Month 1:20, Week 3:5 (Chamashee/Teruah), Year:Day 5941:20 AM|
Gregorian Calendar: Sunday 16 April 2017
Chag haMatzah 2017
VI. A Vision for Building
New NCAY Congregations
Continued from Part 6
Today is the penultimate day of the Chag haMatzah (Feast of Unleavened Bread) week and of the Pesach (Passover) season. Before the Sabbath tomorrow, I wanted to throw some thoughts at you particularly this is the day that the compromised church is celebrating Yah'shua's (Jesus') resurrection.
The Claims of Yah'shua are Absolute
For me personally a number of events and happenings seem to have converged together in all sorts of unexpected ways during this set-apart time. For one, it occurs to me that had Yah'shua (Jesus) not physically resurrected as He did at Yom haBikkurim (Day of Firstfruits) that accepting Him would be a lot easier for most people. But precisely because of the Resurrection we are forced, as Philip Yancey puts it, "to listen to His extravagant claims and can no longer pick and choose from His sayings" . It's all or nothing. The fact of the Resurrection makes Him very dangerous because we can't take or leave whatever pleases us. The resurrection of the Conqueror of Death and the Bequeather of Eternal Life means that our future is entirely in His hands and that whatever demands He makes of us we have absolutely no choice but to accept. That claim upsets a lot of people and sometimes murderously so. It breeds Cain's in droves.
The Best Thing We Can Do
Even those who confess the Resurrection as fact struggle with the implications of what total obedience means. I certainly do. I am seeing that my ways are ultimately dead-ends unless I comply with His plan for my life completely. You can test this if you want to though I do not recommend it. For one thing, you'll end up throwing years of your life down the drain which you can never get back and missing chances that may never come your way again. Being on track with Yah'shua (Jesus) is the best thing we could possibly do.
Cyperspace is a Dead-End Relationally Speaking
In the last 24 hours I have realised something in that connection. And it's this: the end-time Kingdom is not going to be built up the way it has been done for the last 15 or so centuries. Not only is the church system over as far as the Remnant is concerned but so is the Cyberspace substitute for it. And though the internet is a fantatic tool used rightly, it can never substitute for feet-on-the-earth fellowship. The internet is unreal in so many ways but it is fast replacing the hands-on reality that the Messianic Community (Church) can alone thrive in. You can't really get to know anyone in Cyberspace in the way you can face-to-face.
The Necessity of the Twelve Cities
The Remnant is not a cyber-community. In the years to come it must gather in time and space in 12 international communities which will be linked together by supernatural means. Many of you know what I am talking about. These nuclei are vital for the work of the gathering. Until they are established, the communities attached or linked to them by spiritual ties will be unstable and be more inclined to 'do their own thing', ignoring accountability structures and thus destroying the whole reason for their existence. That has most certainly been our painful experience in Africa and Asia and the way we have done things in the past cannot be duplicated. If we continue doing things as we have before, people will continue to come and go upon a whim the moment they realise that we are not going to conform to their man-made agendas.
The Twelve Imaging Communities
I don't know how many people there are going to be in the 12 end-time firstborn colonies but it won't be that many relative to the numbers of elect believers. A few hundred, maybe two or three thousand - perhaps more, who knows. Now that we know the elect as a whole will be around 900,000 people it means that the vast majority will not be in the 12 cities of refuge but will be connected to them by supernatural cords of fellowship. The nuclei become central to everything and their establishment must therefore become the priority. Without them, the assemblies connected to them will just drift and cease to be properly imaged. The mother assemblies - the 12 cities - must be the imagers.
Making an End to Spiritual Parasitism
Consistently over the years, congregations that have joined us online have failed to image correctly and start drifting early on as soon as theu get their certification of membership. The relationship between them and us at MLT (the central assembly) then ends up rather like a common-law relationship without binding covenants. It's not a true 'marriage'. And you all know how unstable partnerships are that are not held together as echad (one) by covenant-ahavah (love). Then we become little more than the spiritual equivalent of what the world rather vulgarly calls 'sex buddies'. And 'sex-buddies', as you know, are just that - people who come together for physical stimulation only but otherwise live separate lives without emotional or substantial committment of any kind. In such a situation MLT becomes little more than a vending machine. When the vending machine runs dry, off they go to another vending machine...and not untypically 'change' their doctrines and practices in order to gain access to the new vendor. That's a kind of parasitism and does not reflect the way the Bride is supposed to be related to the Bridegroom.
Cash-Cows and Spiritual Universities
That is not to say that wonderful relationships and life-long committments cannot be made online because they are. It has happened with us but such are very rare. It is my firm belief that the imminent judgment and tribulation will change all of this anyway. We have traditionally either been viewed as a cash-cow or a spiritual university and though compliments are poured on us in the early days these soon dry up when the cash runs out, when they feel they have nothing else to learn or when they are reprimanded for some transgression. And though professions of love and faithfulness are made initially, they soon evapourate when sin is exposed and accountability expected.
The Body is Immature and Spoiled
The problem is that the Body has never been so immature - and I don't mean just in the snowflakey, spoiled West. Every culture has its issues - its shoulder-chips, prejudices, senses of entitlement - you name it, its there. No one culture can say it's superior to another. The Remnant and the 900,000 Elect in general cannot arise until the Messianic Community (Church) has been thoroughly THRASHED of this cultural dross. And when that happens, believers will soon start growing up because the Body needs plain but useful ice-cubes, not pretty but useless snowflakes.
An End to Laissez-Faire Congregational Relationships
We're going to be changing our procedures as far as the admission of new congregations are concerned. I will be telling you more about this in the days and weeks ahead. In short, before we will accept an application from a whole congregation, we will expect its leadership to be trained, baptised, confirmed, ordained and finally certified as actively participating members of the Chavurat Bekorot. Not until we are absolutely sure that they fully understand and passionately believe in our calling and teachings and have been called themselves by personal revelation so that their committment is lifelong will we consider admitting any congregation they may be overseers of, including giving them our name. Our name is not so cheap. They will need to understand that this is more than simply relabelling a pre-existing organisation - this is the wholescale incorporation of former ministries and organisations into NCAY so that there is proper apostolic authority in place. The old laissez-faire  way has been a failure and we have ended up squandering valuable resources and time on what turned out to be insincere, loose relationships. It must be clearly understood from the beginning that we are not in nthe business of 'partnerships' but of 'eternal marriages'.
The World System and Relationships
How else can the Remnant arise as a single Body? The way churches function nowadays reminds me so much of the world system in its attitude to relationships in general -'easy come, easy go'. And that is why society has become so shallow along with the churches that are imitating it. Now if we are to do this - if we are to carry out the training of Pastors and Elders of applicant congregations, it is going to need a lot of work. One man cannot possibly - and should not - do it. Tutors of teachers will be needed who are on fire for the NCAY vision and are themselves totally committed and accountable. We already have some basic courses prepared but they need updating, expanding and new ones written. That may well be our immediate task following these spring festivals.
A Pattern for Educating Pastors
How long will this training take, especially as for the most part it will have to be distance online learning? (Remember the vision I was shown of the satellite last year). As I look at the divine tavnith (pattern) it is very clear - "after two days He will revive us; and on the third day He will raise us up, that we may live before Him" (Hos.6:2, NRSV). After two years, revival - during the third year, commission - that's the Bikkurim pattern! It is one thing to be 'attracted' to this work but there has to be an authentic "revival" or 'birth' into it and that does not happen in a day, a week, a month or a year. This isn't just about being born-again in Yah'shua (Jesus), key though that obviously is, but about gaining a broad and deep vision of this work coupled to an enthusiasm for it which only the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) can give after a a great deal of careful, prayerful study. This is how all leadership must inevitably be prepared.
Spontaneous Education of Congregations by Ministers
As the trainee minister comes to a living testimony of each teaching, he will want to spontaneously teach it thoroughly to his people. We won't monitor that in future - instead we will monitor the pastors and elders. Once the trainee is 'revived' and 'raised up' in power and toqef (authority) and is properly submitted to the toqef (authority) of the Chavurat Bekorot, then we will take a look at his congregation and see what the fruits there are. Then - and only then - can the Pastor and his Elders make a formal application to place his congregation under NCAY's umbrella and receive our name. This will sort out the false from the true, the exploiters from the called, the liars from the truthful, the casual from the committed.
A Lot of Work Ahead
There is always a temptation to rush into relationships and this has been no more true than in the relationship between aspirant congregations abroad and NCAY. It hasn't worked well save in isolated cases where clearly someone is called and remains faithful and committed over the years. This means a lot of work for me and others preparing training materials and a lot more work for you who may be called to monitor the training. We are going to need a dedicated team of educators and writers. We need to take a leaf out of the Methodist book in this one - this denomination got its name for being 'methodical' students of the Davar (Word). Not a bad thing to imitate.
A Sound Biblical Curriculum
This will call for considerable discipline from both the pastoral students and Chavurat Bekorot tutors. A proper foundation has to be laid and in the proper order. There is a reason the Chavurat Bekorot is called the 'Holy Order'. We don't need maverick teachers who are more interested in promoting their pet beliefs than they are the fundamentals of the spiritual curriculum. As with the true exercise of the gift of tongues, "all things [must] be done decently and in order" (1 Cor.14:40, NKJV) and this is as true of theology as of other disciplines in the Kingdom of our Elohim (God). In other words, there must be a sound curriculum of biblical instruction bathed in cutting edge revelation and anointed by the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit).
Another Congregation Rides Off
I felt strongly what Yahweh has been impressing me with over the last 24 hours in the light of another congregation 'riding off into the sunset' because it would not be corrected for unruly behaviour. Unruly and undisciplined pastors cannot possibly govern our assemblies. We must detect them early and, if they are truly called, train and mature them in the Derech (Way) of the Master. As I said, tribulation will catalyse a lot of this growth as it forces carnal leaders to finally throw themselves at the feet of the Saviour and learn true humility. I guess we're all about to get a heavy dose of that medicine.
Tomorrow is the last day of Chag haMatzah and of the Passover Season. It is a High Sabbath. We shall assemble again then to hear what Davar (Word) Yahweh for us. May we stand ready to receive it. In the meantime may light, emet (truth) and chayim (life) in ahavah (love) flow to you in Yah'shua's (Jesus') Name. Amen.
 Philip Yancey, The Jesus I Never Knew (Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan: 1995), p.225
 Originally a political doctrine opposing governmental interference in economic affairs beyond the minimum necessary for the maintenance of peace and property rights
Continued in Part 8