Friday 27 August 2010

Evangelism or Worship by Daniel Kolenda, Ole's Testimony,My angle

Someone once posed the question to me :"Which is greater: Evangelism or Worship?"
They believed that worship was greater because through evangelism we minister to one another, but through worship we minister to God. As a former worship pastor I have thought about this a lot.

Before Rebekah and I got married, we went down our local department store and spent several hours meticulously going through it picking out exactly the things that we needed for our new life together. When we sent out wedding invitations we were careful to include the web address where the gift registry (which listed the exact items) could be found. But when the wedding was over and the presents were unwrapped we found amongst all of the very thoughtful and wonderful gifts almost nothing that we asked for.

I wonder if some people walked around the shopping centre in circles for hours deliberating over which gift to buy before they finally settled on the toilet brush or our 10th mismatched towel set, when all the while we'd made it so easy for people to know exactly what we wanted.
What can you give someone who has everything..?
We all say that we love to worship God and we prove it by singing and dancing for Joy in church. We bring 'gifts' of beautiful music, singing and dancing with which we 'bless' Him. But He is surrounded by mighty choirs of angels singing songs that reverberate with harmonies so beautiful they are beyond anything we could imagine. So what can you give someone who has everything?
I have often said that the true depth of Christian's spirituality is not determined by how enthusiastically they dance during the worship service or how loudly they sing. As much as I choirs and hymns as well). All of these things are but tools we use in an attempt to provoke worship. Unfortunately, often they are more of a distraction than anything and if you could escape their clatter for a moment and truly become intimate enough with God to draw near and lay your head on his chest and hear his heartbeat, this is what it would sound like:
God loves the world SO MUCH that He gave His only begotten Son. Could there be a more ardent exclamation of God's deepest desire? There is no mystery here... God has told us exactly what He wants.
Inseparable partnership
It is IMPOSSIBLE to be a true worshipper of God and not desire to please His heart... Therefore I say it is also IMPOSSIBLE to be a true worshipper of God an not have a worship cannot be separated from one another. Evangelism IS a form of worship because through it we give to God that which He desires and has explicitly demanded and don't forget that obedience is better than sacrifice.
An act of worship
John Leonard Dober was a potter and David Nitschman was a carpenter. Both were powerful and articulate preachers and the first of Count Zinsendorf's Moravian missionary movement. They heard about a godless, wealthy, British landowner who had purchased an Island to which he transferred all of his slaves in order to keep them from being touched by any outside influence... most especially religion. He had determined that even if an outsider were to arrive at his Island by accident, he would be sent away immediately. These two young Men, determined to win the Island for Christ, sold themselves into slavery to this landowner and used the profit to pay for their transportation to the island.

On October 8th 1732, friends and family members were gathered there at the seashore weeping and saying their final goodbyes and as the Island-bound sea vessel was pulling away from the docks. The account says that the two young men raised their hands to Heaven and shouted the last words that were ever heard from them: "May the Lamb that was slain receive the reward of His suffering!" That became the rallying call of Moravian missions... And that my friend, is WORSHIP!
In conclusion
Let me leave you with this question: If we know that God has asked for something which He passionately desires, yet in its place we bring something that WE WANT to bring... I ask you... Who is really being worshipped?

Daniel Kolenda

Christ For All Nations

Testimony – International Grace Party 27.08.10
Posted on August 27, 2010 by Ole Henrik Skjelstad
I was religiously inclined already as a kid.

I prayed the Lord’s prayer every evening, but more like a superstitious act than anything else. Nothing evil would befall me if I mitigated God by my religious act, I believed.

At high school I began to consider myself as an intellectual, and in this realm of knowledge there didn’t exist any God. I became an agnostic.

My encounters with other Christians had rendered be with a profound disdain for Christendom and I was convinced that their view of God was more than skewed. To a certain degree I patronized Christians thinking of them as weaklings who needed a spiritual crutch.

After I had finished my education as an engineer, I was about 24-25, I began to show an interest in alternative medicine, notably acupuncture and reflexology. Reflexology is a system where we manipulate the foot sole thinking that each particular zone corresponds with a body part.

The books on alternative medicine more than alluded to spiritual realities. That aroused my curiosity and I began reading New Age literature in earnest. I read thousands upon thousands of pages and my worldview altered accordingly.

After a while I somehow developed warm hands and was endowed with healing powers. People could feel how the heat from my hands expelled pain and brought relief.

I believed in Karma and reincarnation. It didn’t make any sense that we had only one life in order to reach perfection and ultimately nirvana where we melted into and became one with the light, or whatever we called the impersonal thing we considered as God.

Everything centered on finding the light which was hidden in every man and which had the power to transform us to better persons and not at least persons who knew the hidden knowledge. New Age is briefly told a mixture of Gnosticism, Hinduism, Buddhism etc. The New Age system is based on self effort. Do the right things and you will evolve. In many ways it was a tedious and confusing time. Confusing because there were so many different ways you could follow in order to nourish your inner light, this hidden nucleus which is in every man and which has escaped our attention due to amongst other things the oppressing influence from Christendom.

In New Age circles Jesus is perceived as an important prophet, as a part of a succession of prophets who will lead mankind to increasingly higher levels of knowledge and evolvement. Love is a keyword in New Age. Those involved in the movement have a genuine desire to see the world become a better place for all to live. However, one of the fruits in my life was a hate towards everything that reeked of Christendom.

In 1992 God began to call my name, and through a process which lasted through the spring and the first part of the summer He disclosed everything I believed in as falsehood. The last stronghold that fell was reincarnation, and I was free. God placed me in a Pentecostal church. That is quite a joke because when I was a part of the New Age thinking I considered the Pentecostals as lunatics.

However, it was people from a Pentecostal church He sent in my direction, who began praying for me and who very kindly and patiently repeatedly invited me to their meeting.

Politely, but firmly I declined their proposals until God, who is a smart guy, saw to that I fell in love with one of the unmarried girls. God has His methods. The first event I attended was a concert.

Nothing scary about that. I even to a certain degree enjoyed the fellowship even though they seemed to have a blind spot concerning the truth which of course I at that time believed I represented. The next event was a regular meeting and for the first time in my life I faced the Holy Spirit in a tangible way. To tell the truth; the New Age books didn’t mention Him at all. So, here I was facing a new and very convincing divine power. It became clear to me that there exist two powers in this world. Which one to choose? In reality I didn’t have any real choice. God can be very convincing!

During my time as a New Age adherent I often suffered from anxiety and fear. Those emotions and feelings slowly abated after I had received Jesus.

I gave everything from the outset determined to become a very good Christian who pleased God in every possible way. As you all well know I failed miserably. Condemnation and misery were faithful fellows the first 12 years of my Christian walk. With a steady hand the Spirit led me towards a major breakdown.

I read the Bible almost every day, I prayed even though that was a tedious discipline. There was even a time when I thought I was called to be a great prayer warrior. Yeah right! I am not wired that way at all, but of course I pursued everything that I believed would please God and bring about a change in this world.

Soon after I had been saved I began speaking in tongues. After a few years I began speaking in tongues during meetings, messages which others interpreted. Often beautiful and life-giving messages. Then the Spirit challenged me to give the congregation prophetic words and messages. I was often stunned by the beauty I was given to convey. Many of the prophetic words were to unknown persons in the congregation and years later they would come to me and tell me how what I had uttered had come to pass. Of course this both humbled me and at the same time inflated my ego.

All those years I continued to be an avid reader. However, all those books just lay heavy burdens on my already tired shoulders. In retrospect I acknowledge they were important in order to break this proud and religious man.

In 2003 I came to an abrupt end of myself. I entered a profound depression. I was home a year before I was offered further education by the authorities. During that time God healed some deep wounds, but most importantly He introduced me to the pure grace message.

In July in 2004 Joseph Prince from New Creation Church in Singapore visited Oslo Christian Center. I was there. I had never before heard anyone expound on the gospel like he did. He proved without a shadow of doubt that we are set free from the law and that God is satisfied with us, more than that: that he loves us more than words can express. I remember how an almost audible sigh of relief went through the congregation while he spoke. I left the premises with tears in my eyes. This was what my soul had yearned for, freedom.

The next year Steve McVey came to Oslo. I didn’t know much about him except that he also preached pure grace, and I was so thirsty for more. I went to hear him. Every word he uttered was balm for my soul. I bought both his and Prince’s books and immersed myself in their teachings.

Of course I wasn’t immediately set free from condemnation and this often occurring sensation of failing. However, slowly but surely God convinced me about my right standing with him. The intriguing thing is that the more I understood of grace the more graceful I became. My new heart blossomed under this new influence and I became softer and more loving in many ways.

There were periods were it seemed like I had gone from being a religious legalist to a religious grace champion. Of course I experienced the frustrations of meeting a pastor and a leadership who didn’t understand my new revelations and my attempts to turn them onto the new and liberating path. I fought with anger, rejection and a host of other feelings during this time.

I thought God had given me the gift to teach the word, and I often during the evenings in bed preached the most wonderful sermons in my head, but every door was closed. I had to find an outlet for everything that was dammed up inside of me. Thus, in November 2008 I started my first blog. I wrote exclusively in Norwegian. I didn’t get much response, but I continued to write. I really enjoyed penning down the new things I was given to see.

Then I discovered that also Steve McVey had a blog and I began commenting on his articles and after a while I gathered enough fortitude to ask for his permission to translate some of his articles. Without knowing me particularly well he gave his consent.

I had felt so lonely during those years after I first had heard Joseph Prince so it was such a blessing and a relief to join forces with Steve.

For quite a time my wife had encouraged me to join Facebook, something which I had adamantly refused to do for several years. I thought such a social medium was for girls. However, in April 2009 I gave in for the pressure and set up my Facebook account, and l must admit I loved it from the outset.

In May I discovered that even Steve had a Facebook account. It took me couple of weeks before I ventured to send him a friendship request. Graciously he accepted it. Then I got friendship requests from Joel Brueseke, Jessica Robertson, Dave Lesniak and others and suddenly I was moving in a completely different sphere where there were a lot of people who spoke my language. More than that; I was in an environment which language was love. I have learned more about who I am in Christ on Facebook than 17 years in church.

Through Facebook I had entered a new world and in the course of a rather short time I had more English speaking friends than Norwegians. Amongst them was Fred Pruitt. Somehow he had learned about me and he embraced me with his love and profound understanding of who we are in Christ.

In a mighty and beautiful way God used him to take me to the next level, union life, that is, we are joined one spirit with the lord. Some of Paul Anderson Walsh’ articles had already given me a foretaste of this new dimension which the Spirit with great joy pulled me into. Fred became my mentor and teacher, which he still is. With great wisdom and patience he mitigated what I would call my grace legalistic streaks. DeeDee Winter and Nancy Gilmore have also been important contributors in helping me getting a better grasp of who I am in Christ. There are a host of others who through their love and encouragements have given me the necessary confidence to continue to write. Thanks to you all!

Out of the blue in July the same year as I joined Facebook I received a mail from Linda Bunting who invited me to the reunion in Louisville. I had two issues at hand. Who is Linda Bunting, and where is Louisville? I sent Steve a mail asking if he knew who these people were. He assured me that they were a fine bunch of people. To make a long story short I went Louisville last fall and experienced a genuine love feast.

In July last year my first notes in English appeared on Facebook. Encouraged by the response and pushed by an inner drive I couldn’t stop writing. Then in January a new idea came to me. Why not start a new blog using wordpress and write exclusively in English? I began posting in earnest in March and I am glad and thrilled that the blog has been well visited.

Last fall Dave Lesniak and some friends made sure that I got a Magic Jack which empowered me to regularly stay in touch with my American friends on the phone. That has been a huge blessing.

Those of you who have read my blog have witnessed how the Spirit has pushed me further and further into the mystery; Christ in us. To have a profound understanding of how we are a part of God, sons of God, has given me the peace which I once upon a time thought was an unattainable blessing.

So here I am having peace with myself and God.

Thanks for your time!
My Angle
Why do I juxtapose these two valid pieces of writing?
Because I believe in evangelism.
Because I believe in worship.
Because I believe the Christian life is actually Union Life....whether people fully know that yet or not.

The sort of gospel Rheinhardt Bonnke and Daniel Kolenda proclaim is not quite Union Christianity. It's close. How many of us can remember the first reports coming back from Africa about how Rheinhardt was proclaiming salvation and baptism in the Spirit in one humongous package? How many jaws dropped like mine? Is such a thing possible?
But as far as people DO get in a Bonnke crusade in a few hours, they don't generally get beyond a Jesus out there , who somehow comes into my heart by His Spirit. He puts my life back the right
way up....but I still walk around with the stupid concept that
"I" am basically in control
that I am basically a god who makes his /her own way in life with the new help of an outside power who I converse with, be it the Holy Spirit or Jesus.

I do not realise that I am no more.
I do not realise that never for one minute was I an alone -I wandering around this universe. That that concept alone is total baloney. That before I asked Jesus into my life, I was a container
for an alien life form that is transferred in Adam's line from generation to generation.I was empowered by the Devil....but in a way that absolutely requires the Holy Spirit to even know the difference.
Rheinhard does not explain that we are purely containers, and that if Jesus is coming in, the devil is going to be booted out . Light cannot co exist with darkness.
It's quite a deliverance that takes place at conversion.....more much more....than most evangelists will tell you. For this reason such a war takes place on the frontline between Christians who are trying to share the gospel, and the world, who Ephesians says, is a system of submitted intelligences blinded by the god of this world.

Up until this generation, if Christians went as far as receiving the Holy Spirit in power as Ole has mentioned, and that I also testify is typically DECADES.....IF AT ALL.... that Christians actually get to learn about UNION. For sceptics, can I say UNION is simply the type of Christianity Jesus was always aiming for in his disciples....and the proof is a simple reading of the chapters concerning His last discourse to them before He went to the Cross see John Chapters 13-17.

Where it DOES RELATE to Daniel's writing is in this way.
UNION LIFE is bigger than worship (as commonly understood).Or let's turn that the other way round. REAL WORSHIP is Union Life.
Union Life or in Norman Grubb's terminology : The Third or Mature Level is precisely about a level of intercession which is total. So it is no surprise that 2 Moravians literally sell themselves into slavery in order to gain the right to share in that enclosed slavery island community.

Don't don't get to sign your own emulate the Moravians. Once you "get" the Freedom that the Spirit Life is.....and no....I don't mean meetings....
Once you understand who it is who is living your Life...namely Jesus Himself...through your unique personality, through your body....your commissioning will be every bit as riveting and demanding...but it's nolonger viewed in terms of courageous demand, because it is the Fire of God in your belly busting out in new ways to transfer this Kingdom leaven.

Two final things to relate to Daniel's writing above.
Like Holy Spirit anything....evangelism is a spirit. One place you catch this disease is off Evangelists. Evangelist is a ministry of the Holy Spirit whose purpose it says in Ephesians is to build up the Body of Christ TO DO MINISTRY.

When I was invited to a Holy Spirit teaching day in 1972...
It wasn't a man's idea.
The thing came about through 2 individuals having the same dream....a teaching day for young people. But it wasn't Baptism in the Spirit ...period.
It was a day of training on evangelism and the Holy Spirit.
OK, the evangelism was according to our light in 1972....but we got trained in receiving the baptism in the Spirit in the afternoon of the same day IN THAT CONTEXT.
This was the same in Lakeland Florida in the Outpouring two years ago.
On that day. In that context. I received, yes, some rather (now) limited and dodgy teaching on what evangelism was.....but I can discard some of that...
NO ON THAT DAY I received something of much greater value.
I received THE SPIRIT of EVANGELISM, which is like a burning fire in your belly. When you talk to people, a bit of that fire wants to transfer into other bellies. And if people don't want that,
then they might react or not....but either way....they've touched some of God's heart for them...and not just received dry intellectual suggestions that maybe
in a fair wind,
when they're not so busy,
when the moon's in the right position,
if it doesn't get in the way of the One Show,
or their children watching Cbeebies,
they might like to contemplate
a few religious thoughts to help them through the difficult times
as quoted from Patience Strong or something....

NO. If you have the spirit of evangelism
you can simply say with authority
Well, do you want it....or not?
Do you like what's on me?...well you can have some.
Jesus is Lord. He doesn't ask to be your boyfriend, your fratpal
He's saying right now...
"Can I bust into your life and change your life completely while
you are feeling the Shadow of My Presence upon my servant.
Take Me or leave me...but I only come as Lord. Not plaything."
Without the spirit of can only humanly suggest and nudge.

The second thing is about worship.
It's not that worship is irrelevant in Union. It's that the whole concept of worship broadens right out.
a. You so respond to God's heartbeat that you do what He is doing in you next. As both Daniel and Morris Cerullo say...God's heartbeat is souls. But when humans say that phrase it sounds like "scalps". When God says that's with a longlost Lover
who wants His Bride back
No you didn't hear me. You heard "God wants His church back."
No God's heart is for His real church.
The people who are still "NOT BACK HOME", not saved. The Ones still out there, not the 99 in the fold.
b. Then we turn this subject round and say
Once we are prepared to do anything He asks, including having more souls on each of our arms,
we go back to our first understanding of a limited activity...alongside other believers....
BUT This time it's purer
like a piano recital given by a Jewish escapee from a Nazi concentration camp.
It's beautiful from the inside out.
Psalm 45:13-17 NASV
13The King's daughter is all glorious within;
Her clothing is interwoven with gold.
14She will be led to the King in embroidered work;
The virgins, her companions who follow her,
Will be brought to You.
15They will be led forth with gladness and rejoicing;
They will enter into the King's palace.
16In place of your fathers will be your sons;
You shall make them princes in all the earth.
17I will cause Your name to be remembered in all generations;
Therefore the peoples will give You thanks forever and ever.

You see, it's never happened before in the history of man. First in the natural. Now in the Spirit.

Verse 16 says - In place of your fathers shall be your sons. This was alluded to in the day of Pentecost. It used to be an immutable law that the wisdom of the old governed a nation. But in the Spirit....He is crashing young broken men through at a rate of knots...

that the revelation stamping and giving identity to communities is starting to come from the young men instead.

How can such a thing be safe? Union Life is safe. It's not perfection as left-brain carnal thinking measures perfection. But it is a life quality that we kind of aspired to in the charismatic movement...but because of "separation thinking" we just ....well we weren't safe. But now we can trust that life in us and each other....and also trust the external life around us to show us....

the correct way forward.
The other thing that has come through this week, through Cindi Estep and her sister Leslie Lawson and again in clear testimony by Ole,
that God is using blogs and Facebook in unprecedented ways to build His international Body!

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