping the spreading of the break. I want to give you a whole new pane with no scars. You will remember no more this particular brokenness. It will not be ever before you if you will but humble yourself and come to Me. Cast yourself before Me and ask. Trust Me. Exercise your faith by casting yourself totally upon me, helpless. I will answer.

Lord is near to the brokenhearted, And saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18

He heals the brokenhearted, And binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me; he has appointed me to preach Good News to the poor; he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted and to announce that captives shall be released and the blind shall see, that the downtrodden shall be freed from their oppressorsLuke 4:18

Fullness in Christ Church, Pastor
http://www.fullnessonline.org
fullness@airmail.net

Visitation

Thomas Bramhall

I will visit those you thought dead. I will make rich in me those you thought in poverty and reveal the poverty of those who thought themselves rich. I will pour My Spirit out upon all flesh that bear my name. I will manifest my awesome presence in places even that don't think I do that anymore. I care nothing for your or their traditions or constraints. I am God.

Do not be offended by Me touching those I will and rescuing those I wish. Do not be like The Prodigal's other brother so offended at what was showered upon his brother that was once thought dead. Rejoice! I will bring the body into wholeness! Rejoice concerning all that will come to know me in fullness! Rejoice! You will begin to act like My Body.

Tom Bramhall
Madison, AL
tommyb@arttech1.com

The Ultimate Intention

DeVern Frommke

"Nothing will come out right for the person who either consciously or subconsciously makes the universe to revolve around himself. What a peanalty, to live with a self you can't live with. As long as you center in yourself, you won't like yourself. Another has put it this way. "It is so wonderful to get yourself off your own hands and into the hands of God. It's like living in a new world!"

"Man was not created to be the CENTER and any attempt to build this false universe will only cause confusion. God has made life that way, and there is no use kicking against the goad, as Paul did to his own hurt."

"Paul explains it this way, "we thus judge, that one died for all, therefore all died, and He died for all, that they which live should no longer live unto themselves, but unto Him who for them died and rose again." (2 Cor. 5:14-15). "Paul reveals that it was God's purpose to take all of Adam's race to the cross in order to deal with the "I" principle that stands in oppostion to God. So when God looked down upon the cross, He saw us united in death with His Son. All that is involved in the treachery of S-I-N (Selfish, independent negation) is dealt with there. Thus from God's viewpoint man was crucified WITH CHRIST- but more. He was buried with Christ in Jospeh's new tomb. Yet even more, He was raised with Christ to newness of life. But still more than that, he was positioned with Christ in God in a new heavenly position."

"Now all this which God reckons to have happened as he sees it from His viewpoint, we must likewise reckon to be our experience by faith-appropriation. So Paul describes it in four words: CRUCIFIED, BURIED, RISEN, and ASCENDED. This is not something that we do. No, we see it by revelation- see that it happened to us "in Him" - and we by faith live in that reckoning."

"Man has been raised with Christ and is now in a new position "in Him." We know of multitudes of believers who have well taught about their position in Christ. They speak with conviction of the finished work by which they have forgiveness, deliverance, victory, and authority. And well they might rejoice in all that has been done for them. Yet here is just the trouble- the snare. They have never changed centers. All that has been made available to them in Christ they continue to relate to themselves: the old center. They have missed the deepest severing power of the cross which would deliver them to a life centered in God where all things are related to HIM."

"For almost fifteen years this writer preached the GLORIES OF OUR POSTION IN CHRIST and emphasized the truths of identification in the death and resurrection of Christ as this made available a victorious walk- a truth which is now being taught by hundreds throughout the country. Yet, I was, without realizing it always relating all this to man and his needs and welfare. It was all FOR MAN- what man received through his new position in Christ. Thus the center had not really changed."

"Then one day the truth exploded. I realized just how short this was of bringing man to a full and total emancipation from his man centered-ness. It became evident as long as one is still appealing to man FOR WHAT MAN CAN GET, it still fits into the popular approach. But it is a vastly different thing to experience the radical working of the Cross which liberates one from self to a new center. As long as one is still more alive to what God does for man, to what the cross realizes for man, to what our positon in Christ means for man- that individual has never grasped the Father's full intention for placing us in His Son: that we might come to the same vision, purpose, dedication and philosophy of life as the Son shares in the Father."

"God intends for man to live with an utterly new center of gravity. We are not merely centered "in Christ" but with Him are centered in God the Father. As we shall see, in this God centered position it is no longer our victory, but living in His victory; it is no longer our purpose, but living in His purpose; it is no longer our dedication, but living in His dedication. All things have truly become new."

DeVern Frommke
Forwarded by Trumpet Call Bulletin
info@DougFortune.org

Spiritual Abuse, The Abusee and the Abuser

Maria Magruder-Taylor

Spiritual abuse is a term that many people have become familiar with over the last few years. We have pastors who are controlled by their "boards", we have church leadership that tries to control the flock, we have pastors who control the leadership and flock and have verbally and spiritual abused fellow brothers and sisters in the Lord. No matter what position, leadership or layperson, we have seen spiritual abuse in the body of Christ, which is derived by a religious/controlling spirit.

Of course not all churches and ministries are in some sort of an abusive situation, but we have seen a lot of it over the years, and praise God we are all learning to love one another and learning how to "work" with one another, submitting to one another in love.

For those of you however who are currently in a spiritual abusive situation, God has a word for you!

For those of you who are the "abusers", God has a word for you too.

For those of your who are struggling with being afflicted by this (abusee) religious/controlling spirit in your church or ministry, the Lord says, "I have surely visited you and seen what is DONE to you in Egypt. And I have said I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of milk and honey." (Ex 3:16-17)

My friends, God has seen your affliction, He has seen everything that has gone on in your situation, and He is about to deliver you. Some of you have "The Joseph Anointing" where you are about to be exalted in mans and God's eyes. Though you have been in bondage, pushed down, stripped of your coat of many colors, God is about to restore.

For His word to you from the beginning is the same word He gave to Joseph, "I AM WITH YOU" (Gen 39:2) Instead of taking on the yoke of man and religion, take on My yoke says, the Lord, For I am gentle and lowly in heart and you will find rest for your soul. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

My friends, know that God sees everything! He knows exactly what is going on, He knows every sacrifice, every hurt, every burden you have been carrying. God will see you through and bring you into the land of milk and honey, a land of plenty, a land full of the anointing of God!

For God is pouring out His favor upon all you who have labored, and have suffered for His name sake.

Ex 12:36 "And the Lord had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians so that they granted them what they requested."

Have you requested anything lately from the Lord? Its your time! Begin asking God for the things you need for the Kingdom of God! For there is a great favor being poured out upon you in this hour.

People who have been spiritually abused, please remember that God always uses what the enemy meant for harm into His good, and if you look at your situation as an OPPORTUNITY to spiritually mature and grow, you will find its much easier to get through!

Jesus had many OPPORTUNITIES to spiritually grow! We either grow spiritually from these experiences or we slide backwards into hurt and depression, which is what the enemy wants. So don't fall for that!

Now if we look at the "abuser" side of things, we find that many times the "abuse" is derived from many different issues. Some of these issues can be fear, hurts or wounds, and sometimes just being judgmental can cause one to step into that category of "abuse" to other people. So it is really EASY for any one of us to fall into this category, so we need to do two things:

Evaluate our own hearts if WE have ever fallen into that category of spiritually abusing people, or if WE are even doing that NOW. If you have found yourself being spiritually abusive to a person in the past (which most of us have some time in our life) then we need to practice patience, LOVE & forgiveness with our current brothers and sisters in the Lord who may have fallen into "spiritual abuse".

These are the most two important things concerning spiritual abuse. Now if you are in a situation that is extremely harmful, then you need to get out. God didn't create you to be a doormat! For example if a pastor grabs you by the throat and is about to punch you in the face, you probably shouldn't hang around! (true story, unfortunately)

Whatever situation you are in, PLEASE consult first the Holy Spirit and secondly someone you can trust. Not someone that will tell you what you "want to hear", but someone that always speaks "truth" into your life.

I think to really look at the abuser side of things, we need to narrow down what IS spiritual abuse? This will help both the abusee and the abuser. This will help the abusee, because many times, (especially women) don't even know they are being spiritually abused. As well it will help the abuser, because many times people don't know they are being "spiritually abusive". Hopefully we don't fall in either category!!!!!!!!!!! If we are ever going to have unity in the body of Christ, we really need to evaluate our hearts.

Spiritual abuse is any sort of affliction that wounds your spirit that results in harm to your spirit, by control or religion, which again usually stems out of fear or hurt. That tells you that you are less than what Christ purchased for you on the cross. Did that make sense?

So just as a person being emotionally abused, their emotions are damage, or a person who is being physically abused, their body is damaged. Same thing with being spiritually abused. Some examples of spiritual abuse from church leadership:

  • Verbally attacking the sheep with harsh words, especially when they try to step out into the call of God on their life.
  • Leadership controlling relationships-friends, spouse, family members.
  • Forbidding you to spend time with certain people.
  • Leadership demanding that you "obey" them or else...
  • Manipulation-using the word of God to get something "they" want
  • Forbidding you to NOT go somewhere, such as another church service or special meeting.
  • Forbidding you NOT to miss one of their services for any reason.
  • Forbidding you to worship in freedom. (dancing, flags etc...)
  • Totally not allowing any of gifts to flow in a service. (there are times where pastors do have to be discerning there of course, I'm talking like NEVER)
  • Money can be a spiritual abuse, if taken in a un-godly manner. When any sort of leadership seems to think they "own" you.

Examples of possibly lay people abusing the leadership, yes its true, the people in the congregation can be just as controlling as any leadership could ever be!

  • Board of Directors controlling the pastor in how the pastor is lead by the Holy Spirit in a service.
  • Lay people, board of directors or congregation using money to control or manipulate church issues or the pastor for what they want.
  • Lay people or congregation people telling other new members how to act, and what to do and not do in their church.

So, these are some examples from both sides, however there are many more not listed here, that I'm sure many of you could think of! Please evaluate yourself on both sides and if there is anything in your heart or life, just begin to repent and ask God to help you change in those areas.

For more information on spiritual abuse, you can check out this web site at: www.spiritualabuse.org PLEASE NOTE: Just because I recommended this site for more information, does not mean I agree with everything on this site! Please use your Holy Ghost discernment in what is Godly and righteous! Thank you.

Now, I said God had a word for the abusers. This is a harsh word, and it's a word that God has given me for about 6 months now. It is not a word that has come out of my flesh or out of hurt, but just something God has had on my heart. I believe this is a word for people who have SERIOUSLY gone overboard on the abuse issue. Whether they will ever see this word or not, I have no idea, I can only hope that God will grab their hearts and show them by the Holy Ghost what needs to change before its too late.

For those of you who are currently controlling and abusing the sheep, (this could be leadership or it could be lay people) for one who has ears, let them hear the word of the Lord:

Woe to the people who do not feed my flocks. You eat the fat and clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fatlings, but you do not feed the flock. The weak you have not strengthened, nor have you healed those who were sick, nor bound up the broken, nor brought back what was driven away, nor sought what was lost, but with FORCE AND CRUELTY YOU HAVE RULED THEM.

So the flock was scattered because their was no shepherd and they became food for ALL the beasts of the field when they were scattered. (Ezk 34)

And I say, "REPENT" and change your ways. For My ways, are not your ways. You think you are doing Me good, when you are really HURTING ME. For I am the God who sees all and I see the intentions of the heart. I desire mercy not sacrifice.

For those who will not repent, I will cause you to cease from feeding the sheep and the shepherds shall feed themselves no more. For I will deliver My flock from their mouths that they may no longer be food for you. For thus says the Lord God, "Indeed I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out. I will seek what was lost and bring back what was driven away, bind up the broken and strengthen what was sick, but I will destroy the fat and the strong and feed them in judgment."

Ezekiel 34 says it all!

Again, whether abusee or abuser, we all need LOVE and FORGIVENESS towards one another. None of us have "arrived", we are all growing and maturing, from Glory to Glory. Lord help us all to evaluate our hearts on a daily basis that we would not hinder our brothers and sisters in the Lord spiritually! They will know we are Christians by our LOVE!

John 13:35 "By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

Matt 6:15 "But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will you Father forgive you trespasses."

www.alaskaalliance.org
maria@alaskaalliance.org

Teams and Teamwork

By Robert I Holmes

He who wilfully separates and isolates himself from God and man seeks his own desire and pretext to break out against all wise and sound judgement" (Prov. 18:1 AMP).

There is an alarming trend in the Body of Christ today. There seems to be a stratum of people who one might term `the untouchables'. They are not untouchable in an `unclean' and poverty stricken sense, but untouchable in terms of being above reproach or question. This stratum is made up of a wide variety of people, each who have different reasons for being `up there'. Wounded prophets, whose only accountability is `to God'; super apostles, who have no further they can promote themselves; lonely pastors, who have forgotten how to trust others; itinerant evangelists who can't trust others to work with them; hurt people who have been abused by `authority' The list seems to be endless.

When a person leads alone, they may very rapidly begin to exhibit spiritual despotism the seat of an absolute ruler, tyrant and oppressor. When a person stands alone, they may very rapidly begin to exhibit spiritual exclusivity, lack of accountability and then begin to rage.

I need you

The truth of the matter is, God made us to need other people. He made us dependent, he left portions out of your package that can only be found in others. He did not make us to be co-dependant, nor independent. He made us to be inter-dependant.

Jesus told a stunning parable about this one day. He said, "Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For with the judgement you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you see the speck in your neighbour's eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbour, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' while the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbour's eye" (Matt 7:1-5).

Most often we stress the `judge not' and the `examine yourself part'. But f we finish there, we will have an insipid understanding of Christ's point. The reason we do this is so that we can then help others. He went on to say, having checked your motive, having examined your own heart for issues, then by all means help your brother! "You will see clearly to take the speck out of your brothers eye".

The process of self examination precedes the process of helping your brother, but it often seems we fall into either extreme daring not to `judge' another (thereby excusing ourselves from helping them), or railing against everyone in a spirit of false judgement. Jesus tells us we need each other, we are rubbing our eyes with a speck in them, it is becoming inflamed and we have need of another to come and pull it out.

Yes men

"Where there is no guidance, a nation falls, but in an abundance of counsellors there is safety" (Prov. 11:14).

By wise guidance you can wage your war, and in abundance of counsellors there is victory (Prov. 24:6).

There is no doubt that all of us needs counsellors at work, at home, in business, in church. You need good counsel, but you do not need it from self appointed or self promoting `yes men'. Nepotism is giving undue favour in appointing ones relatives and friends to office, and unfortunately it happens all the time.

Spiritual nepotism begins to occur when we promote people who will agree with us, who fit the mold, who are pursuing our dream at the exclusion of their own and who want what we want. The danger is that we all together become blinded, and fall into a pit. The concept of unity

What is a team, and what does unity mean? Biblical unity does not imply watering down or letting go of our beliefs until we are able to stand along side other beliefs without clashing, that's called ecumenicalism. Neither does it imply merging and meshing beliefs together in one unified whole, that's called syncretism. Neither does it mean taking a part of mine, a part of yours and a part of someone else's to make a collage of belief, that's called polytheism.

The Biblical framework for unity can be understood by looking at a rope. Rope is made up of intertwined cords. Those cords themselves are made up of intertwined strands. The cords and strands are separate, yet bound together. Their lives touch each other a many levels, yet they do not stop being individual. The cords together make a much stronger rope.

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up the other; but woe to one who is alone and falls and does not have another to help. Again, if two lie together, they keep warm; but how can one keep warm alone? And though one might prevail against another, two will withstand one. A threefold cord is not quickly broken. Better is a poor but wise youth than an old but foolish king, who will no longer take advice (Ecc . 4:9-13).

I have the privilege of working in a team of three one with Indian heritage, one with Chinese heritage and one with Australian heritage. We like different foods, but enjoy a home cooked meal at the other's house. We think differently (culturally) at times and this different perspective is helpful. We do not agree on every point. Our various personalities respond to stresses, problems and joys differently.

The power of the compass

A compass contains four opposing points in one setting: north, south, east and west. These four are needed at all times. There is no knowing true north without south, and no knowing you are slightly off north without east and west. That is the power of a compass.

The tail of an arrow has three of four lateral feathers to keep it straight and flying on target; the hand would be useless without the opposing thumb and the foot would be unstable without the stabilising pinky.

The apostle strains for fundamental, foundational issues but the prophet strains for upward vision and purpose. The apostle thinks strategically, the pastor thinks locally and individually about the members of the congregation. The prophet rails against compromise, the teacher rails against error. The evangelist looks outside toward the world, the pastor looks inside toward the church. Each of these is needed for balance.

shm@storm-harvest.asn.au

Jesus, Our Kinsman Redeemer

Linda Evans

How "sinners" related to Jesus...

In the Scriptures, we see Jesus fellowshipped with sinners. He was "welcomed" at their gatherings... in fact it was His [sinless] eating and drinking "with them" that was the basis for the rebuke by the Pharisees, who found His friendship and interaction with them, offensive.

Yet in fulfillment of Scripture's Prophetic picture of a Kinsman Redeemer and a Perfect Servant, Jesus, "kinned" Himself to us all, while we were yet sinners...manifesting a LOVE that 'meets' us right at our place of need (root meaning of Mercy) and then leads us to LIFE, Himself. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. He is the goal and He is the means.

He is still "kinning" Himself to sinners, now through the members of His Body... establishing 'relationship' between us and those He is calling/gathering unto Himself.... when this divine connection is established in Love, then the Truth will flow through us and into them... and they will be led into the Fullness of Life. If we lift up the Name of Jesus, He will draw all men unto Himself, the Scriptures declare.

May the Love of God freely flow through His Mystic Body, the Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church - The Only One True Church built upon the solid foundation, that He knows those who belong to Him.. and All who confess HIS NAME must turn away from all wickedness. (Paul's Second Letter to Timothy)

In Love's Service to God's Beloved Church
Linda the Beguine

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