#267 Kingdom: New Truth and Restoration
In our pastors meeting today there was quite a lot of discussion about accepting “new truth” that seems to contradict scripture. A few years ago “new truth” centered around the restoration of the apostolic and prophetic ministries. Now that is “old truth” and any discussion now seems to revolve around self appointed apostles and prophets and whether these ministries are functioning within some ecclesiastical structure that has a real oversight and a genuine submission to others. The concern is over “pastoral accountability and relationship” of these leadership ministries. Who corrects the teacher that is putting his teachings on the internet without pastoral approval. To whom is he accountable for his “new truth” or extension of old truth? Where are the checks and balances for any restoration movement? Who was Martin Luther submitted to in 1517?
Most everything that is considered as “new truth” is happening outside the denominational structure. Some are forming “networks” where independent ministries come under the umbrella and oversight of another proven ministry. Rick Joyner of Morning Star Ministries is an example. Because all truth can be very subjective it is difficult to individually judge the accuracy of “new truth” or an extension of old truth. A prophet, pastor or evangelist will view truth from their own viewpoint and ministry perspective and experience. To them the “new truth” may be irrelevant to their way of judging. Some “prophetic words” may seem of little use to a teacher that is always expecting a major change in the life experience of the church. The pastor may see no need for “new truth.” if his assembly is not walking in old truth.
There seem to be a lot more titles and positions out there than there are legitimate and qualified ministries to fill them. Just proving from scriptures that these ministries exist today is too shallow. Some “training groups” may set a certain goal of raising up 10 new apostles for this year and training them to be sent out. It is entirely possible that none of these have been called of God and divinely set in that ministry. “He who ascended” may not even know these apostles. The same is true of prophets and there are certainly multitudes of pastors being trained each year but how many have been set in that ministry by the Lord is a big question. The concern is about “men” appointing and “giving out” “ascension gifts” just by some form of training and a prophetic word..
A “new truth” may as simple as establishing a standard by which we can determine which ones have a genuine call and grace from God to complete that ministry. With no personal and close relationship with an individual can we really discover a genuine call? Just relying on a word of knowledge by a prophet has been too nebulous and many times inaccurate. Then many people are hurt by some false calling and no divine preparation.
During the Charismatic Renewal there developed what some labeled “new truth” that developed into the various movements within the Charismatic Restoration. Of course this wasn’t new truth at all but just an attempt to follow the scriptures and to help others that wanted more reality in their lives. There were thousands of individuals that attended these meetings and heard the teaching. Some Catholic Charismatic meetings were attended by 30,000 seekers and were led by young college students. They obviously needed special training. There were the thousands of home meetings that began and there was a need for oversight. When they returned home from these huge and exciting meetings they began sharing tapes, books and notes with other excited people seeking more from God. Many loose fellowships sprang up that had no mature leadership or local church connection. The Shepherding and Discipleship Movements were the result of trying to meet this need. The status quo church meetings seemed boring in comparison to the Charismatic Conferences. There was always good teaching on subjects that were ignored by local churches.
Because of carnality and lack of experience things began to get out of hand and there were serious mistakes made. The local church leaders that were left out of the renewal soon became critical and began to point out the errors. The emphasis was directed at the mistakes and the tremendous advances were forgotten. The Charismatic Renewal is known today by its mistakes and the criticism we hear now is about the excesses and the lording over the flock.
The fact that many mistakes did happen is nearly irrelevant when compared to the tremendous advances made during those 17 years. We might ask the question; What if the Charismatic Movement had never happened ? What would we see now in the denominational churches ? What difference would we see in the Pentecostal denominations that had become static if there had been no Charismatic Renewal ? The fact is that every denomination was impacted in some way.. Let us suppose that the Full Gospel Business Mens Fellowship never really materialized. What changes would we see today ? In the 1950's that was new truth. New advances in fellowship, outreach, teaching and new vision are the identification marks of another restoration. Fellowship across denominational lines is always suspicious and considered as dangerous by the status quo leaders. What we label “new truth” today is automatically suspect as containing some error because it deviates from the status quo. Every time I read church history of the last 100 years I discover that each historian begins from a different viewpoint and in a different year. Therefore, for them history has taken a different path. If they start in 1906 at Azusa Street the history has a set pattern of advancement and a certain flavor. If we start in the Chinese Church there is another pattern. The Latin American revival follows a different history. The Latter Rain movement has its own history. The Black church movement goes back to 1900 and its history follows rejection and isolation.
Every movement has its own mistakes and excesses but we must not forget the advancements of the Christian cause by these groups. What would have been the result if these movements never began? Would the established churches be better off without a new restoration movement today? Is God satisfied by the static condition of the church. Will another teaching on the second coming meet the needs of the church today. If we can prove from scripture that there will be no second coming but one age will just pass into the next age, how will that benefit the church today.
Obviously, rehashing old doctrines and concepts and changing the time of the meetings or the order of worship will bring about no real change in the lives or the direction of the church! Such superficial changes are the hallmark of those who have lost the way and are blind to the need of a completely new restoration movement. If we legitimately challenge the extreme superficiality in the status quo churches will that produce an awaking within? Not at all! Someone has to step into a higher dimension of intimacy with God and acquire a more perfect revelation of Jesus Christ and have a transformed life that is visible to those who are seeking more reality in their experience. We cannot satisfactorily correct the problems that plague the church now because of the weight of tradition and religious culture.
The solution today, as it has always been, is for those distressed leaders who are burdened by the shallow and superficial results that we see today to make a personal change in their direction by not criticizing the status quo but to step out into more light and Life themselves. If someone is teaching something that is “new / old truth” that we don’t understand we need more true light ourselves. Rejecting those who are stretching to discover a way out of our superficiality is not a solution. We can listen to what they are saying without accepting the things that seem to conflict with scripture. The problem is that our understanding of scripture is also limited and some new insight may be just what we need to clarify our direction for tomorrow. We should be able to eat the fish without choking on the bones. The fact that there are bones should not throw us into panic.
If we focus upon the past mistakes of the apostolic and prophetic movements and the false prophesies and faith hype and self-centered ministers we may completely miss the actual advancement that has taken place in the overall restoration.
The cry of the shepherding movement was you must come into a relationship and establish an authentic submission to authority. This was “doctrinal” but the actual experience was many times so superficial that it was in word only. It was in the groups where submission was insisted upon and a real submission was demanded where we saw the most excesses and errors. This resulted in a control that changed the direction of the movement.
Of course there were many shepherding groups where every thing was proper and a family relationship developed and multitudes were brought into some knowledge of God. They were criticized along with the offenders because they were considered as part of the same Charismatic Movement. The status quo churches used criticism and pointing out the mistakes as justification for doing nothing. Those with a church structure and a hierarchy of leadership pointed out the safety of accountability and submission to authority and the stability that results. Of course they fail to mention that nothing of significance has happened in that group for many years but they have maintained the stability of the status quo.
Most of those hierarchal groups have developed a political position of leadership that is self perpetuating where they can vote raises and benefits for each other. The leadership may be stable but corrupt and even blind and dead..
The “new truth” people can be offensive and stubborn and refuse correction. They criticize structures that prevent revelation because it isn’t confirmed by church doctrine. The new truth people tend to be lone rangers and isolate themselves when their revelation is challenged.
So what is the purpose for all this reminiscence? It is the warning that is necessary whenever we see a new restoration on the horizon. We must not make the mistakes of past restorations. However, I want to point out one main difference between the next restoration and the Charismatic restoration that disappeared in the late 1980's. The difference is between the Outer Court ministries and the Holy Place Life and ministry! It is the difference between the individual Charismatic ministry and the corporate priesthood ministry that must be the foundation of the next restoration.
Submission and correction in the Outer Court is toward men and is quite different than the Headship ministry of our High Priest within His body of priests. The discipline of the Lord within His sons is different from the superficial discipline of Charismatic leaders. His discipline is for the purpose of sharing His holiness and is not sentimental and is not modified by some false concept of grace. His purpose for discipline is eternal and not just for earthly relationships.
Submission to leaders was soon turned into an ego trip by the leaders. Position and titles were the result. Then there was the problems of the financial needs of the leaders and the phony faith hype that was used to fill the pockets. Legitimate needs is one thing but conning the people to give to their ministries by promising something they couldn’t deliver soon turned rancid.
My hope is that the proximity to the Presence of His Glory in the Holy Place Life and ministry and the revelations within the illumination of the seven Spirits of God and the ingesting of the Showbread will solve many of the carnality and ego problems of the Outer Court. The direct discipline of the Lord within His body should solve the problems of the superficial discipline of leaders. Correction through the Laws of God written upon the hearts and put into the minds will be nonnegotiable. The conviction of the Holy Spirit within the king / priest will be difficult to escape in the Holy Place Life and ministry to God. The natural light of the Outer Court cannot be evaluated against the supernatural light of the Lampstand church and the illumination of the seven Spirits of God.
When we take up our God given position as the Tabernacle / Temple of God we will see that this illumination is hidden on the inside and the teacher is within. Understanding will be by revelation rather than by pulpit ministries. Conviction will be an inner power that remains until correction is obtained. Of course the Outer Court ministries will still be essential but the minister, himself, will be transformed by his Holy Place encounter with God and he will minister a greater wisdom with understanding to accomplish the Outer Court ministry to God’s satisfaction. The Father’s pleasure and joy or dissatisfaction and correction will be witnessed within the priest / minister. This inner witness is the potential for our development into the obedient body of our High Priest.
Until we learn to cover our head with the priestly bonnet and experientially declare that we are no longer the head of our priestly function there will always be the danger of initiating some work on our own. Until Christ is experientially the Sovereign Head of His body of king / priests, the work, the teaching, the apostolic five-fold ministries, and the Outer Court ministries will be a mixture similar to what we see now. If Jesus didn’t initiate any work or speak on His own initiative it indicates that as our High Priest He had His head covered. That should be a good system for us to follow.
If the Outer Court discipleship and teaching is not preparing us for the king / priest ministry it is either too shallow or it has lost its way. The foundations are not the goal but the means to the goal. If we stop with the foundations we have not built anything yet. The foundations are not for church membership but for Lampstand Membership and the king / priest ministry to God.
Learning new doctrines or destroying old doctrines will become irrelevant in the light of the Holy Place Life! Eating the Showbread will supercede the need for more doctrines. Cooperating with God at the Alter of Incense to get His will done on earth will supercede the need to try to get the Outer Court assemblies to do what we want. But what about submission to leaders? Our submission must be to our Head. Why this change? Because we must begin to function in the Kingdom dimension of priests in the Holy Place and not just as pastors or the five-fold ministry in the Outer Court. In natural light we may obey leaders and ignore Christ, the King of His Kingdom.
High profile ministries will become low profile priests in the illumination of the seven Spirits of God and our revelation of Christ. High profile ministers will fall as dead men in the light of His glory. I wonder what this next restoration will be called by the adherents and what it will be labeled by its detractors. Some will say ALL new Testament believers are priests so this must be trying to bring the church back under the Law of Moses. Others may call it the Priesthood Movement! I will call it the restoration of the Holy Place Life.
Zion will cease to be just a doctrine and will become an experience. The Law that goes forth from Zion will be coming up out of the law of the Spirit of Life that is written within those priests of Zion. The Word of the Lord that will come out of Jerusalem, (the priest / bride) will arise out of the Living and abiding Word within.
Isa 2: 3---- For the law will go forth from Zion, And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.