Monday 28 December 2009

Spiritual Gifts II - Not by Might Nor By Power But by My Spirit says the Lord.

When I read and reproduced Dan's post at the bottom here I was not intending a series. However I feel impelled to further clarify our need for the spiritual gifts.

Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit saith the Lord of Hosts" Zechariah 4.6

Jesus said to her, Jn4:21"Woman, believe Me, (Y)an hour is coming when (Z)neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father.
AA)You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for (AB)salvation is from the Jews.
23"But (
AC)an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father (AD)in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.
24"God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship (
AE)in spirit and truth."

Joshua 5 :13Now it came about when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, (K)a man was standing opposite him with his sword drawn in his hand, and Joshua went to him and said to him, "Are you for us or for our adversaries?"
14He said, "No; rather I indeed come now as captain of the host of the LORD."
And Joshua (L)fell on his face to the earth, and bowed down, and said to him, "What has my lord to say to his servant?"
15The captain of the LORD'S host said to Joshua, "(M)Remove your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy." And Joshua did so.

Evangelical preachers often use these actual passages to say almost the opposite of what I wish to write about: namely to put into context the use of the spiritual gifts. In short, they say God is holy, so put aside all the flim flam of modern songs, the "silly" (Stanley Jebb according to Dan B)) use of tongues and prophecy and such like, and get on with serious worship and preaching from the Word.

This I believe rather is our true position. Joshua had already led the Israelites through the Jordan and into the Land. The first thing they did was raise up a memorial pillar then circumcise all the males who , because of the way things had happened had never been circumcised. This is equivalent to covenant baptism into the death and resurrection of our Lord.
Joshua was a called man. He was a prepared man, and by these acts of faith had shown he was an obedient man. But then something weird happened. As anointed as he was. As called as he was, he then came face to face with a confrontation, at which he asked "are you for us or against us?" "No" was the reply.

That's not a human reply is it?..... makes no sense to the left-brain! Are you or aren't you? No.
That's because it was a Spirit reply through an angelic Commander.

I am the commander around here.
Get in line Joshua.

That's what spiritual gifts are. Gifted speakers may have the training. May have the calling. May have the preparation of heart. Then come the spiritual gifts.
Out of nowhere.
The melchizedek Order.
Where Jesus lives and reigns at the right hand of God the Father.See video 2
Jesus expressing His right to rule and reign over His Church. Preachers and leaders, get in line!
God can use the youngest. The most unfit vessel.The most naturally ungifted vessel. And like lightning strike a holy line right down the middle of a gathering, where you are either one side of that line, or the other. It is the Holy Spirit laying bare the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Yes'd better believe God is about holiness...and that He uses His own Divine means, instituted at His command, not yours, namely the spiritual gifts. He never ever ever retracted that command: "These signs shall follow after them that believe!" If you are preaching retraction or the more common "cessation" of the gifts, you are moulding your own theology around your own opinions but not those of the Unfinished Acts of the Apostles.

Not by might,nor by power, but by My Spirit saith the Lord of Hosts. The Zechariah text and the Joshua text, like the one in Peter Stott's Psalm 24 message all use "the Lord of Hosts".

I will look squarely at any man, as I did a leader at Southbourne Church and say the same as I did to him about Baptism In the Spirit and spiritual gifts. But I will equally face down any modern so called Spirit-filled church in the same way I do in Havant....and in the same way that Peter did when presenting the above message. And the spirit of what I say is this. "You may as in Southbourne inhibit gifts, or sometimes at Havant (especially before the Florida Outpouring) think you are singing yourself into the Presence of God....
But the Presence of God I am talking about is the one that the spiritual gifts, when used keenly and rightly, bring.....the atmosphere of the God of history and destiny....the Commander of the Lord of Hosts.
Meetings fall in line! Meetings are about accomplishing little bits of history. Not about having good meetings. Meetings have to fall somewhere in the direct Spirit line of history somewhere between Ruth , grandmother of David, and Revelation 12 the full orbed church. They are one off events.Divine encounters. We are either in them or we miss them. Period.

In the Samaritan woman episode above, Jesus makes these things clear.
Worship is no longer about Temples or geographical locations.
It is about the unfolding revelation of "the worship of God the Father". Something we've spent 2000 years too bowed in shame to do.
And thirdly it is to be about True worshippers (implication:there are false ones)
who MUST....(no suggestion here) MUST worship in Spirit and truth.

We may know lots about the Bible. But this is specific. This is an activity called worship. And the Divinely instituted manner of doing a worship
to do it, with a liberal sprinkling of supernatural gifts. How else can we learn to worship in Spirit and Truth? Most of evangelicals' spurning of gifts comes from their misuse...or sometimes perceived misuse.
Well can I say if they were the same with their children when they began to walk as they are with Spirit-filled people learning to use the gifts....their children would all be disabled!!!
It's the chicken and the egg. You can't learn to walk without looking a jerk and falling over!
You cannot learn to worship in the Spirit and in the Truth without making mistakes. But that's how you do the Truth and not the Fake. So evangelicals, without wishing it ,you are encouraging the Fake in your meetings, because you are disallowing God's means and the flexible freedom within which which He provided for His people to learn to worship in Spirit and Truth. And in heaven you will face judgment on this on behalf of all the flocks you have ever disabled!
He who leads has the greater judgment.

1 Corinthians 12,13 and 14 - the gifts chapters.
If you are reading this , possibly 40 or 50 years after the last time the gifts were regularly taught, and are we go again, well here's the news. Here we don't go again!
Remember this blog is about the 3rd level. Yes it's the same subject of gifts...but the context is different.

We are in a time of transition historically. The last embers of Pentecostalism and the charismatic, are fading in the hearth. God has spoken many times in the last years that....again....He is up to something new in the Earth.
As I've written here and again in this first video, we are moving from being just God of Abraham worshippers, through the Pentecostal God of Abraham and Isaac worshippers, to the new era of being worshippers of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.....the full package.
The full package is ofcourse to understand how each of us live as Christ as us in our form - how it works.

Now folks. I know you already had the spiritual gifts. But think about it. Think about the previous context. For me it was in the context of a renewed Baptist church. Then later in the context of an early prototype worshipping and seeking God church at Emsworth. But both were modelled around the pastor or apostle pyramid. That's all we knew.

In the third level , leaders are not servants because they preach incessantly on servant leadership from the tops of their fact they never preach on the subject again because they model it: that is, they are to model the same sort of leadership of Jesus as He wiped the disciples feet.
They are also careful when and if to speak at all...and certainly only under anointing. We once had a leader, who because he knew the scriptures about not sitting in a prominent place, used to studiously sit in a non-prominent place....but rather in the manner of Captain Mainwaring in TV's Dad's Army. In other words you still knew about it!!!!
Once you get the fact that it is Jesus living His life out through you as you.....there really is no studious point to be made! Hey, tell you a hilarious thing that happened to me which puts the other in the shade! Look, I have been out of charismatic land for 10 years from 1988 to 1998, learning about this third level stuff. One of the things I missed was learning much about praying for others in a meeting context. So in one of the conferences recently I came under a certain pressure to behave like the others and it all went horribly wrong, because it wasn't coming from Jesus in me. So I'm praying Toronto style (while missing that bit of my education out) for a local Christian with Parkinsons disease.
After a while he makes to stand up and hobble towards the edge of the meeting. I assume he is taking some steps of faith. When really his Parkinsons isn't as developed as all that , and his friend who is helping him kindly and quietly informs me that I am in the way of him ever reaching the loo!

Now into this new third level way of doing church and meetings context come the spiritual gifts.
Also, now we are preaching learning"Christ as Us in our form".
And we are using the spiritual gifts to practice it.
Lastly, the context is one of acceleration. As each member knows from the start about the three stages of growth, and knows that it is expected that he or she will use spiritual gifts and any other means to build up the Body of Christ as under the Holy Spirit of the Lord.....and to learn to properly worship the Father in Spirit and in the Truth....

The fresh use of the gifts will release a whirlwind of growth across the whole Body of Christ internationally, at a speed and pace that has never been seen at any point in history.....and
all just in time to face some of the greatest challenges to our collective faith in history.

We are to be angry against all the pastor peddlars of religious filth that passes for "true Christianity" yet that flagrantly disobeys the clear and expressed will of God concerning how He builds His Church.
The more we understand the "mystery" of this Jesus Christ being manifested in a greater and greater way in His Body, and our own total lack of natural might or power to either see what needs to be built next, nor have any ability to accomplish it, we will certainly by His Spirit, make use increasingly of his supernatural enablements to see it all take form and shape. This time, knowing that what we are building is the Very Person of Jesus into a bunch of individuals, and not rather building people into some programme of works and seminars in the name of networks and pyramids. Like in Acts, such a new type of church can, like any dismembered worm, just regroup and carry on functioning in a totally different context over night. Because they each know God, and are not just buying dvds and cds from a star preacher.

Is that OK? Do you see the shift of emphasis from the gifts what they actually are there to do? Has this been helpful?

1 comment:

Barbara said...

As I am a fellow blogger I thought I would pop over and see your blog.

My blog will answer your questions as it is about my everyday life. It also contains 'My Story' to be found under 'labels' on the right hand side bar. About 20 chapters but although I say it myself it is a good read.

Blessings to you.