Diversity Is Our Strength

The Ebb And Flow Of Personal Relationships


After spending four days with old college friends in a cabin in Potter County, I’ve learned that “ebb and flow” brings peace. The creek behind the cabin brought soft whispers of peace and tranquility. No humming of cars could be heard; only the humming of a humming bird who danced around the edges of the porch. The gurgling creek harmonized with the chirps, warbles, caws, and blunt squeaks of birds, creating a song of nature that was both simplistic and distinctive.

Hidden in the recess of eddies, tucked near the shore, just beyond the rocks that causes the rapids to sing is found various forms of life: tiny creatures and crayfish tucked among embedded rocks. Tucked in a deep eddy called a fishing hole, trout swim as if still against the creek’s current because eddies are havens of rest from the torrid pace of the stream’s activities.

Our cabin lay in a sleepy valley tucked between two mountains where sun drenched rays of light fought the foliage to feed the ferns on the forest’s floor. I found refuge here from the strong currents of life. My solace lay not in its silence, but in boisterous laughter, revelry, and bantering among five old friends: a banker, carpenter, print foreman, public school teacher, businessman and college professor, all retired, all advancing in age. Here we reminisced of bygone college days, and here we found the essence of peace in the sound of nature.

Peace can be a woven tapestry in a field of diversity, sewn through each person’s unique journey that bonded them as a group. One’s talents flow through their career, but here they are joined together by just sitting on a porch reminiscing, a perfect eddy.

Commonality was found in their acceptance of each other after forty-five years. The weekend caused walls to crumble and openness to prevail as most of the weekend was spend around a kitchen table, talking, playing cards, or sitting on the porch. Differences diminished with peer acceptance.

Similarities can be found between our weekend and how the five-fold works relationally. I cohabitated with five distinctively different people with five distinctively different gifts, talents, drives, and points of view. Once all were very independent from the others in their journey in life, but now were being drawn together through a bond of acceptance they have never experienced before. All served and accepted one another as equal peers. No bickering or fighting ensued since playful bantering brought howls of laughter and delight. No one needed to be asked to do a chore; all chipped in when needed. Everyone willingly served one another. In the past polite handshakes would have been the norm when leaving, but no longer! Backs were slapped and hugs given.

The power of the “ebb and flow” brings peace, and we experienced that peace through giving and taking throughout the weekend. The creek was not the only place where one can find the “ebb and flow”, nor is the mountain valleys the only place one can find peace. Both can be found in built relationships between one another.

Rebirth of Five Revealed

Spirit of Evangelism Speaks


 “Birthing” as a parent is cool! “Rebirthing” as a grandparent is even better! If Adam ad Eve had been created as grandparents, they wouldn’t have sinned! Spoiled the grandkids? Sure! But not sinned. Eve would have been too busy baking cookies to eat of the forbidden fruit. Adam would have been rocking the grandchildren, telling them stories, gone fishing with them. Unfortunately that is not how it happened, so today we need evangelists. Why?

Evangelists love to “birth” and “rebirth”. The voice of this blog site has been quiet for two years, but no longer! The evangelist proclaims, “” is alive, revamped, renewed, rebirthed!” It may appear that the blog writer went into hiding, but he has been busy writing as well as becoming a grandpa.

Since my last blog, I have written four major manuscripts: One Another: A Guide To Equipping The Saints Through Peer Relationships, The Phoenix Arising From The Ashes: One’s Faith Journey, The 3 R’s - Revolution through Revelation to Reformation; A Metamorphic 21st Century Church, and Martins – 500 Years Later: A 21st Century Reformation. I am also working on Five Underground, the fifth fiction book in the Five fictional series, and Cataclysm: A Tsunami Revival, a fictional book at why revivals do not have to be messy.

Some goals I have for “the new and improved” are 1) share excerpts from some of these manuscripts; 2) reformat the 18 manuscripts I have written dealing with the tearing down and building up of 21st century church structures; 3) offer these manuscripts as ebooks through this website; 4) and have this website become more interactive, networking the body together.

I am totally convinced that the five fold (evangelists, shepherds, teachers, prophets, and apostles) are the passions, desires, and points of view of common believers in Jesus. As “gifts of grace”, they are not hierarchal offices! Their purpose is for “serving one another,” not ruling over each other. They allow a linear back and forth flow movement among equal peers when one is willing to “lay down one’s life for their brethren.” Hopefully, this blog will remain true to this calling.

Relationships Produce Revival: Deurteronomy 16:16

 Why Should/Shouldn’t My Church Embrace Change? Part XXXXIV 

What do all these feasts have to do church structure or the five fold? The feasts are not about structure, but about relationships between man and his God. They aren’t about religious institutions, programs, or organizations; they are about living organisms.

Passover reestablished righteousness between God and man. “Righteousness” means “being in a right relationship.” Because of what Jesus did on the Cross, the “ain’ts” became “saints”! “Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” (Hebrews 11: 6) Those ”who seek Him” have been rewarded eternal life and membership into the Priesthood of Believers.

Pentecost empowered this Priesthood of Believers to live by faith. All those listed in  Hebrews 11 “gained approval through their faith” yet they, "did not receive what was promised, because God had provided something better for us. (Hebrews 11) What was promised would be Jesus and the Holy Spirit who would fulfill Passover, Pentecost, and the Feast of Booths. The Holy Spirit would empower believers to live out the Logos Word through the Rehma Word.

The Feast of Booths, Feast of Tabernacles, Feast of Ingathering is relational because God is not only calling individual believers to Him eternally, but is calling an entire priesthood, the Priesthood of Believers, the Church to Him through Jesus Christ. Unlike marriage, it is now beyond “death do us part,” Because of Jesus’s death and resurrection, the committed relationship between God and man is now eternal.

Relationally physical and spiritual change happens through these feasts; the earthly body, that looks like mankind, is being changed into the image of Jesus Christ. We will “grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ,” and we will “Lay aside the old self, which is corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.” (Ephesians 4:15, 22-24)

If we, as believers, will have new bodies, new “structures”, why wouldn’t the Church also transform into a new structure? If your temple (“Do you not know that your body is a temple (tabernacle) of the Holy Spirit?” (I Corinthians 6:19)) is going to be “renovated” or “renewed”, why wouldn’t the Church also experience renovation called “revival”? A new body! A new structure! A metamorphosis of newness, so we as individuals and corporately as the Body of Christ can fly, soar, into the heavenlies with the Godhead for eternity.

 “Now on the last day, the great day of the feast (of Booths), Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” (John 7:37-39)

Jesus announced openly in Herod’s Temple about the Holy Spirit. It would be the same thing he offered the Samaritan woman at the well, “from the innermost being will flow rivers of living water.” Jesus was offering them transformational relationships. “Jesus answered, “My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me. If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself. He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who is seeking the glory of the One who sent Him, He is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.” (John 7:16-18)


Apostolic Vision: Deurteronomy 16:16

Why Should/Shouldn’t My Church Embrace Change? Part XXXXII

The apostolic point of view sees the Church as a whole in God’s divine plan. The Old Testament usually outlines the foundation for godly principles, and the New Testament usually fulfills them through Jesus. An Old Testament scripture that sets the stage to reveal God’s divine plan for Israel, the kingdom of God, and the Priesthood of believers is Deuteronomy 16:16: “Three times in a year all your males shall appear before the Lord your God in the place which He chooses, at the Feast of Unleavened Bread and at the Feast of Weeks and at the Feast of Booths, and they shall not appear before the Lord empty-handed.”

One can understand his passage and its meaning through the different feasts which reveal truths pertaining to the history of Israel, the birth of the New Testament Church, through the life of Jesus, and through the establishment of the kingdom of God.

Old Testament History of Israel:

All are called to “appear before the Lord your God in the place which He chooses” for “the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Passover/Pesach) and at the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost/Shavuot) and at the Feast of Booths (Sukkot).” During Passover/Pesach the angel of death “passed over” all the doorpost where lamb’s blood was smeared, saving the firstborn inside from death. This event allowed Israel to leave 500 years of slavery to “pass through” the Red Seas and the Wilderness of Sin to the Promise Land. Pentecost/Shavuot celebrates Moses receiving the written Word on Mount Sinai. The Feast of Booths/Sukkot commemorates 40 years of wandering through the dessert while living in temporary shelters in preparation for entering into the Promise Land. It also celebrates the ingathering of the harvest.

New Testament Church:

To the Church, Passover is when Jesus became the sacrificial lamb whose blood was shed to cover the sins of the world. He would be God’s living Word given to the Church, so when he ascended back to the Father, He would send the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, birthing and baptizing his church with power as the Rhema Word, the living Word, to prepare it for the Feast of Booths when the Groom, Jesus, would return for His Bride, the Church, for an ingathering of saints.

The Life Of Jesus:

Jesus is the fulfillment of all three of these festivals: “the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Passover) and at the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost) and at the Feast of Booths. Jesus fulfilled Passover as the Sacrificial Lamb, dying for the sins of the world. He would fulfill Pentecost by becoming the Living Word that dwelt among man and send the Holy Spirit to empower his believers. Finally, through the Feast of Booths, Jesus will return for a glorified Church, harvesting, ingathering his saints, the Church.

Christian Believers:

All who are Christians are called to “appear before the Lord your God in the place which He chooses” for “the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Passover) and at the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost) and at the Feast of Booths.” These feasts are decisive experiences with Jesus during the lifetime of a believer. He must face Jesus as his Savior, Passover, accept Him as his Lord, Pentecost, be willing to give all up, even his physical body, to be with Him in heaven throughout eternity.

The Kingdom of God:

The Kingdom of God is about spiritual growth of a believer. Martin Luther defined Passover as “justification by faith.” Because of what Jesus did on the Cross, God views us ‘just as if we never sinned.”  Pentecost is the spiritual growth called “sanctification” - “until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ….. we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ.” (Ephesians 4:13,15) Jesus appeared with a glorified body to the twelve after his resurrection. We, too, will celebrate the Feast of Booths by having glorified bodies when we physically die and go to be with Jesus throughout eternity, a process called glorification.


The Art Of Governing the Church

Why Should/Shouldn’t My Church Embrace Change? Part XXXX

Isaiah prophesied,  “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6) Really, what form of government is resting on his shoulders? Church government? If so, What is that to look like?

The secular political world is all about power and control. Agreement is rare, compromise is common, fighting and squabbling the norm. Corruption hangs around the corner awaiting opportunity, and position and titles are important, yet all claim to be “public servants”.  Today’s church government is patterned after the secular, for men are given titles, positions called offices, and claim to be servants to their congregation. Some churches are congregational where members hold the power, other churches have elder boards, and still others have strong senior pastors with full authority. Since churches are institutions, they are governed by secular guidelines, their own bi-laws, and legal paperwork to remain tax-exempt. The first century church was not governed this way.

The first century Church was governed by consensus among believers as peers in Jesus Christ. Consensus does not mean 100% agreement nor majority rule where 49% still disagree. Consensus was when every believer was willing to lay down his personal agenda and lay down their lives to serve one another allowing the Holy Spirit to guide the Church.

The Holy Spirit led the first century Church into accepting” diversity by making all believers peers in Christ. “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28) Today’s church can no longer segregate itself by sex, race, title, economic status, or denominations. It has to learn to “accept” one another, not be judgmental.

In the five fold, no one person governs, the whole body does by trusting the Holy Spirit and each other. The “government rests on His shoulders.” Ironically, the Holy Spirit is not above” believers in a pyramidal paradigm, but indwells each believer. Gods Spirit is among His people for a consensus from the heart. If Church leadership is linear, every believer serves beside his brethren as an equal peer. No one stands alone or above others. All are “to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.” (Ephesians 4:15-16) That is how the Church governs itself; through body ministry.

Headship does not mean being “over” others, but beside one another as peers. Even in marriage, Eve came from Adam’s side, not his head or foot. Figuratively, they are joined at the hip! I believe that it is God’s will for believers to be “suitable helpers” (Genesis 1:24) as a wife is to her husband in order to be “one flesh” in the Body of Christ. If you are willing to ”lay down our lives for the brethren” and serve one another, people will naturally follow you, making you a leader.

Paul did not serve and govern the first century church alone. He had Barnabas, Timothy, Silas, Mark, Pricilla & Aquila, Tychicus, Onesimus, Aristarchus, Luke, Demas, Nympha, Archippus, Epaphroditus, Apollos, and many others who stood by him. Church leadership should be pluralistic. Ruling or lording over others creates church politics. Ruling by serving one another as a peer, as a brother and sister in the Lord, brings life. Life creates an organism. Properly governing the Church through Christ-like relationships is the only way the church will restore itself from being an organization to again being an organism. That is why the 21st century Church must address a new mindset of governing itself.


Are Millennials Vertical Or Horizontal?

Why Should/Shouldn’t My Church Embrace Change? Part XXXVIII

The current church leadership style of being built on pyramidal titles, positions, and professions can be a challenge to Millennials who are looking for linear relationships built on peer acceptance as equals. Millennials are not impressed with pyramidal leadership that has built organizations and institutions but are not effective in developing meaningful, intimate relationships as peers.

The perks of a pyramidal structure as a chance for advancement, providing a good health care plan or a secure retirement system are not as appealing to Millennials as finding relationships who will stand beside you, defend you, lead you, and walk out life with you personally. Why should they trust a Health Care System they are financing, a burdensome pension system they are paying for, and a Higher Education System that places them in deep debt without the promise of a job, or a banking system that pays them no interest on their savings but massive interest rates on using credit cards? When they come to church, why would they not be skeptical of yet another pyramidal scheme? They always lose! Is church just another institution that they have to finance? The pyramidal system benefits those on top at the expense of those below them. The investors are more important than the workers. Millennials are looking for meaningful relationships that will benefit them, not just being the base of a system financing the top.

Millennials are also facing an ethical and moral clash with older generations. Millennials are just trying to survive economically; so living with a roommate of another sex to pay the rent is no big deal. They aren’t looking for formal commitments, just the need to be “accepted”. Being “in a relationship” is important to a Millennial, but not necessarily a marriage relationship. Millennials are being conditioned to take care of themselves, since pyramidal institutions will not take care of them. It is more important to a Millennial to complete high school, get a college education, even if it puts them deep in debt, so they can get a well paying job, and establish a career before thinking of having children, a family, or getting married. Since they aren’t committing to marriage until later, they are sexually active longer as singles, which has produce a generation filled with single mothers, unwed couples, and dead-beat dads.

Before previous generations throw stones at Millennials, I ask, “Why would they embrace marriage when there are more divorces than successful marriages among their parents and peers?” Marriage looks like another institution that has failed them! To them birthing children does not equate to forced “shot gun” marriages, nor does having children outside marriage carry the same negative stigma it once had. The Puritanical days of having a “bastard” child as in The Scarlet Letter is history. Amazingly, the unchurched Millennial is not as judgmental about each other as their churched parents and grandparents are.

If secular and religious institutions have failed Millennials, what does the church have to do to draw them back into its fold? Answer: Accept them for whom they are, where they are unconditionally. Jesus always used unconditional love and grace, not the religious Law. They are looking for genuine relationships, not superficial structures. They are looking for people to walk beside them, not lord over them.

Millennials are looking for someone who is willing to step up, step forward, step beside them through loving relationships of service to fulfill Mathew 15:35-40:

“For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’”

Secular institutions have not fulfilled Mellennial’s needs; they have failed them. It is time for the Church, not as an institution but through personal relationships, to step up and serve, accept, win them to Jesus, and equip, nurture, and care for them in an effort to mature them into the image and fullness of Jesus Christ! That is the mission of the Ephesians 4 Church!


Digging Deeper, What Lies Deep Inside

 Why Should/Shouldn’t My Church Embrace Change? Part XXXIII

The Williamsport High School band in Williamsport, Pennsylvania is known as the Millionaires because Williamsport once housed an abundance of millionaires, but when hard times hit, the historic luster of its Victorian wooden mansions diminished. Today new life and wealth has again sprung back because of the treasure that lay beneath their surface: natural gas. If dug deep enough, gas will arise, and life has returned to Williamsport.

John 4:7-26, the story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman, is a powerful passage about digging deep and what can be found under the surface.

“Jews have no dealings with Samaritans,” yet Jesus asks this Samaritan woman to draw water for him at the historic Jacob’s well. She dig’s deep questioning him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask me for a drink? Sir, You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep; where then do You get that living water? You are not greater than our father Jacob, are You, who gave us the well, and drank of it himself and his sons and his cattle?”

Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”

 The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, so I will not be thirsty nor come all the way here to draw.” 

The water that gives eternal life is the water that she desires, but Jesus wants her to dig deep into her well to discover what is there instead. Prophetically, he reveals what is deep in her historical past. “You have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband.” 

 “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet,” so she digs even deeper, “Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.” 

Because of her digging, she has struck gold. Jesus reveals more of himself. “Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

She believes the validity that he truly is a prophet, but she is willing to dig even deeper as she continues, “I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us.”

She has dug deep enough to discover the source of the well as Jesus reveals his true identity that he has not even revealed to his intimate disciples.

“I who speak to you am He.”

Sometime, to find the answers, the treasures, the sources of life, we just need to dig deeper.


Consensus and Accountability

 Why Should/Shouldn’t My Church Embrace Change? Part XXXI

The first century church was governed by consensus as recorded in Acts 15. At the Council in Jerusalem, the Church came to a consensus over the “gentile question.” They agreed that gentiles received the same Holy Spirit as they did and were a part of the Body of Christ. There would be no room for divisions or classes in Christ’s kingdom. Peer brethren were sent to verbally proclaim their consensus and blessing. The apostles did not dictate or manipulate the outcome; they allowed the Holy Spirit to work among the brethren which brought a consensus, a unity, a positive move forward.

In the kingdom of God, accountability does not come from the top down from leadership that demands unquestionable submission to their authority, but instead is a body ministry of believers standing beside one another, taking the lead or adding support through their strengths and talents. Leadership is from a linear plane of being peers, equals in Jesus who accept and receives from one another. Unlike pyramidal structures were decisions are often dictatorial, leadership is consensual. It is not being “told” what to do, but to willingly give what you have for the common good. Apathy becomes archaic as every believer is active in this giving and receiving process rather than be passive. A community is built as a living organism that produces life.

Respect does not come by being in an office with a title, but by being an accepting friend, a brother or sister who not only is willing to stand beside you and with you through the good and bad times of your life, but who is willing to lay down their life for you in spite of who or what you are. If Jesus is your Lord and Savior, you are my equal, my peer, in Christ! Respect comes through service, and the five fold is all about serving.

Accountability to an organization is dictated by position and office. The question is always, “Who are you under, who are you accountable to, who is the authority above you?” Basically they are asking what leadership do you have “over” you, as if that authority is your protective umbrella.

Accountability to an organism is built on peer relationships. Their question is “Who accepts you as an equal by walking beside you in your journey? Who is protecting your back? Who is walking before you in the lead? Who are you surrounded by who will nurture, care, teach, and fellowship with you on a daily basis in practical ways? That is linear.


The Accountability Round Table: Hypothetical Situation


Why Should/Shouldn’t My Church Embrace Change? Part XXX

Recognizing that today’s church is one of the most segregated institutions, your five fold group asks, “Since we live in a community that is multi-cultural, how can we get believers of different races and cultures to worship and fellowship together?”

The evangelist pipes up, “That’s easy. They all just need Jesus. Let’s introduce each and every person in our community to Jesus. It is that simple. (The evangelist’s limited point of view sees only the lost in need of Jesus, spiritual birth.)

The believer with a shepherding heart comments, “The challenges lie in how we care and nurture in the context of different cultures, social norms, and traditions. I’ve experienced a White church that started Sunday services mid-morning, while the Black churches arrived an hour later, and it took another hour just to get it rolling! The Hispanic church didn’t even think of starting until noon or later. How are we going to integrate these cultures and worship styles together?” (The shepherd’s limited point of view is his concern for spiritual growth.)

The teacher interjects, “What really matters is their need to get grounded in the Word, the Bible, and truth will work itself out. One has to know what they believe, and that knowledge will be unifying. We will have to make the Logos Word an active Rhema Word that touches their daily lives, no matter what culture.” (The teacher focus is on the Word.)

The prophet shakes his/her head, “Drawing all men to Jesus is the answer. If people focus on Jesus, their focus on cultural traditions will be diminished. The Holy Spirit speaks all languages, earthly and heavenly, so we must teach all our believers to listen to the Holy Spirit for themselves, He will direct our path.”” (The prophet’s point of view is to spiritually draw near to God and seek His will.)

The believer with an apostolic leaning has been quiet, listening, validating each person’s voice while listening to the Holy Spirit for wisdom, understanding, insight, and guidance. The apostle’s vision is for an united family under the headship of Jesus, but can not attain that unless the other four are “on board” with him. (Networking is the apostle’s passion.) He begins, “I hear us saying Jesus has to be central in this endeavor. He has to be the creator who births this project. Jesus, as a Jew, also reached out to gentiles like the Samaritan woman at the well, and Peter who had to experience the vision that ‘what was unclean is now clean,’ meaning the Church must be inclusive, so how do we get each culture to accept one another in Jesus? Can we trust the Holy Spirit to speak in any language? He did at Pentecost! We may first have to meet around a table, the Lord’s Table, to eat together. There just may be grits, beans, and rice served with our cheeseburgers. The Lord wants us to not only draw near to Him, but also to each other. As we ‘accept’ one another no matter what sex, race, nationality, culture, passion, or point of view, the more ‘receptive’ we will be towards each other.

To my evangelistic brother/sister, I ask, ‘How can we birth this multicultural endeavor?’ To my pastoral shepherd friend, ‘What cultural experiences can we have to break down barriers, then instead of building new structures or barriers, build meaningful relationships between us? How can we build one another up by walking beside each other? Finally what will it take to get us to a point where we are willing to die for one another?’ To my teaching brethren I ask, ‘What will it take to make a Logos Word a multi-cultural Rhema Word, where we are all of the same race because we have been transformed into the image and likeness of Christ?’ To my prophetic friends, I ask, ‘What is the Holy Spirit telling you individually and corporately, so that we may be obedient to His will and His way?’”


The Accountability Cycle

Why Should/Shouldn’t My Church Embrace Change? Part XXIX

The five fold accountability circle forces each participant to serve one another while receive from one another. Because it can circulate, no one gifting is top dog, but any of the five may arise to lead when needed with the other four in a supportive role.  The giving and receiving from one another prevents believers from becoming passive and brings life back into the organism.

But the critics cry, “Who’s in charge? Where does the buck stop?" Being in charge to them means someone being “responsible” at the top of the pyramidal structure of leadership. That is not so with the five fold. In the five fold, trusting the “Spirit of Jesus Christ” is mandatory. The five fold will fail if any of the five doesn’t put their trust in the Holy Spirit, for He is in charge.

“Trusting one another” as peer believers in spite of our diversity is compulsory. Instead of arguing over differences, being defensive, becoming aggressively defiant to other Christian sects, the church needs to extend grace, mercy, trust, and acceptance to one another as peers, equals, needed parts of the Body.

In this circle of faith, if you can’t trust your spiritual brother/sister in Christ to your lift or right or across the table, who can you trust? Being one in Jesus as peers is the only way to create unity.

When it comes to leadership, how does this wheel of service work? Isn’t the apostle to be “at the top” as the “overseer”? No! The being an apostle is not a position, title, or an office; no one is “above” the other. The apostle IS NOT an administrator, a management consultant, a C.E.O., a President, or a Chairman of the Board. He is just a peer to other believers who just so happens to have the passion, vision, and point of view to see the big picture of the Church as a whole and the knowledge of its parts and how they work together.  Anyone of the five could “lead” according to how their passion, gifting, or point of view addresses a need or situation that the five together are facing. When another person feels his passion is needed, the wheel can rotate so that they take the lead and the others follow supplementing his work. It doesn’t matter what direction the wheel rotates, so any of the five can rise to lead with the others giving support to meet the current need of the group.


The Shepherd Connection


Why Should/Shouldn’t My Church Embrace Change? Part XXVII

Let’s examine how the shepherd can relate to the evangelist, teacher, prophet, and apostle to bring maturity to individual Christian growth and unity to the Body of Christ. Strong relationships are reciprocal, so lets see what the shepherd can give to the others and receive from them and why they need each other.

Shepherd/Teacher: The shepherd and teacher can work hand in hand because their focus is on “maturing” the saint into the image of being a  godly, Christ-like person. This faith journey must be grounded in the Logos Word, the Bible, yet lived out in practical everyday life as a living Rhema Word. Who better to walk out this new life with a shepherd than a teacher? Since “all things are new” when being born again, a teacher is necessary to instill Biblical principals as a foundation. A convert who has a shepherd on one side and a teacher on the other walking with him is a fortunate person. The five fold can offer that!

Shepherd/Prophet: When facing the challenges of everyday life, one can lose focus and be distracted. The shepherd works daily with a a new convert’s spiritual walk, but the prophet keeps one’s focus on God, his Son, Jesus, and through the Holy Spirit. The shepherd teaches one to walk with God; the prophet teaches one to hear from God through the voice of the Holy Spirit. The more righteous the walk, the more obedience to the voice is required, the more mature a Christian becomes into the image of Jesus. The shepherd and prophet need one another in their own practical daily walks and spiritual journeys.

Shepherd/Apostle: Even with all the nurturing that you have received, did you ever ask how you “fit” into the picture of your local church or the Church as a whole? As the shepherd works with your development toward becoming a “mature” believer in Jesus, the apostle specializes in networking the pieces together, seeing over what the Holy Spirit is doing in each believer’s personal life and the life of the Church as a whole. As the convert grows, the apostle “sees over” the walk he had with his shepherd and networks him with other teachers and prophets. The apostle doesn’t control the sheep nor tells the shepherd what to do, but he “serves” them to assure the growth of the sheep and the spiritual health of the shepherd.


The Evangelist Connection


Why Should/Shouldn’t My Church Embrace Change? Part XXVI

Let’s examine how the evangelist can relate to the shepherd, teacher, prophet, and apostle to bring maturity to individual Christian growth and unity to the Body of Christ. Strong relationships are reciprocal, so lets see what the evangelist can give to the others and receive from them and why they need each other.

Evangelist/Shepherd: An evangelist’s strength is in birthing. His passion is for the lost to find their way into the kingdom of God. Nurturing and caring for new converts is his weakness because his passion drives him toward winning the lost. Every evangelist needs a shepherd beside him whose strength is to nurture, guide, care, and “parent” these new converts in their faith journey. Since the sheep may get sick, wonder off, or even die, it is mandatory for the shepherd to be available 24/7 for his sheep. Personally, an evangelist needs a shepherd to speak advice into their own personal life to temper their zeal. The shepherd, on the other hand, needs the evangelist’s zeal to motivate his own life.

Evangelist/Teacher: An evangelist needs a teacher to ground his personal ministry in the Logos Word, the Bible. If it isn’t scriptural, it’s questionable. Also the teacher can make the Logos Word real by making it a Rhema living Word, applicable to everyday life, not just theological. This is to prevent new believers from becoming Pharisees, followers of institutionalized, structural, lifeless religion. Jesus was severely critical of Pharisees. A teacher needs an evangelist to keep his faith fresh, active, and alive. An evangelist needs a teacher to walk with him through his daily faith journey. Their passions are necessary to keep a believer in Jesus a living organism.

Evangelist/Prophet: To prevent legalism, the evangelist needs a prophet whose passion is to draw near to God. Rather than relying on programs and events, the evangelist needs to rely on the Holy Spirit to produce creative, relevant ways to share the gospel to win the lost. Personal prophecy can be an effective evangelistic tool as Jesus demonstrated with the Samaritan woman at the well. Words of wisdom and knowledge can be beneficial to winning the lost.  Since the evangelist majors in birthing, who better to work with than a prophet who majors in the spiritual. Prophetic evangelism could revolutionize the way the Church does ministry.

Evangelist/Apostle: An evangelist has a narrow view of seeing only a lost and dying world that need Jesus. An apostle sees the big picture, the Church as a whole. The apostle sees birthing as only the beginning of a process towards maturity in Jesus, so he directs new converts to the right brothers or sisters to be nurtured, cared, taught, and spiritually guided. An apostle needs an evangelist to birth vision and projects the group as a whole will develop.


King Authur, Camelot, and the Five Fold

Why Should/Shouldn’t My Church Embrace Change? Part XXV

The best way for me to understand the interaction of the five fold is to be a romanticist and travel back to the days of King Arthur and his round table in Camelot. When sitting around the round tables, all the knights were considered as equal, even to Arthur, when united. As long as they were willing to die for one another they remained united and stood strong. As soon as one knight felt strong enough to stand alone and oppose the others, the coalition would crumble into disarray.

That is also the picture of the Church historically who claims to be one body but has had a myriad of disapproving knights who have opposed the rest, bringing disarray and division to the Church. If there is such diversity and strong will among its ranks, how is the Church to keep the bond of peace and its commitment toward one another?

The Five Fold Round Table: ”For the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ…..  from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love. (Ephesians 4:12,13,16) The purpose of the five fold is to birth, build, and release a mature man in the image of Christ while uniting the Church. It addresses both individual and the corporate growth of the Church. In the upcoming blogs we will examine how the five can function relationally in practical ways, by supporting, encouraging, and releasing their passions through service to one another while receiving them reciprocally. This is the plan that can effectively draw the five fold into one.



Accountability Through Relationships

 Why Should/Shouldn’t My Church Embrace Change? Part XXIV 

How can five distinctly different passions that brought division and sectarianism to the Church for centuries now be the glue to bring unity? That is a valid question. Like most of the gospel, the answer is simple: through relationships!

The five fold is about people, believers in Jesus, with different passions for service with different mindsets and points of view who are willing to “accept” one another as equal peers in Jesus by laying down their lives for one another. The five fold is about being in a committed relationship.

The twelve disciples were different individuals from different background with different passions, giftings, and personalities who even fought among themselves. During a crucial time of transition between Jesus’ death and resurrection and Pentecost, they did not abandon ship but trusted Jesus’ words to “Not leave Jerusalem, but wait for what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” (Acts 1:4-5) They remained together and bonded into a committed relationship, a committed community. Once the Holy Spirit fell on them, they became different individuals with different passions but with the same unifying message: Jesus!

To understand the five fold, you must understand the vertical and perpendicular planes of the Cross. The vertical plane is God’s redemptive relationship “with” mankind (John 3:16); the horizontal plane is God’s redemptive plan “between” mankind (I John 3:16). If you do not have a proper relationship with the Godhead and a proper relationship between believing brethren, you have hay, wood, and straw, which will perish. If your relationship with the Godhead and your believing brethren has been redeemed through Jesus, you have streets of gold; you have eternity. Without these proper relationships, the five fold will not exist because the five fold is about the right passions, drives, and point of views that bring us together, equip us, and matures us in Jesus. Each is an extension of how we see Jesus, what passions we have to serve Jesus, and our mindsets of how we understand and experience Jesus.

How are believers with five different persuasions to unite in Jesus? By laying down their lives through serving one another, giving to one another, while receiving from one another. Strong relationships are reciprocal. Up to now the five have attempted to stand alone, often competing against one another producing thousands of Christian denominations and sects producing a fragmented Church. To have an united Church, the five will need to bond through “serving” those diverse passions as equal peers in Jesus! The strength of one is probably the weakness of the others, so each needs to support, encourage, and stand side by side so their weaknesses diminish and their strength as a whole produces unity in the Body of Christ, the Church.

In the upcoming blogs we will examine how the five fold works in a practical way, releasing each passion in believers to serve, yet be accountable to the other four. 


What is this Priesthood of Believers?


Why Should/Shouldn’t My Church Embrace Change? Part XIII

 The Priesthood of Believers is all about the “priesthood,” the body of Christ as a whole, the Church, not the priest, the individual believer. The organism is more important than the individual components. It is a community of faith composed of God’s people as equal peers who give and receive from one anther. Jesus Christ is its High Priest, and it is lead by the Holy Spirit. It is a diverse group of people with different giftings, drives, passions, and points of view who still can come to a consensus because they are willing to lay down their lives for one another.

The Priesthood of Believers has no divisive classes or domineering hierarchal leadership structure since it is linear relational. Accountability comes through the giving and receiving through peer relationships. Respected leadership is earned by one’s willingness to lead when walking ahead, protect when covering one’s back, and encourage and reassure when walking beside another believer.

Why is the principle of the Priesthood of Believers so important to revival? The Priesthood of Believers is all-inclusive, all believers in Jesus Christ. Acts 2:16-18 states: ”But this is what was spoken of old through the prophet Joel: ‘It shall be in the last days,’ God says, ‘That I will pour forth of My Spirit on all mankind; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams;  Even on My bondslaves, both men and women, I will in those days pour forth of My Spirit and they shall prophesy."

God is “pouring forth My Spirit” on a lot of different people: “on all mankind, your sons and your daughters, your young men, your old men, even My bondslaves, both men and women". The Priesthood of Believes is an inclusive group through Jesus Christ. There are no class distinctions, sexual preferences, or elite groups. God’s Spirit is not just on the clergy, the professional, the ordained, or the privileged, but is IN “all mankind” who profess Jesus Christ, the Priesthood of Believers! Revival happens at the grass root level.

The five fold is five diverse passions and points of view, when evoked separately, can be divisive and destructive, but when given and received as encouragement and support can be powerful tools bringing Christian maturity and unity to the body of Christ. When believers recognize their five fold giftings, they cannot “outsource” them to another. Every believer is responsible for what he has been given. There is no room for passivity.

A church unwilling to abolish the clergy/laity divide will not be receptive to the five fold as a grass root believers’ movement. They will want to retain their titles and offices while accusing the laity of not submitting to their authority. A church willing to end to its clergy/laity divide and willing to submit to the Holy Spirit as its authority will be willing to embrace a cocoon stage and be open to transition.

If God’s people are the Church, then God’s Holy Spirit must work through all of them, not just a select few. All of God’s people are called to respond to the Holy Spirit. That responsive, all-inclusive group of believers in Jesus Christ is the Priesthood of Believers.



The Clash Of Cultures: Traditions or Relationships


Why Should/Shouldn’t My Church Embrace Change? Part VII

A friend of mine wished to host a Biker BBQ in a church parking lot as an outreach to the Biker community. Monies raised would support a Christian orphanage in Guatemala. His dilemma was the church’s “Sunday Worship Service” overlapped the time of his Biker BBQ.  The church at first embraced his endeavor having a “Biker Sunday” featuring a Harley Davidson motorcycle on the church platform. This exposed the clash of cultures as Christian bikers and church people participated in the church activities inside the building while the non-Christian bikers party hearty in the parking lot.

Why do churches feel you have to enter their culture before they will accept you? Why do Christians expect non-Christians to come into their unfamiliar church world rather than infiltrating the culture of the non-Christian? And they call this “outreach”? Only a handful of believers with an evangelistic passion were willing to skip “church” to serve chicken to the bikers and hang out with them, speak their language, and accept them for who they are, not what we, as Christians, wish them to be. Only after “church” was over did the church people filter to the parking lot to buy chicken, often sitting in their own clusters.

When is the institutional church going to realize that programs in their own facility is not the most effective way to evangelize the non-churched? One-one-one relationships built daily with friends, neighbors, and casual acquaintances in their familiar territories will build trust and open doors to share Jesus. Meeting them at their level is far more effective.

When Dr. Anthony Campolo of Eastern College spoke to a group in York, PA, he asked, “How many of you got saved through a mass Crusade, like Billy Graham’s?” One or two hands were raised. He continued, “How many of you were saved through radio or television?” Another couple hands were elevated. “How many through a church service? A dozen or so hands were raised. “How many of you met Jesus through one-on-one contact with another believer?” Eighty-five percent of those present raised their hands. The passion of individual believers to evangelize is far more effective than organized church programs. The organized church will spend a massive amount of money to support an evangelistic crusade program believing it is worth it if only one person gets saved. Common believers can do that daily at minimum cost just by building one-on-one relationships with people they know.

Maybe as a church we need to reexamine how we do evangelism. Only a change of mindset can take the church out of their culture into the world to be light and salt to it!


Is My Church Fluid Or Structured?


Why Should/Shouldn’t My Church Embrace Change? Part V

 Is my church fluid or structured?

I have a simple definition for worship: “Worship is giving back to Jesus what He has already given you.” We, as believers in Jesus Christ, are only stewards here on earth, so giving back to Jesus, worship, should come natural. Worship is the ebb and flow, the giving and receiving. The Holy Spirit receives from the Father and the Son and gives it away to the saints, the believers in Jesus Christ. Jesus, as a man, did the same while on earth as an act of worship to His Father. As believers we are to do the same.

Since we are free to worship anywhere at anytime, one does not need a formal structure or a designated place in order to worship. Unlike the organizational church structure where you are told when to stand, sit, sing, be reverent, pray, greet one another, give financially, take notes, listen to the sermon, respond through an altar call, and leave after the benediction, worship flows naturally among His people. If you are given an original song, sing it; a Biblical insight, teach it; a word from the Lord, prophecy it; an urge to pray for some one, lay hands on them, or give them a word of encouragement, just do it!  Obedience to the Holy Spirit is the key to being fluid.

The majestic mystery that drives a fluid service is found in the thread that is sewn through the tapestry of worship by the Holy Spirit who speaks with clarity. You can always find a message, theme, or lesson taught by the Holy Spirit, which brings awe, anticipation, excitement, and a reverence among those participating.  

A fluid service of worship builds and reinforces relationships, strengthens believers’ faith, and taps into the heart of the Father. That which is unseen that is birthed in faith and released among God’s people strengthens the Church. Jesus allowed Thomas, who doubted, to physically see and touch his wounds to boos his faith. That single act sealed their relationship for eternity.

Relationships among peer believers are also strengthened by being fluid. Confession to one another brings healings and repentance. The laying on of hands can produce powerful results, for the “touch of faith” can produce a powerful bond. God’s love flows through personal touches! That flow from the river of life is being fluid.

 In a fluid service, what the institutional church reserves for only the clergy can be done by any believer in Jesus. Any believer can participate in baptisms, share in communion, pray, and share the Word of faith with one another. It allows the flow of Jesus, the flow of the Holy Spirit, to bring life to the organism. It encourages the giving and receiving among the saints as a body called the Church. If brothers and sisters in the Lord are willing to “lay down your life for your brethren” (I John 3:16), then the flow of God’s love will administer to and threw his believers and become a natural thing to do.

There is life in being fluid that produces an expectancy, anticipation, and assurance that the Holy Spirit will speak, flow, and move! The organized church says, “No way!” to the saints being fluid fearing they may lose control, swing from the chandeliers, bark like dogs, fall on the floor, speak in tongues, etc. The organized church believes that stability can only be achieved through proper leadership being in control, so they stifle the flow among the saints in an effort to control. As the tap of control is tightened, the flow is reduced to a drip and finally one last drop.

So I ask, “Can you as a believer in Jesus Christ trust the Holy Spirit, or must you trust only the control of your church leadership?


What The Church Can Not Afford


Embracing the Five Fold– Part XVI


….. because we can not afford NOT to embrace the five fold and its benefits.

If the five fold is the passions, desires, and diverse points of view in the Body of Christ among its Priesthood of Believers that already exists in the Church, the Church can not afford to continue to be passive about ignoring these five giftings among its laity that is called to birth, care, nurture, and equip the saints for the works of service, then release them to serve!

Now is the time for the Church to again listen to the voice and leading of the Holy Spirit sent from the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ to teach the Church, his saints, all things.

Now is the time for transitioning from religious traditions to building functional peer relationships for support and accountability.

Now is a time of building up the Body of Christ as a Priesthood of Believers, peers in Jesus Christ, to have believers grow individually into the image of Jesus and corporately unifying the Body of Christ.

Now is a time for equipping through care, nurturing, teaching, and drawing near to the Father; then recognize the time for releasing.

Now is the time to realize the need for some serious structural changes in the way we do and govern the Church by continually building relationships.

The present church cannot afford to continue to enable its laity and still expect them to be active. It cannot afford to keep the laity passive when they are to be salt and light to the world. It must not only recognize the clergy/laity divide, which is not Biblical, but begin to embrace one another as peers in the Priesthood of Believers.

The present church must also realize that it cannot be faithful to its traditions if it wants to embrace change, revival, and unity. Radical Christianity demands new mindsets!

The 21st Century Church needs to invest in its people, the saints, not in its staff, the paid professionals. God invested in His people through the shedding of Jesus’ blood on the Cross. If believers in Jesus Christ have been called to lay down their lives for their brethren, then the 21st Century Church has got to start having its leadership be tolerant of other Christian camps and begin accepting and embracing one another, supporting one another, equipping one another, and releasing one another in their spiritual journeys with Jesus.

It is time for the Church to again embrace the Holy Spirit for its guidance, wisdom, and teachings., a time to again trust the Holy Spirit, and a time to learn how to trust one another.

If the 21st Century Church is in a time of transition, it’s people cannot afford to remain passive, stagnant, and inactive, for now is the time for “Acts”-tion, the returning to when the Church was alive, active, challenging through change, and influencing the world for Jesus.

Church, let’s embrace change, transition, redevelopment, a retooling, a revamping, a regenerating, responding to the call and voice of the Holy Spirit in individual Christian development as each believers strives to be more Christ-like, and the church becomes unified.

Church, let’s admit the five fold is already among us, part of our spiritual DNA make up. We can afford to embrace the five fold because! Jesus paid the price, now are we willing to pay the price of "laying down our lives for the brethren"? 

Let’s do it!


If Taking Care Of Others Is Mandatory…..


Now What? How To Maintain the “Organism”– Part XIV


….. because it requires us to be our brother’s keeper through service and love.


In the previous blog we have established that taking care of others is mandatory in the kingdom of God. Jesus, his disciples, the early Church, and the Church today has been commissioned to take care of others. Serving others is central to the gospel! The parable of the sheep and the goats in Matthew 25:31-46 paints a picture of judgment as hanging on the balance of those who serve and those who don’t.

“How do you serve others without having it become an institution later on down the road?” has been a questioned asked by the church for centuries. How do you keep the Church as an organism, a living being, from becoming an organism, institutionally structured? Answer: By keeping it simple by everyone serving each another.

If we can get past the mentality that the five fold is NOT about offices, titles, and positions in the church, but passions, drives, and points of view of individual believers in Jesus Christ, we can begin to understand this simplicity.

If a believer has a passion, is driven, to win the lost for Christ, he is filled with life through rebirth. We, the Church, need to nurture that life by equipping it, encouraging it, then releasing it with the support of the other diversely different giftings and passions the Body of Christ has to offer. An evangelist’s single vision, driving passion, is to win the lost, to bring birth and new birth. Seeing the big picture of the entire Church, like that of an apostle, is too overwhelming for him/her. He/She doesn’t even think about nurturing the “newborn” in Christ, nor how the “newborn” needs fed on the Word of God, nor how to teach them to hear the voice of God on their own. They immediately look for more who are lost, so they can be found. More who are spiritually dead, so they can have a new birth in Jesus Christ.

Since the Church is composed of people, Believers in Jesus, who are evangelistic, nurturing, teaching, prophetic, and apostolic, it can effectively serve others to meet any need that the Holy Spirit brings before them without forming an organization. They are an organism who just “does it” out of obedience to the Holy Spirit! Any one of the five can rise when needed with the support of the other four. Jesus never founded nor formed an “institution” called the church, he just equipped and empowered a small group of individual believers whom He released together through the power and leading of His Holy Spirit who would change the world. That’s the Jesus way!

Jesus equipped them with spiritual gifts, the five fold passions, authority, and the power of the Holy Spirit and released them to make the Logos Word a “Rhema” Word, just as He did when He ministered on earth. That “living organism” is the Church! It is all about “living”: living relationships as a living organism experiencing a resurrected life that is alive in Jesus Christ! It is that simple.

Rather than flow with the life of the organism, that is the leading of the Holy Spirit through the use of spiritual gifts and five fold passions, man chose to organize structurally, eventually creating institutions. Organizational institutions kill the simplicity of the simple truth that individual believers, themselves, yet together, must serve, serve, serve others! It is not an option; it’s mandatory! That is how the Church should function.


Being Your Brothers Keeper Is A Requirement


Taking Care Of One Another In the Body of Christ – Part XIII


….. because it requires us to be our brother’s keeper through service and love.


Genesis 4: 8 Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.”[d] While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him. 9 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” “I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

Ever since the time of the fall of man through sin, man has refuted, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Man has become self-centered, taking care of number one, oneself.  Even in the church today, though unspoken, the question remains, “Am I my brother’s keeper,” especially if my brother is not from my local congregation, sect, or denomination, or even if he is not a Christian.

But the Bible says, “I John 3:16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”

Taking care of others is mandatory in the kingdom of God. One of Jesus’ last acts on earth was to take care of his mother, Mary, a widow, giving her to John even though he had several brothers and sisters.  The early Church created deacons to “serve” widows, orphans, and the poor. When Jesus spoke to the 5,000, he didn’t leave them hungry but fed them. His first miracle was water into wine at a wedding. When he saw a mother whose only child had died, he raised her. Serving others was central to Jesus’ ministry.

Serving others is the keystone to the five fold. Each individual gifting is not to isolate itself in its gifting from the other diverse giftings in the Body, but serve and support the other four. The giftings of birthing, nurturing, caring, teaching through daily life, drawing nearer to god and hearing his voice, and working together as a family are all gifts for the purpose of serving each other. Every believer in Jesus needs an evangelist, a shepherd, a teacher, a prophet, and an apostle around him to help him/her grow and mature spiritually into the image of Jesus Christ and to bring unity to the corporate Body of Christ.

Unlike Cain who murdered his brother then tried to justify his actions, IJohn 3:16 exhorts us to lay down our lives for our brother just as Jesus laid down his life for us in order to expose the gospel.

The Church is a community of believers, not an organized institution. Faith is when individual believers just lay their hands on the sick who become healed rather than building huge health conglomerates whose bottom line is finances. Service is giving a cup of water to a child or a stranger who is thirsty, not building a huge welfare system with food stamps.

Will you hear Jesus say, “Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in;  naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’  The righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink?  And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You?  When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’  The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.” (Matt. 25:34-40)

Taking care of others is mandatory in the kingdom of God.