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    CHURCH: Where is our focus?

    Church: Where Is Our Focus?

    The early church's focus when they came together was not so much on one person doing all the talking, although at times this might have been the case. However, when one did talk, if, while he was talking, another receives revelation from what he said, that one with the revelation was allowed to share what they saw. Discussion was also encouraged. In fact, every person in attendance was encouraged to share what God has given to them and not just sit passively listening only. Let's look how the scripture says of what they did:
    1 Corinthians 14:26 (NKJV)
    Order in Church Meetings
    26 How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.
    Each one was expected to have something that would be of benefit to the rest. If tongues, then an interpreter was required. If prophecy, then two, three or more would prophesy in turn. The overall focus was NOT on just one man or just one woman speaking but the entire focus was on what the Holy Spirit was saying. In this, they all could hear and they all could express what it was they heard. In this way, everyone was able to hear and receive from a wide variety of sources. If anyone was not clear about what was shared, they were encouraged to ask. The attitude was that no one would be left behind in their understanding.

    Even more, they took the time to examine what was being said to be certain it was from God and discerned the spirits of those speaking lest the evil one come in their midst unawares. They were all encouraged to try the spirits to see if they were of God. Today, we listen to one person speak, listening passively, expected to agree with everything AND expected to understand with perfect understanding. Has anyone ever remembered such a thing while going to school? When I went to school. It was rare that everyone had full understanding of what was being taught. When the test was given, grades ranged from an "F" to an "A". This demonstrated that not all had the same capacity to fully understand what was being taught.

    Brethren, has much changed since we were all in school? Has everyone become suddenly, even miraculously smarter? Do we ALL understand what is being preached with perfect understanding? I tell you, NO, an emphatic NO! I have spoken to many believers after church and learned that their understanding of the message and its application varied wildly from a great grasp to those who simply were clueless.

    In the model of the New Testament, there were many who did not fully grasp the truth until they had a chance to ask what certain points meant. Even today, I correspond frequently with those who desire greatly to know the truth and see this truth operating in their lives but yet, they still have so many questions. How does this truth apply in this situation or that situation. Does this truth apply for everyone. What happens when it doesn't seem to work for me? Am I just a misfit?

    Unless we come together and have dialog, with everyone encouraged to participate, how then can we be assured that all will understand and be able to walk this walk of truth. Sure Holy Spirit was sent to lead us and guide us into all truth. What happens when some in our midst say they do not know His voice? We, as followers of Christ are supposed to know His voice but in reality, many confess today they do not know His voice. These have a better chance in a place where dialog is encouraged from the members than in a place that discourages such dialog.

    The question now begs, is church today the best we can do? Does it follow that biblical example? If no, then why not? What can we do to change it. How can we come together in such a way that each one who comes has something to offer to the rest. We are all called to be a member of this royal priesthood of believers. The bible even states that the fivefold ministry was given to the church for that express purpose, to raise up the body of Christ to a mature man where every joint supplies to the benefit of all. How will this occur if the body is not allowed to reach its full expression? How can this occur if the congregation's only participation is to listen passively and not allowed to ask questions or to share what revelation they received that can add to what is being spoken from the pulpit?

    Brethren, we CAN have dialog. I know many home cell groups are being run like mini churches services but perhaps this too can change. Let us come together to learn from one another. To glean that nugget of truth that each one has learned. To see a different perspective from our own. To see the other side of the coin instead of all agreeing there is only one side of the coin. If one comes and says that only 2 plus 8 equals 10, do we nod our heads in agreement without ever considering that their perspective may not be the only perspective? Could it be that 4 plus 6 could equal 10 as well? Or even 5 plus 5 can equal 10. Brethren, wouldn't it be more beneficial to everyone to be able to have the testimony of more than one in order to hear the many different perspectives and walk away with a broader appreciation of the manifold blessings of a God who is not limited in His creativity and has created such diversity of everything around us. Why then would He be limited when it comes to us, His children, and teach us only one perspective when He is far more capable to letting us see the truth from all angles?

    What I am NOT saying is that there is more ways to get to heaven than the one way that God has revealed. What I AM saying is that not everyone understands the truth in the same manner as they all come from a different perspective. The more we walk with Him, the more of these perspectives we will see. When I was young, I saw from the perspective of my inexperience and lack of knowledge but when I am old, then I see from the perspective of experience and a vastly greater knowledge. As we grow and we are not all in the same place in our growth, our perspective changes just as life's experiences have that tendency to change us. With each change in our lives, we do not see things quite the same way we saw them before. Experience has this affect on us. This is why KNOWN truth is better than truth in theory.

    Brethren, God wants the best for His children and withholds nothing from His kingdom to give to us all that is necessary for our growth and maturity. So, let us follow the example He has given in His word and allow the truth to be revealed from many witnesses, with each one speaking from their own level of experience and perspective. In this way, we may all grow and mature. Doing this, in the way that God has designed, we will grow up into Him with far greater and much sweeter fruit. A garden left unattended will not fare as well as one that receives constant attention. Let us be that well-watered and well-attended garden of The Lord. Let us gather together with each one giving that richness of His Spirit they have received so that all may hear and marvel at the goodness of The Lord. Let us all be inspired through the lives of our brethren and gather around those who are having difficulty, to support them. Let us all BE what God has called us to BE and let the world see for themselves how we love one another. This loving one another is our MOST ATTRACTIVE FEATURE. How can this be seen by others when we do not see this for ourselves, among ourselves? When we follow that which God has established, we shall find good success and receive much favor from The Lord. If we do not, then how can we expect God to pour out of His abundance to a body who refuses to do what He has established?

    Jerry Sundberg

    Soon after I received the Lord in 1976, I started receiving prophetic visions and warnings about the future of the church and the United States. I share my visions on my Hidden Manna websites and offer free of charge my two ebooks entitled “Hidden Manna” and “Hidden Manna 2”.

    Website: Hidden Manna

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