A HOPELESS SEARCH?
You can imagine the inward longings within me as I traveled on through my pilgrimage having seen and heard the things that had come to me concerning God's Habitat and eternal dwelling place. It was tough to say the least. Now could I actually find a group of Christians that had the reality of being built together as God's tabernacle and so actually were in the experience of the benefits of the same? Well …. The vision was too strong to put down and give up on. It was during this same time frame that I found Charles G. Finney's "Revival Lectures" at the Bible College Library and was almost taken to the floor by the power of God as I stood there in the aisles of that library. This almost happened to me again in the same library when I found the book "Spiritual Torrents" by Jeanne Guyon.I actually preached a few sermons on revival during this time as I was beginning to feel spiritually burdened for those around me and wanted to see them know the Lord better. This I believe was the leading of the Spirit of God not only to benefit other lives but to reveal to me what the end result would be of pouring new wine into old wineskins. Well…I SAW the results right in front of my own eyes. This was done at the Foursquare church I was attending during that time (Valley Trinity Foursquare in Reseda, CA). During one meeting in particular there was quite an outpouring of the Spirit of God and many were weeping at the altar in repentance and a fresh desire towards the Lord. However the revival would not last long because the pastor kept going back to his old ways (THAT'S what I thought it was, anyway, but actually it went much deeper than that.)However, somehow I knew deep within that even if there had been a revival that would have lasted there were many other impediments in that particular denomination's way of doing things that would null and void the things I had seen in the revelation of the Tabernacle. I did not "get it" very quickly, however. It took some time and some rough "getting along with" the pastor of the church at that time. I did clearly see that even if God's people were revived even that would not last due to the fact of the pastor bringing the people back to their old ways. Now maybe a revival could last longer in some other church (a little longer maybe) but to have people built together and praising together could not POSSIBLY be accomplished when one man is up in front talking all the time and the rest sitting there. According to the vision I had seen there was a flow of life proceeding from member to member and the warmth of the golden glory of the river of God's Spirit and Life that can NOT take place in a Protestant setting (even no matter how Pentecostal it is). How can that which flows from the Head through every member of the Body become a living reality without "the function in the measure of each one part !!???" There is no way! There are many joints of supply and there are many "parts" mentioned in the Body of Christ. But with pew warmers who don't speak and don't function as Paul said we all can in I Cor. 12-14, then how can what comes from the Head through joints of supply get form the joints to other joints if parts don't pass along what is flowing? What we are dealing with in reality is just a corpse.Do not even dream that this writer could EVER agree with your present day kind of so-called "church service" no matter WHAT your way of meeting is like. EVEN if you try top-gun change and get rid of your Protestant or Catholic rituals, then I STILL say: BEGINNINGS ARE EVERYTHING! What I am talking about is something organic. Or rather Someone! The Head, Christ and the Body which Paul calls Christ also if you'll read I Cor. 12, equals "the one new man": a living Organism with the life and nature of God Himself!! And THAT is no joke. Oooops! Sorry, I meant she is no joke. And the Lord Christ is ESPECIALLY more serious about her than anyone else ever could be. He is insanely in love with her! Good night, man! He is blinded to everything else but her! Consider the awful cross: THAT is insane! Except in the context of romance, that is. Will you for one sane moment of your life consider the awful ugliness of the cross?!! THAT, beloved one, is the only word that properly fits Calvary's cross: UGLY! It was downright ugly and to go to that would be an insane act of madness unless the greatest love affair WAAAAY beyond our imagination was at stake. It was for her He went! It was for her He died. BUT how is she going to be actually produced? If you want a certain crop you have to plant the right seed in the ground to bring it up and you then (even though all the properties of a certain life form are IN that seed) you have to take care of it properly, fertilize it properly and water it properly IN the right soil or environment. If you want the right fruit you have to have the right seed but without the right beginnings: QUIT!!! Just quit!!!! STOP! You're on the wrong path!!! Ask for the old paths as seen in the book of Acts and first in the very life of the Lord Jesus!! This means starting all over again, not trying to put different bricks on the same old property. How could someone who's seen what I have seen be a friend to today's Christianity? I am against it! 99% at least of today's kinds of meetings miss the mark of the Body of Christ to make His actual Body a reality in the world today. No wonder we are so spiritually shallow!! No wonder the poor world is so lost! How can we get along without the normal flowing of life? No wonder most of the world doesn't want what we got. We don't even want it, if we are honest with ourselves. It's boring! It's NOT what they had in the first century, that's for sure. THEY turned the world upside down! But WE are turning the world off!!!!!! Do you read me: THIS is our #1 problem and also God's #1 problem: SUNDAY MORNING CHURCH SERVICES ARE BOOOORRRRINNNNGGGG!!!! GET IT????? BORING! WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE!!! I'M TALKING ABOUT CHRIST WHO IS THE REAL COFFEE!!!! And so we lose members and half the people after they get saved lose interest in "church" and quit coming to our boring rituals and WE JUST MUST BE SO DENSE THAT WE ARE SO BLIND AS TO WHY!!! Isn't the reason obvious? Most people don't like "church." And that my friend is the root of ALL of our problems as far as attracting and keeping people.As for me I finally began to see that even if that Foursquare church I was in did change their ways and got revived it still could not fulfill the vision of the tabernacle type of building I had had. Believers built together as living stones to show forth the excellencies of Christ is just not going to be realized by mere revival. So of course I had to ask myself: IS THERE HOPE?? And excuse my term "mere revival" as I know today's Christians desperately need real revival and this generation hardly knows what that is. But you must understand that revival is NOT God's goal. Not even the salvation of the lost is God's goal but just one more stepping stone on the way to His final eternal purpose. His final goal is that most intoxicatingly, exotically, frighteningly beautiful (yes, my spirit , soul and body did once endure the terrifyingly awesome shock of catching a faint glimpse of her beauty one glorious day and I understood how the apostles could shed their blood…. And how our dear dear Lord could go ……. Oh!! It's so sooooo awful!!), this beautiful young girl of the new creation who is called: New Jerusalem! She is really worth it all! But wait! There's more! So much more! Just wait until He and She finally unite in eternal union!! Has the eye ever seen? Has the ear ever heard? Has it ever entered into the heart of man what is in store … here I must stop as the Holy Spirit places His finger of hush upon my lips lest I enter upon that which Paul said it was not lawful to be uttered concerning the things that had been revealed to him when he was caught up into paradise and into the third heavens during three days time when he could not tell whether he was still in his body or out of it. (that was during his 3 years in the desert by the way. Would anyone else in this shallow generation like to try it? Or do you consider such things a waste of time you could use in evangelism? What a pitiful shallow age we live in!)You really DON'T know who you really are, do you? No …….. you really don't. You are part of that beautiful girl Christ died for. How in the world do you think that you are building her when you are daubing with the untempered mortar of the mere dust and sandy elements of the Babylonian traditions?!! Do you really think that our Protestant and Catholic rituals can be clearly seen in the pages of the New Testament? What in this world or any other world do such boring traditions have to do with the organic divine DNA of the building up of this dear Bride of the Lamb of God??? Our present day concepts and sameness of over and over again ritualistic practices when seen in the light of God's goal are utterly ridiculous! YES. And stupid, too!!!! And I think you are finally getting it. There's a 95% chance or better in these 00's 10s or 20s of the 21st century that I am insulting you !!! That's right! I am probably insulting you!!! WAKE UP!!! To you of my generation I say as Jesus said to His generation: full well you make the Word of God of none effect by your traditions or to use Darby's translation as a direct quote:"making void the word of God by your traditional teaching which ye have delivered; and many such like things ye do." (It's too bad that J. N. Darby was guilty of this himself. In fact, he was probably the worst element of this influentially than anyone else who ever lived. To see what I mean click here but to find out more about this subject, you'll have to see Gene Edwards writings) What a way to make friends and influence people! To amplify this thought His word spoken to their ways of doing things in the previous verses are: "washings of vessels and cups, and many other such like things ye do. 9 And he said to them, Well do ye set aside the commandment of God, that ye may observe what is delivered by yourselves [to keep]."Now: did you notice He said "many such like things ye do"? Well if you read that passage (Mark 7:5-23), the "many such like things" phrase is used more than once. He starts out calling them hypocrites and later on after He left the crowd and went inside the house with His own disciples whom He loved more than His Own life He told them: "Are ye thus also unintelligent?" Another version translates: without understanding. Another one says, "are you also so dull". This is not a compliment to his own disciples even. Nor is it meant to be a compliment, so don't get your feelings hurt and quit reading just because you're not perfect! It's OK! If the shoe fits, you don't have to wear it! Half of this stuff (at least!) is not your fault. Can we help it that we were born twice in an environment that we couldn't help: twisted and literally soaked with the traditions of smelly Babylon? No, it is not your fault. But still I insult you because I choose to follow the faithful lover of us all Who insulted those of His generation. If His heart is the only heart I make at least 1% happy, at least that is better than His continuing disappointment with generation after generation! So don't get bent out of shape, OK?
Now I realize this may not set so well with some of you traditionalists and present day religious Pharisees who like the greetings of men in today's market place and who like to be called the title: "pastor" and so on. (And yes, I'll keep on insulting John Darby and others like him even though he's dead.) Well, if you want to go on being a thumb sucking yo-yo, go right ahead! God can find someone else! He has in every age found those who want to be His lovers and belong exclusively to His Own Self not a denominational name or sect of some kind. If you don't want to wear the name brother which is the highest honor to be a brother of Jesus Christ, Son of God: and God Himself, and would rather wear the name "pastor" or "rabbi" and degrade yourself and your high status and at the same time degrade others, then you will bear the consequences.
So now you know what I think of most of what I see around me. If we have a great revival: even then if there is not subsequent building up accomplished according to the pattern which can only be revealed on the mount of God then there is still the reality of new wine being poured into a container that cannot contain it. As a result there is not only not much continuity in people's lives but also the eternal purpose is not being fulfilled (or is it somewhere? It's not being fulfilled the way it should). ANOTHER THING: This is just one more reason why revivals are many times followed by reactions -- very negative spiritual manifestations follow too often. During my Bible College years my search for a people who were the fulfillment of the vision I had seen of the moving tabernacle of God seemed hopeless. However, I kept visiting meeting hall #2 of The church in Los Angeles as they called it. I would visit only once in a while. There was just something about those people. I would like to point out that there was something there that I was totally blinded to until God was pleased to open my eyes. Can I explain this? Yep! Easy! I was not one of them. It is just that simple. Now I know you've heard this before but it is still true whether its been said 5 times or 50,000 times: Just because you are in a garage does not make you a car. And just because you are at McDonald's does not make you a hamburger. And just because you are on a Navy ship visiting does not make you a sailor, etc. So, just because I was at a local church meeting so many times did NOT make me to be a PARTAKER OF THE REALITY OF THE BODY OF CHRIST! Most of us are not the "eye" members of the Body. However the whole body benefits and is full of light if these particular members are single and holy before god and if there is a proper practical connection and connectivity of members with one another who are also holding the Head. How sad is this? "What do you mean brother?" you may say. Namely this: many Christians today, in fact, most, do not live in this Body relationship and so are born again mostly in the dark and remain in darkness their whole life through. Ouch! I may be the evangelist feet, but without the light of the eyes, I'm going to run the Body into the wall and hurt the one new man to some extent. So now you want the story. OK. After getting married and finding that the power of God flowing through me was not even doing it for me I was brought to Joe Flores house. After many humbling circumstances I finally read a book I have already mentioned in former chapters of this book: "Further Talks on the Church Life" by Watchman Nee. I began to realize that to be built with other believers you must be together in the same place. Through Watchman Nee's book I began to see that Biblical unity is local. That's all there is to it! Believe it or not, this make's a difference in your life BIG TIME!! Actually it DOES make a difference in your life whether you know it or not -- either for good or evil.
Due to circumstances that I could not have very well changed due to the Reagan-omics during that time frame, I had to move back with my parents for a small while. I had just been living in San Fernando but now I was living in a suburb of the great city of Los Angeles again.You see, San Fernando was inside the borders of that great city Los Angeles BUT it was not part of that great city as it was a city in its own right. So as long as I was there the message I had received about one assembly in one city did not apply to me as far as Los Angeles was concerned. However, I did try to search for those who made up "the church in San Fernando" and even though God considers ALL His children in a city to be members of His one ecclesia in a city there were still no Christians standing on that ground. While I still did live in San Fernando before I moved back to the suburb of LA where my parents lived at that time I decided to do something. I determined to visit every so-called "church" in that locale to see where they stood and to see if I could reason with any of them concerning the things of God. There were 24 "churches" in the small area called San Fernando at that time. (What happened to just one!) I discovered some very interesting facts:1. A certain denominational pastor belonging to a certain denomination said in so many words that the idea of God's people as one in a city sounded good and to take that name sounded good. But alas! His "church property," which was pretty big for so small a city, was owned by his denomination. Of course, they would not hear of such things such as changing the name to "church in San Fernando" so he could not do it.2. Another organization I visited were so dark they could not for the life of them understand what I was even talking about and did not want to discuss it further.3. Another group was just a glorified Bible study and so dead I didn't want to pursue it further! God, have mercy on me.4. One place I visited said that it would be impossible for them to stand as the church in San Fernando as some of them came from Covington or some from various other suburbs in LA, etc.5. That very day I went to another place and they said the pastor was from another locality that was a 45-minute drive away! Just HOW far from Biblical standards have we come?????The thought had never occurred to me that maybe I should move to a city that already had people who believed that they should be one assembly within one locality. My question to anyone who has dared to read this far is: how do you think that stones, bricks or any other kind of components can be used for building without being brought to the same place or lot of ground first so they can be together? That just could not work, could it? Well, praise the Lord the circumstances that forced me to move back to my parents brought me back to an LA suburb that just happened to be three long blocks away from meeting hall #2, which is where I had visited before. This time, however, I had a revelation of living stones built together and saw things differently and was finally ready to agree with God on an important aspect of truth: that of the unity of God's people for the purpose of building. Also ... I finally agreed with God that what He says about those living in the same city as belonging together in the same assembly was something that I finally agreed to as being Biblical truth. There is no other kind of unity prescribed in the scriptures!As I was without a car at that time, I made the long walk to the meeting hall one Friday night. However there was something vastly different about my heart before God this particular night as I had made a very hard and solid commitment and had had a change of mind. This time I was actually going there to join this group.You see, it was hard because I had also been poisoned by some of the false papers, books and articles concerning this group and I disagreed doctrinally with them (or so I thought: it appeared that I merely did not completely understand what it was they actually believed). So I was joining because I had to to obey God and be with those who were the ones standing on the proper unity and as a result my heart and mind were right with God on this matter of obedience. So you see, I was not merely doing this out of my preference but because I was doing what I knew to be right at the time! Of course, just try and tell that to some people and they will think you're crazy and kick you out!
Little did I know that because of my decision before the Lord and because my heart was right with Him concerning unity that I would be so blessed. Little did I know that this blessing was to be there no matter what during every subsequent meeting with these saints from then ON !! (Of course there did come a time when I saw there were more other kinds of Christians even more solidly upon this ground who had something even more!)
That night happened to be a message meeting night where they listened to a message by Witness Lee, who was not present at the meeting, but nevertheless was seen on a big video screen. The message was one of a series on Christ as the Offerings and the Tabernacle in the book of John. There was so much revelation there that I was amazed! But not until they started praying after the message one after another did I realize that I HAD FOUND WHAT I WAS LOOKING FOR!! The reality of the tabernacle and the revelation I had had was there! Because I was in the oneness I was part of it. Never before had I ever experienced a blessing like that! This was not merely a revelation, THIS was reality! I was home! Praise the Lord!That night during the prayers there was that same river I had seen in my revelation of the New Jerusalem in our midst and it was slowly moving through each member to the next member to the next. I mean I could actually feel it going through the spirits of other saints of God as it flowed through ALL of us! It seemed to flow slowly around as a big circle and seemed to be like the gentle deep emotions that a woman has when her man puts his arm around her.I never would have completely understood this but in Bible School one of our instructors explained something that hardly anyone ever explains. He told us that women are more emotional than men and that to hold hands has more feelings to it for a woman than it does for a man and that it doesn't usually mean as much for a man. He said that sometimes a woman has a wheel turning around inside her when a man puts his arm around her, etc. Well to me this was weird because I'm not a woman and did not understand what he meant very well.But this feeling within me that gave more and deeper happiness than I had ever dreamed of soooooooo deep within me was also like a big giant wheel flowing through the other holy ones of God also. And I realized right then and there that this was the reaction of a female to a male except this was a different DNA, not merely human! This was my first actual experience of the Bride of Christ!! I had found her! Not only that, but for the first time in my Christian life, I was satisfied! This was IT! And I mean IT! I had found saints actually built together.Good night man! Not even that time of God anointing me with power was I ever satisfied. A year before this time I had begun to preach the streets with more and more anointing. I had been winning more and more to Christ during evangelistic outreach. Healing and miracles had begun to take place at my hands. Even outright visible miracles had been happening. Even my spirit of travailing prayer was imparted to others during a meeting in which people came up front and stood in a long row and I just prayed the same prayer for them all and went down the row quickly laying my hand on each head as I went and shouted "Jesus! Jesus! Jesus! Every one of them went down to floor under the power of God. BUT…. Was I satisfied??? NO!!! A THOUSAND TIMES NO!!!!!!!! NEVER COULD THAT SATISFY THE HUMAN SPIRIT WITH ITS DEPTHS HUNGRY FOR THE RICHES OF JESUS CHRIST!!! Never!!!!
I had found home. Believe me, I understand where our home truly is …. And what it is.
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Copyright © 2001 by Kevin “the NorthWest”. Non-commercial use permitted.
Kevin “the NorthWest”