Kingdom thinking & inner theocracy

The kingdom of God is the only form of government that rules people from the inside out. Jesus announced: “The kingdom of God is within you.” Thus, the New Testament announces an inner theocracy and shows what it looks like when Jesus personally governs His followers from within.

When Christ came to establish God’s kingdom in the world, He didn’t use force. Instead, He surrendered to death on the cross. The kingdom of God does not force allegiance. It only rules in those who willingly submit to and freely obey its inner authority. Humility and brokenness (being poor in spirit) are the currency of the kingdom of God.

The kingdom of God cannot be established by earthly armies, religious authority, or physical power! Never substitute political opinion for humble obedience to the living Jesus and His spiritual revelation.

The kingdom of God is the only government that can save humanity. It is continually being offered to human beings and it’s King is always ready to rule in you, here and now. Will you submit your life to His government?  The Bible describes Christ-followers as citizens of Heaven and foreigners on earth. (See Phil. 3:20 & 1 Peter 2:11.)

The kingdom of God is revolutionary for it makes Christ’s inner government in human hearts, preeminent over all human governments. There is only one endless nation in the universe and that is the kingdom of God! All human governments are doomed to fail. They will all fall or fizzle or fade away.

However, if you will continually surrender your life to Christ’s inward government, the harmony of Heaven will freely flow from your soul forever. The music of the kingdom of God is a supernatural tune that God wants to play on your heart

To experience the kingdom of God you have to give up the kingdom of self. If the kingdom of God isn’t ruling in your heart, you won’t experience it anywhere else. However, when Christ-followers meet and let Jesus rule among them, glimpses of the supernatural kingdom of God can be seen on earth.

The body of Christ is called to be a theocracy where each member is directly led by the living Jesus! As a theocracy, where each citizen is led by Jesus, the body of Christ needs no hierarchy or bureaucracy. If a government is being administered by man, it isn’t a theocracy

Here is the organizational chart for the body of Christ: First: Jesus — CEO/Head of His body. Then all other Christ-followers are on the same lever, under Him. If the kingdom of God isn’t the highest ranking government in your life, you have denied God’s ultimate authority.

The kingdom of God can only be seen in the world, if individual people surrender themselves to Jesus and humbly obey Him. The kingdom of God is the best habitat for the human soul.

When the kingdom of God is within you, Heaven will radiate from you. The kingdom of God isn’t theological jargon. It’s the power of inner transformation!

As we have seen, Jesus announced the kingdom (the direct, inner government) of God, but somehow it morphed into the institutional church. The one-man sermon with passive listeners, church-format evolved over centuries.

Unfortunately, overly thought out and refined language lacks the power of the honest, open sharing of simple, heart-felt words. Thus, church often fails to give people an intimate awareness of the conscious presence of the living Jesus Christ. If church was more like going to the gym than like going to a lecture series, it could change the world!

Church puts more emphasis on what we hear preached than on how well we live. If we live badly, sermon-hearing matters little.

Religions look for God in temples, churches, synagogues, mosques, etc. But Jesus came to reconnect us to the everywhere God. Many people, although surrounded by the mysteries and glories of the universe, are unaware of the One who made it!

Making the body of Christ organizational or institutional or religious, disrupts its connection with its Head — the living Jesus. When only one part of the body of Christ is active and the rest are always expected to be passive listeners; that’s severe paralysis.

My faith in Christ was sparked by observation. I saw Him living and being the King in other people and then let Him be King in my own heart. Now I’m convinced of His reality! He runs things so well!

The kingdom of God is being continually offered to you. Have you offered yourself fully to the kingdom of God? People who surrender themselves to be governed by Christ are frequently persecuted by those who prefer to be governed by self.

Don’t box with God to protect your box! Let Him lift the lid off! The point of living is to get on point with God! Let God make His point in your life!

When you read the Bible, God, Himself, is speaking to you. Slow down and listen to His still, small voice in your heart. The Bible is full of testimonies of real people who were supernaturally transformed by God’s presence and kingdom.

Lives fall apart when people exterminate termites in their homes, but ignore the termites of the soul. No sin: no grace needed. Great sin: amazing grace needed. We all need God’s amazing grace! If we’re not getting on going glimpses of glory, we’re neglecting God’s great grace and His kingdom.

ONE quote poster

 

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Posted in brokenness, church, church organizational chart, grace, hierarchy, humility, inner flow, inner Light, inner prompting, inner rivers, inner teacher, King of Kings, kingdom come, kingdom of priests, kingdom values, kings and kingdoms, music, organizational chart, political power, political views, politics and religion, poor in spirit, sin, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Home again? Home again ecclesiology!

“Ecclesiology” is a big sounding word. It also has a really big sounding definition: “theology as applied to the nature and structure of the Christian Church.” However, Christianity didn’t begin as formal church (needing an academic course of study), tightly programmed and highly structured like churches of today.

In the beginning, Christians met mostly in private homes. This practice continued for about 300 years. Through out the New Testament you read about Christians meeting in private houses, however, church buildings are not even mentioned.

Why is that? The early Christian meetings were so free, spontaneous, and Spirit-led that they didn’t need fancy, institutionalized buildings or nonprofit organizations to function. Instead, those early Christian assemblies were gatherings where people learned to hear and obey the risen Jesus and then to minister to one another as He directed them. Everyone present had the freedom to open up and to really get to know what others were thinking and experiencing. (See 1 Corinthians 14:26.)

Jesus and others in the New Testament called those first-three-century Christian meetings, “ekklesias,” which is best translated as “assemblies,” not as “churches.” Ekklesia was also the name of the city council in ancient Greek city/states.

So what happened? Ekklesia (the Spirit-led, Christian assembly) gradually morphed into the institutional church (IC). Eventually the concept of prechurch ekklesia was mostly forgotten, and much of the amazing power of early, prechurch Christianity was lost! (I’m not making this up. Check out some quotes that back me up by famous theologian, Emil Brunner at this link.)

Would you like to get that early Christian power back in your life? And in worldwide Christianity? The book: ONE: Unfolding God’s Eternal Purpose From House To House shows how to do that. It is a step by step, practical “ecclesiology” of how Christ-followers can experience Jesus like never before, by going beyond formal church and beginning to assemble in home meetings led by the living Jesus.

You can read more about ONE (including book reviews) and/or get a copy in Kindle or paperback @ http://amzn.to/2C0iGqh. Or make a search for ONE by Henry Hon.

church one not knowing others

Posted in 1 Corinthians 14:26, alternative Christianity, alternative church, assembly of God, church history, early church, Henry Hon, house church, lost and restored, lost word of the Bible, New Testament church, ONE: Unfolding God's Eternal Purpose From House To House, rethink church, rethinking church, simple church, theologians, theology, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Super Bowl & Home Meetings!

Are you ready for the 52nd Super Bowl? LII. It’s almost time. A lot of people will be holding Super Bowl home meetings

I have my Eagles uniform ready. I like to wear the uniform of spiritual eagles: “Clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 13:14.

I also have my Patriots jersey ready. I like wearing the uniform of spiritual patriots — faithfulness and obedience to the kingdom of God above every other loyalty.

Every year millions of people invite friends to their house for a home meeting. And that’s a good thing for people to get together and enjoy a sporting event with one another.

Another good reason to have a home meeting is to experience and interact with the living Jesus with a group of people. So how do you do that? The book, ONE is a detailed handbook for a super soul party. (Get a copy @ http://amzn.to/2GGfaox.). Also check out my book, Beyond Churchhttp://amzn.to/2s7jSsm.

A home meeting to interact with the risen Jesus is really pretty simple. Just invite people to your home and make them feel comfortable. Then let everybody listen to the risen Jesus and say and/or do whatever He tells them to. The first Christians had frequent super soul parties as they met from house to house.

Try it! Celebrate with the living Jesus. Experience the excitement and spontaneity of a Spirit-led home meeting soon.

Posted in home church, house church, National Football League, NFL, party, patriotism, professional football, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Would Jesus say: “Religion forgot Me for monotony.”

Christians often meet like robots–tightly programmed and controlled. Christians need to be allowed to freely express Christ, not just to contain Him locked down in their hearts. After all, it’s hard to be a passive lump on a church pew when Christ’s fire is blazing in your soul.

Most churches do what they do with human effort. They don’t give the Lord a chance to reveal His supernatural power. The living Jesus wants to snatch church services from the clutches of well organized routine. When Christ lights people up on the inside, they need to be allowed to share their fresh insight with others.

Church is like a radio station that only plays one artist over and over again. Christians are the pages of a book, but church only hears from the pastor page. Church always gives people “a talking to” but sometimes they need to be listened to. 1 Corinthians 14:26

Church often seems like milk: pastorized, sermonized, organized, & institutionalized until we’ve forgotten how to hear and obey Jesus. Perhaps pastorization has crippled Christians by teaching them that a preacher is responsible for their spiritual growth. However, you don’t need someone to continually lecture you about how to follow a guide. You just follow the guide. The Holy Spirit is your Guide, not a preacher!

Many people find church as boring as watching grass grow. But they would find the risen Jesus thrilling, if only we would let them see Him!

watching grass grow

It’s more effective to let light shine than it is to give a weekly lecture about light. According to Revelation 1, Christians are to assemble as a “lampstand” and let Jesus move among them–not as an audience.

When you have phone service, you don’t need a weekly lecture about it. You just go and flow with it. (Same with Jesus.) If you stay continually connected to Jesus, He will download His apps on your heart & transform the way you think, speak, and act.

The New Testament identifies Christians as those “led by the Spirit,” not as those led by a man, a program, or an organization. (Rom. 8:14) Spiritual authority is based on surrender to the living Jesus; not on titles, position, or office. Open sharing let’s the Holy Spirit speak through anybody present, not just the preacher.

All Christ-followers are called to preach; however most of them are not allowed to preach in church. Women in “the ministry”? Yes! All Christ-followers are called to do the work of the ministry. (See Ephesians 4:12)

So many churches are using the institutional word “campus” to describe themselves. What happened to being the family of God? Did Jesus ever say, “Upon this rock I will build My campus”? The Bible never said, “Christ is the head of the campus, his body.” Make church ekklesia again!

Christianity isn’t about obeying outward laws. It’s about surrendering to the inward Jesus and letting His presence transform you. A mind can memorize theology, but it takes an open heart to surrender to Jesus. Prechurch Christianity was about the risen Jesus living in and through ordinary people–not about formalized meetings and programs. Prechurch Christianity met in homes, using the participatory meeting style of the ancient Greek city council (ekklesia).

Many people are not familiar enough with the Bible to know the difference between truth and error. Evil doesn’t mean that God is absent from the world. It means that God is not fully present in us human beings. Whatever restricts or hinders the Holy Spirit’s working is not from God.

Church gathers for a sermon. I want to gather with others to directly encounter and interact with the living Jesus together!

 

Posted in audience, audience of One, Bible, church programming, church programs, ecclesia, ecclesiastical, ecclesiological, ecclesiology, ekklesia, fire in church, fire in the heart, inner Light, let your light shine, light, light of Christ, ministry, ministry of the Spirit, spiritual fire, Uncategorized, work of the ministry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jesus said “Follow Me,” not “Follow a 501c3!”

Christian disciples turn the world upside down; but religious adherents are often swept along with the world’s viewpoints. Jesus said: “Follow Me!” Not: “Follow a 501c3.”

The risen Jesus lives inside of all His followers, so He doesn’t need a hierarchy or an organization to communicate with us. To organize Christians into a hierarchy is a failure to trust that Jesus can and will organize & lead His followers all by Himself. Perhaps the body of Christ, as a spiritual organism led by the living Jesus, was never intended to be a religious organization.

Ephesians chapter four says that God’s spiritual giftings are to train all believers to do ministry; not to establish a permanent hierarchy. Jesus starts Spirit-led movements (revivals). Soon people organize them. The more organized they become, the more power they lose. Prechurch Christianity was Spirit-led, not organizationally operated.

To organize wildlife into a zoo takes away much of their vibrancy. To organize Christians under a hierarchy has a similar effect. Christian history shows that the Gospel spreads faster as a grass roots movement, than as a religious organization.

Most people don’t want to be institutionalized. Neither does Jesus. The living Jesus is infinitely more powerful than the institutional Jesus. Facts, artifacts, and institutions about Jesus can never replace the wonder of hearing His voice and the glory of experiencing His actual presence.

When Christianity is culturally accepted, it tends to become trivialized. When persecuted, it is taken seriously. Persecution disrupts religious organizations and causes Christians to look to the risen Jesus rather than to human hierarchy. When Christianity is ignored by a society, it has somehow set aside it’s ability to turn the world upside down.

If you’re following the New Testament Christ-Trek, the only Captain on the bridge is the living Jesus Christ! Human organizations have divided Christians into 70,000+ groups. However, Jesus wants us to follow Him and to love each other as His one body!

To turn Christianity into an organization is to rob it of much spiritual life. After Constantine made Christianity Rome’s official religion, many Christians fled to live in the desert to get away from the institutional church. (The Desert Fathers.)

Go beyond sitting and listening in church as usual. “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so.” Share your testimony!’

There is a global flag, the Christian flag; and a global citizenship with citizens from every kindred and tribe, the kingdom of God. Let’s be an active part of Christ’s kingdom, not just religious spectators. Whoever wants to experience Christ’s new wine must be willing to embrace new wineskins that release His new wine. (Luke 5:38)

 

Posted in apest, body of Christ, Christian organizations, church history, church movements, church organization, institutional church, Jesus Movement, Let the redeemed of the Lord, organizational chart, persecution, reform movements, religious persecution, spiritual life, spiritual movement, transformation movements, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Spiritual paraplegics & pastor dependency

Instead of training and releasing people to follow and obey the living Jesus, churches tend to make people spiritual paraplegics. Perhaps sitting passively in church isn’t the kind of exercise that builds spiritual muscle. When people are made spiritually dependent on a pastor, they tend to look to his leadership instead of the leading of the Spirit. Maybe Christians could grow more if pastors helped them not to be dependent on them.

Couldn’t a Sunday service be something other than silent spectators, sitting still & stuck in their seats for a studious sermon? Perhaps ministry could be shared mutually among all Christ-followers and not be a consumer product produced by religious hierarchy. Perhaps church could meet to let people hear and discern the will of God together; instead of sticking so tightly to a program.

If church won’t let people go beyond previously established patterns, new wineskins can’t emerge for Christ’s new wine! When we’re unwilling to follow Jesus beyond the familiar and the ordinary, we miss out on the excitement of prechurch Christianity!

Prechurch Christianity was a spiritual greenhouse growing people of mighty faith. (Before pews, programs, and pulpits, there was prechurch.) Prechurch ekklesia was all about individual Christ-followers being directly led by the Spirit. See Romans 8:14. It’s time for a spiritual uprising — Jesus’ living water flowing freely through ordinary people.

Growing in Christ isn’t an intellectual process. It’s a process of being actively involved with and actively led by the risen Jesus. We need a “one anothering” epidemic, a return to 1st century Christian support groups based on 1 Corinthians 14:26.

The early Christians were Christ-trekkies, following and obeying Jesus in their daily lives. If today’s church would embolden people to act like Jesus, the world would be transformed!

Nowadays people are looking to counselors, pastors, doctors, and other professionals for help, but ignoring the 50+ “one anothers” in the New Testament. The Bible says “encourage one another,” not “meet weekly to listen to the same man and let him encourage you.” Without the freedom for mutual, interactive ministry (one anothering) church becomes a lecture hall for passive spectators.

Most church services are so well planned & controlled that they can run perfectly well without any dependence on the living Jesus. However, Jesus is alive and present when Christians gather & He can lead a meeting better than any human can. Why not let Him?

Perhaps that is because it seems much easier for a pastor to take charge and run a church service, than to step back & let Jesus run it. Also, in the Bible Jesus was always surprising people. Maybe churches program and control their meetings so tightly that they wipe out all surprise is because they don’t like surprises.

Let go and let God be God in you

Posted in call to ministry, growing in grace, Let go and let God, ministry, one man ministry, pastor, pastoring, pastors, pulpit ministry, purpose of a pastor, Sunday morning, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Unity in Christ — The other “Lord’s Prayer”

My dad taught me the Lord’s prayer when I was about ten. He wasn’t religious and our family didn’t go to church at that time. However, I remember him standing by my top bunk one night and having me repeat the phrases over and over until I knew it by heart.

When I encountered the risen Jesus a few years later, I understood the “Our Father” a lot better. Then as a new believer I came across The Mark of the Christian by Francis Shaeffer and he taught me about the other “Lord’s Prayer” in John 17. There is a lot in that prayer, but the part that touched me the most is verse 21, where Jesus prays for His followers; “That all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in Me and I am in You. May they also be in Us so that the world may believe that You have sent Me.”

Shaeffer calls that unity of all believers “the final apologetic” and “the mark of the Christian.” Shaeffer says that; “Jesus is stating: We cannot expect the world to believe that the Father sent the Son, that Jesus’ claims are true, and that Christianity is true, unless the world sees some reality of the oneness of true Christians.”

So how do Christians achieve unity? We don’t. Henry Hon in his book, ONE: Unfolding God’s Eternal Purpose From House To House, puts it this way: “All who abide in the life and nature of God are automatically one in Christ.” If Christ is living in me and also living in you, we have the same life in us and are therefore one in Christ. Our problem is that we far too often get distracted by other things and fail to recognize the heart-to-heart unity that we already have in Christ.

To experience our connection with genuine Christ-followers (of any denomination or organization), all we have to do is to open our hearts to one another and let each other see the living Jesus within us. When we do that, connection is automatic.

Heart-to-heart oneness with other Christ-followers is an amazing thing. Open sharing and testimonies pave the way for that kind of heart connection. Have you ever experienced heart-felt oneness with another Christian? When the world sees Christ-followers experiencing the unity of the Spirit in a world that is full of anger and division, they recognize the reality of the risen Jesus. That’s the ultimate apologetic.

To learn more, search for the two books mentioned in this article. Also here is a 3-minute video about the other Lord’s prayer.

Lord's prayer

 

Posted in ancient prayer, apologetics, apologists, Christ in you, Christ-centered community, Christian community, community, fellowship, learning to pray, Our Father, prayers, praying, praying community, The Jesus Prayer, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment