Monday 5 April 2010

The Actual Acts 2 without the Pentecostal Specs on.

Sometimes months will pass before I mention our conferences. Sometimes I relay what has been going on straight away. The Conference was good. Very good. Greg Haslam of Westminster Chapel was excellent.He did 4 hours of teaching on the life of Moses which he'd never done before. He said if it went well he'd use it in his church!
Perhaps rather foolishly, I'd posted "Normal Service will be resumed" .The reality is if God touches you, you will actually never be the same again.
I wrote to another blogger, Jamie Weeks, about what had been going on. Some of the things that touch us very deeply, that flick switches on our insides are often pretty meaningless if explained to others.
Because it is NOT the things themselves, it's our own internal world that is being affected . The Expressionist Movement tried to express the internal worlds in an external visual way, the most well-known being Edvard Monch's "the Scream".

One of the things going on was Nancy Gilmore stating that I was like Peter at the Transfiguration...suggesting that we all build booths. Something defining was going on, but it was some of the other things that really needled me.

I am NOT here to move furniture make people comfortable with booths. And I guess for that reason I have entered into straighter dialogues. Here is one, which I want to add to in this blog in the manner of the Don Francisco song.

The dialogue begins, triggered by Jamie's post on how coccooned Christian believers can be.
Facebook Dialogue
Chris Welch Song of Solomon 5:2-6. The delay in going out to "them". See Jamie's blog post.
The love relationship never changes,but its form does.I suppose I am being bold to declare that the time of the charismatic movement worldwide is now over.It is now time for the Third Level in all the Earth.Where we learn to walk Him as me in my form upon the mountains and in the suffering places, the places of myrrh.Nothing forced Norman Grubb to ... See morestart learning this level faster than a spell out in the Congo. He then spent the next 65 years defining how it works precisely for this coming generation. It was always there in scripture but somehow apart from a brave handful absolutely no one seems to know about it, less still,articulate it for others.
Fri at 09:46 ·

Paul Noble I think the charismatic movement has been over for at least 10 yrs! Trouble is, people of the generation that grew up in that revival are finding it hard to transition and leave the old behind ( especially leaders). Thats how I got into trouble at LCC when I shared a vision of the church that God was building in Gosport. People just stone the ... See moreprophet because God isn't building church their way. What I have found in family church is interesting because its not particulary "charismatic" but it is reaching the lost ( 65 people saved in a month) and touching the young effectively.

Chris Welch Family church is interesting, like a lot of numerically growing churches. I like that Andy Elmes spent some time getting zapped out with Vaughan Jarrold in New York State in His Early Days. Traditionally evangelistic churches haven't been good at growing people. I felt God put it on my heart that He wants to change that in these days. Although it ... See morewill be a true miracle. Jesus moved simultaneously with the the three levels of children young men and fathers in His ministry. This is where John got it from (1John2)This is in the Spirit not age.
And in recent years the three stages keep themselves to themselves. They don't mix very well.But as it becomes more normal to have a 3 level church again, I believe that is the challenge God is giving us.People like Ed Miller have had to stay in the backrooms up until now, because the people in the first two level cannot take them. This happened to Jesus halfway through, when He started explaining about fusion..."You must eat my body and drink my blood" and nearly everyone cleared off.
Immature people don't like fusion. They like God at arm's length.This way if they sin, they can still say they are poor miserable sinners and what else can you expect? So the challenge of Song of Solomon 5 is that here is a prepared people, that know Christ is their life, but rather like sticking around in worship and praise, and is it really necessary to go out among all those nasty people?
I have done a blog post to answer this more fully because it will literally shape the future of the church how we respond to these things ... How do we grow in a safe Church environment without the bustups and the Rifts?

Paul Noble Yes Chris I like the allusion to three stages of growth. Three is an interesting number in scripture. I think that there are not many Fathers in the body of Christ and so many people get stuck and don't grow beyond a certain point. I'm trying to understand where we are at the moment (FC) because I was very interested in the growing Simple Church ... See moremovement which seems the opposite model! Maybe all these expressions are valid though - your fusion? Here is a thought - three primary colours mixed together?
Sat at 11:11 ·

Chris Welch you've answered your own questions by creating a circular proposition. There are not many fathers.People get stuck.I'm trying to understand.... Everything changes in that circular loop once you insert the third level. You're right we are stuck. And when does that remind you of in the Bible? Spending 40 years in the wilderness walking round any chance?

Paul Noble The only problem is what is the third level really? Trouble is over the years I have heard so many new fads that God's people chase after and then end up where they started! Look at the Toronto blessing, Tod Bentley etc. Nothing wrong with any of it but I know the only thing that changes and brings real fruit is the word of God & the Holy Spirit. The big problem for most of the UK church is we are not reaching the lost which has got to be a major weakness.

Chris Welch There is a powerful dynamic in going in Jesus Name which is behind the True Fast of Isaiah 58 and it certainly drives Family Church and my friend Elaine....and it is a great way of learning on the job too.Which is how Jesus taught. But the third level only kicked in after the disciples had faced who they "thought they were"...independant selves who were well capable of handling anything that was thrown at no they would never deny Jesus,that would be unthinkable!....but ofcourse all did. Only after this learning of personal failure were they prepared to hear His total message...presumably the 40 day catchup course before the Ascension.Pentecostals are very quiet about this and preach Acts as if it's only a two level gospel missing out the inconvenient three years that do not fit their theology.

Paul Noble Sorry Chris I do not follow? Three years - what three years? Actually its the teachings of Paul that completed the new testament - not the teaching of Jesus. Acts is actually a transitionary book as the Gospel goes to the gentiles. Paul was given the mystery of the church by Jesus and a complete revelation on grace I think. This could be third level - Paul went there! The third level could be the Holy of Holies? The presence of God?

Chris Welch The Jesus being with the disciples three years. The Father stage may or may not be linked with "going up to the third heaven." Absolutely no idea.Is interesting that church meetings are getting more and more "Presencified!"
No the third level is what happens when everything we try fails, and we realise we were never an "independent" being and we come to an end of trying anymore...and just agree with what the scriptures say about us, which is I actually died 2000 years ago, and the life I now live in the flesh is Christ living as me. Not a schizoid dual personality thing...actually Christ living as me in my spirit, expressd through my soul, my personality,and through my body. That's what happened to the disciples by the time of Acts 2.
7 hours ago ·

I continue here:

So the three years is an inconvenience to a Pentecostal, because they teach

we come to Jesus

we get baptised in the Spirit and enter into ministry

ofcourse...for many this includes going to a seminary if they are going to do it right.

But the basic 2 level model is how YWAM works

It is how Morris Cerullo World Evangelism works

It's how lots of evangelistic new churches work

The advantages:

It gets people moving from the "get go"! (UK-"the word go")

You learn fast on the job

This is what Jesus did with the disciples

The confusion:

A Pentecostal thinks this is the same as Acts 2

A Pentecostal doesn't understand "Children,Young Men,Fathers" , it's all unnecessary fussiness.

To them, Acts 2 was about people needing to be empowered by the Holy Spirit to do ministry after Jesus breathed into them in the upper room after He was resurrected.

To a Pentecostal, the disciples just had their seminary training the other way round, because Jesus hadn't gone to the Cross yet.

A Pentecostal equates the three year on the job training with Bible School, or like an elongated

Youth With A Mission run.

My experience in the late 70s and 80s.

I wrote to my old pastor last night, so this is to the forefront of my thoughts.

Emsworth was interesting. We knew we weren't Pentecostals because we were receiving intensive life training in the in-church Live-in Bible College called Bible House. In those days of submission and authority you had to ask permission to blink! Breathing was permitted on Tuesdays. We were actually trained in the ways of faith and saw outstanding results amongst us.

We were trained in seeking and finding the Presence of God...a subject described by Rob Rufus on Dan's latest post...which is absolutely excellent by the way.We were trained in both seeking that Presence of God for our whole lives and also for running meetings in the Presence of God.

Had we just had a bit more exposure to the Third Level, I am certain you would have heard of us....but as it was ... well....the story is still ongoing. It was a forerunner environment. It was a prototype third level church at say Level 2.2. It was a transition thing on the way to what is breaking out now all over Facebook and other settings worldwide.

Spelling Acts 2 Out

Morris Cerullo and Rheinhard Bonnke and Benny Hinn and most of the Word of Faith people of the 80s talk about the Empowering of the Acts 2 Baptism of Power that the disciples received.

The birth of the Church.


From on high.

And they then describe how Peter was empowered to preach and open the doors to the Kingdom for 3000 new Christians on day one.

Then they describe WHAT he preached "Repent, be baptised,be filled with the Spirit."

In recent years this has been embellished with....

The Holy Spirit begins with the manifestations and this OPENS a door for us to speak. People's questioning gives us an in, an opportunity for sharing. All this is 100% correct.

Now it's time to remove the Pentecostal Specs and really read the Bible.

Pentecostalism and the charismatic churches exist in a paradigm of their own making. It hovers gently somewhere above the soil of Israel without ever making any contact. Morris Cerullo, being half Jewish himself on his mother's side, at least goes further than this.

A Pentecostal just has no time for the third feast of Israel, the Feast of Tabernacles. It is something to waft your hand at vaguely muttering about Jesus coming again, while you get on with the important job in Jesus words " Going miles to convert one soul and make him twice the son of hell that you are!"
As I have said, to a Pentecostal and a charismatic it's all too fussy to give any attention too. People are about to roast in hell, so we've got to tell them how to come to the front at a meeting, and sign on the dotted line, and get Jesus into their heart. Then as soon as possible get them filled with the Spirit. To be fair, some groups, do not rely on their human strength as much as others and surround a lot of what they do, immersing themselves in a lot of prayer and waiting on God. This would certainly be true of Rheinhard Bonnke's team, and a lot of the thriving churches of today.

God the Father however did not bring Jesus into a vacuum.

He initiated the whole of Israel in His way of doing things long before Jesus even got a look in.

So when Jesus came, He could say, this is that bit, and they'd immediately have some pigeonhole to stick His revelation into. The most wellknown pigeonhole phrase which ofcourse Gentile Catholics completely miss because, again, they too are hovering way above the land of Israel, making no contact with our origins whatsoever is:

This is My Body and This is My Blood

at the very point in the Passover meal when Jews again do the same repeated actions every year , breaking and sharing the Unleavened Bread and drinking the wine, to represent both aspects of the manner in which they left Egypt never to return.

Nowhere in Israeli thought is the bread or wine magically changing into another substance. (Transubstantiation). Now as a sacramental act, God can supernaturally touch us afresh as yet more of the reality of Christ's actual Death and Life break in on us....but you'll have to find a Catholic to ask who thinks all the stuff up that they have gotten used to. It's an Israeli religion at its root, this Christianity business, not a Catholic one. And as Jesus kept yelling under the power of the Spirit in the Temple's NOT actually a religion....IT IS LIFE. Anything outside of Him is DEATH!!! So you want to be religious....and you want to LIVE???!!

Personally I am grateful to the Post Green Community of Dorset coming to Emsworth in the 80s for the last paragraph, but there are many converted Jews who will give you the heads up about it all.

Some of the Three Main Pictures grafted right into the warp and woof of the Israeli Community to describe God's corporate and individual dealings with us are:

1.The God of Abraham,Isaac and Jacob. Not- you'll notice- the God of Abraham and Isaac.

Nor conversely- the God of Abraham, Isaac,Jacob,Joseph,Moses,Rahab,Ruth,David,etc etc etc
Why? Because the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is an encapsulation of a complete package of revelation. Without the New Covenant and the Holy Spirit, it's just more than one man can take in his lifetime and still remain sane. And even now with the Holy Spirit you will notice it's taken hundreds of years to get from Luther (Abraham salvation by faith) through 20th Century Pentecostalism and Charismatic scene (Isaac and all his wells of refreshing) into a generation who seeks the God of Jacob as at present...then learns about the internal Name change.

Its more than we can handle in one generation to crash through all of this corporately.

2.The Tabernacle

This completely flies in the face of a Pentecostal's theology. You come to know Jesus in the Outer Courts, you get baptised in the Spirit, the Holy of what is the third area about then? Oh must be heaven!End of story. Who else can I convert?

3. The Three Feasts

The three feasts and the Tabernacle are the Way of God. The same God who set this thing up thousands of years ago, revealed it in the Spirit way way before it happened...(as it says...who is a God like unto thee who tells us it all before it is to take place? Mohammed didn't. The Buddha didn't. Krishna didn't)

Pentecostals and charismatics are a sweet rebellious bunch. You have never seen a sweeter rebellion. Before being fully circumcised themselves, they'll rush off to the farthest lands to circumcise the others with their incomplete gospel. This is because to a Pentecostal, circumcision is a spiritual thing. Oh so spiritual. The minute I get Jesus inside me!

No friend, Jesus was very clear about what you've got inside you. To begin with it is a mustard seed,with yes, all the DNA inside it to grow and become the largest of all garden plants....large enough for the birds of the air to make their home there, but the New Covenant has to properly engraft itself inside you. And the process is described in the three pictures above.

This is what took three years before the disciples came to Acts 2. Jesus has invented a great machine to do the same thing with you and me.It's called the Living Body of Christ Machine:the local church. But it's nothing like the design models on every street corner. In comparison those churches are more like Museum machinery. Jesus has got something state of the Art for every individual. Just right for them.

A Pentecostal just cannot understand what Pilgrim took so long about in Pilgrim's Progress.He only arrived at the Cross a long long way into the story.

Nor why the Day of Atonement is stuck right at the start of the Feast of tabernacles, the third feast. God, you're having a laugh with us right? It should've been positioned during Passover? You're just mucking around with us God aren't you?

Nor can a Pentecostal understand what on earth that funny little altar of incense thingy is doing at the end of the Holy Place. Oh....surely God You got that really wrong. The altars should be where I came in right?

Come to the altar. Ask Jesus into my life. Then enter into full ministry. Bring others to the rail. Wind them up. Switch them on and Kazaaaam...we can evangelise a whole town. Simple! What's the problem God? But you must move that 2nd altar! It looks untidy there and very confusing. Tell you what God, I'll move it for You to help You out. You are obviously not quite getting this evangelism thing. So I'll get on with the that OK?

And this, obviously to an extreme caricature, is how a Pentecostal/charismatic looks at Acts 2.

This is what actually happened.

The twelve disciples were totally sold out from a human point of view. For three years they went through a lot of the processes we have described above , all the while accompanying and doing ministry with Jesus.

But after all this, after a special Passover meal where Jesus poured out His soul, His deepest revelations with them one last time in His earthly life....He knew where He'd reached with them.

He knew what was in man. Pentecostal/Charismatics don't. The best they can offer is to chuck out a few demons. Every time they see oppression that's how they think. Basically humans are OK right?

Jesus didn't think so. So the Cross weekend for the disciples was like one of those X Ray flash photos. Or like the images on the walls of Hiroshima as the atom bomb "took photos" of the people it incinerated in just a microsecond. They were "caught" in the act of their Eternally unacceptable behaviour.

Their lives just went up in smoke. Like a holocaust. Like the Cross halfway through Pilgrim's Progress. Like the day of Atonement immediately before the action starts in the Feast of Tabernacles. Like the Table of Incense where your life just fizzles away upwards...never to be the same again....before you enter the Holy of Holies.

All of us who have lived through this can describe it to you. Can reassure you that you will live.Just about. But it won't quite be the same you that lives on eh? the Christ -you can take it. But the Satan-you. The Adam line from the Fall onwards cannot. From that time on you will know who you are. It won't be theory. It won't be scripture memorization. You see, you will feel flayed alive. Circumcised....but ALL OVER! Quintuple OUCH!

Is this a reality? You'd better believe it brother! sister!

But afterwards you won't be religious. It'll hurt too much. and you will be free!

So back to Acts 2. The non-Pentecostal version. Peter, the proud one. The one who told us all that no way would he ever ever betray Jesus. Totally but totally betrayed every last minute of Jesus time with him. And in a passive Germans with the Jews in the last War....sent Jesus to His death.

Now Acts 2 was not just the miracle that someone like this should ever, ever be the one to open the gates of the Kingdom. He was so clear about his new identity, Peter did not preach "Repent be baptised and filled with the Spirit" in a generic Bill Johnson-esque "What's going on here....Oh this which you see and hear is that which Joel spoke of...." This is also the Morris Cerullo version.

No the wonder of the First Gospel message is that it laid a pattern for the advance of the Kingdom for all history. This man who had passively crucified Jesus said

at the top of his voice

to a whole nation represented by those present

This Jesus Whom You Crucified!

And the first 3000 came in. Caught in the act! Broken!

This is what Acts 2 is about. Not the faffy generalised spiritualised sterilized version that pentecostals take onto the streets trying to convince modern people, who feel no need, that they should ask Jesus into their heart for some reason, best known to the Pentecostal group.

Acts 2 was Christ moving as the apostles, with full Holy Spirit authority to move against a particular, specific manifestation of darkness...and overcome it in the Name of Jesus. And because it really was a clash of Kingdoms....and not some play acting....

the ensuing clashes were real, and not the usual modern laughing stock as contemporary people view us. The apostles REALLY got under people's noses and they wanted to kill them. REALLY!

Don and Wendy Francisco on Peter and He's Alive. Thanks Merrill Thompson!

No comments: