New Testament Church Proliferation Digest

 

Spreading the Gospel via House Churches

 


New Testament Church Proliferation Digest Tuesday, May 7 2002 Vol 02 : 081
[NTCP] planting the seed, sharing His love
Re: [NTCP] Excommunicating a brother
Re: [NTCP] Excommunicating a brother
Re: [NTCP] Excommunicating a brother
Re: [NTCP] Excommunicating a brother
[NTCP] Re: Excommunicating a brother
Re: [NTCP] planting the seed, sharing His love
Re: [NTCP] Excommunicating a brother
Re: [NTCP] Excommunicating a brother
Re: [NTCP] Excommunicating a brother

Date: Tue, 7 May 2002 13:06:10 +0200
From: "Deborah"
Subject: [NTCP] planting the seed, sharing His love

Dave Anderson wrote:

>Would love to hear about someone who has been used as a planter, waterer, or
>harvester in recent days.

I just returned to Israel last Friday from a trip to Manila, Philippines.
Thanks for those who prayed! While on the plane I shared Jesus with a Filipina
who works as an au paire in Florence Italy. She attends Bible studies while in
the Philippines, but not while she is in Italy. She is not born-again. Yet.

Also, while in the Philippines, a friend took my daughter and I out to a
village which got surrounded by urban sprawl so that it now appears more of a
slum within the city. We played with kids, spoke with parents, and generally
had a fun time ... while watering earlier planted seeds of the gospel. Our
friends in Manila have an ongoing relationship with many in this village. They
have a very simple and effective method of evangelism ... based on
relationships. It consists of the following four steps:

1) Pray every morning: "Lord, today send me someone who needs your help. 2)
Tune in to others: ask follow-up questions, listen carefully. Someone will
tell you about a personal problem. That's your green light. 3) Brag on Jesus:
tell them what he has done for you and others. Tell them that he loves them
and has a plan for their life and wants to reveal himself to them to prove he's
real. 4) Offer to pray for them on the spot: this fixes it in their mind as an
unusual God-event, and provides a chance for God's power to flow into them.

Link Hudson wrote:

>Tonight, I go to a meeting with a brother named Aaron .... I met Aaron a few
>weeks ago. He's got long grey hair, and a bushy mustache. He got saved in
>the Jesus' people movement and now ministers at Rainbowgatherings, goes on
>missions trips, and does carpentry/living on faith for a living.

Oh, ... I know Aaron. So he's no longer at COTN, huh? Tell him "hi" for me.
And tell him blessings on the upcoming wedding of his son. Seems like churches
are a dime-a-dozen in the downtown Athens area. What makes you think there
needs to be another there? What will be your unique emphasis that will
"existentialize" yourselves. To whom would you consider yourselves
accountable? Humanly speaking, that is. I'm not saying there isn't a need.
I'm just a little skeptical, that's all. Blessings on your new (upcoming) baby!
And hope to see you, Hana, and "baby" when we arrive in Athens (God willing)
July 21.

Michael
Jerusalem

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Date: Tue, 07 May 2002 16:19:17 +0000
From: "David Jaggernauth"
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Excommunicating a brother

Finally this devestated brother who's will power, discipline, and strength
failed to turn away from his sin will think that there is no hope and there is
no other options and he will die to grace having never understood it. I don't
think that you want this, it doesn't sound like this is your heart. Our Lord
did not preach "repent...turn away from something." He preached a solitary
message of "repent...turn to my Father, turn towards me!!!" It is not a
turning away, it is a turning towards.

>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Excommunicating a brother Date: Mon, 6 May 2002 21:13:23
>-0400
>
>Brother,
>
>This is a powerful teaching you have given us. Thank you.
>
>
>Dick Phil. 3:12-14

I wish to say something concerning the above. I agree fully with the above
post. In bible school my teacher on evangelism shared a lot of his personal
experience with us.

Before he became saved he was a womanizer and chain smoker. After he got saved
he took about four years to kick the smoking habit. He would be preaching in
crusades and have a pack of cigarettes in his pocket. God still used him
mightily in winning souls, he has preached in many countries in the world,
including Russia.

he shared with us his personal turmoil trying to kick the habit. he pressed in
with God and was eventually delivered from both lust and cigarettes. But during
that time he never moved away from God, he was even used mightily in ministry.

I also heard a well known american preacher (prophet) who shared his personal
experience of being in ministry for many years and having a problem with
pornography and masturbation he was also eventually delivered. A friend of mine
from my old church left that fellowship last week. He was a deacon there and a
staunch financial supporter of that church having plowed thousands of dollars
into it. He shared with me an experience he had there. he has three daughters,
three very wonderful girls who were always very close to my wife's and own
heart. THey were a very close family and they were devastated sometime ago when
their mother died from cancer.

Some time ago, during Church, the pastor (my old pastor) called up my friends's
daughter in front the church to prophecy to her. he began to prophecy to her
about sin and righteousness etc. When she was about to sit he called her back
and told her the lord just told him to tell her go and sin no more. This girl
was devastated, she was very embarassed and wept all the way home. I dont know
if she ever went back to Church. I happen to know that many of these prophecies
that the pastor speaks are based on what members of the congregation go to him
and tell him about people in the church. There is a sort of secret police that
listen to what people say privately and they go back to the pastor and tell
him.

This has been a sore issue with my friend, as well as other incidents that
happened with the pastor concerning his deceased wife.

I know these girls personally and they are very sweet loving girls. I can
imagine the kind of pain she suffered, they have always been the brunt of much
criticsm and gossip from the other teens in the church and something like that
would be very hurtful and damaging.

I know there is a place for discipline in the church, but I believe discipline
must always bring a person back to God. and excommunication should be a last
resort.

Incidentally, this friend of mine who left the church is one of the people the
Lord told me would be leaving next some time ago. Romans 8:5 says: For they
that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are
after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.

This is the key to overcoming the lusts of the flesh.

Any person in bondage to any kind of lust, whether drugs or porno, should be
encouraged to spend time with God and increase their prayer time. It is very
difficult to put your mind on carnal things when you spend a lot of time in the
presence of God. You have to forcefully will yourself to do it.

David Jaggernauth

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Date: Tue, 7 May 2002 12:37:23 -0700
From: "Brittian's Mail"
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Excommunicating a brother

Brother I appreciated the things you said about discipline. It is interesting
that you use Romans 8:5. because Paul is really just quoting Jesus in His
discussion with Nicodemas. Flesh gives birth to flesh and spirit gives birth
to Spirit.

Paul was not attempting to tell the saints in Rome that if they wanted to be
"spiritual" they ought to do "spiritual" things. Far from it, he was saying
"You, saints at Rome, have been born of above! Your spirit is none other than
the Spirit of Jesus Christ! He alone is reality and He is your reality!!!! So
live in that reality!"

I truly do not believe that Paul was any great moralist. I don't think he
wished to invent another dead system of religious do's and don'ts to bind the
flesh (which by the way was crucified). Paul was a realist! In his mind, if
one had died with Christ, and then left in that grave and Christ was the only
one who arose from the tomb and He alone was your life, the only one that lives
in you then we ought to live in that reality. But if we do not, (to quote
John) we have an intercessor who lives to make intercession for us before the
throne.

Once again, if you offer this brother a way to overcome the flesh, and a method
to get right with God, and a thing that he can do whenever he is tempted, he
will surely fail over and over and over until at last he excommunicates
himself. But if you offer this brother nothing but Christ, and tell him that
all he has need of is Jesus, because Christ is true purity, because Christ is
true overcoming, because Christ is true freedom and tell him that he must
simply repent (turn to the Lord) every day of his life, because looking in the
face of God leaves dead crucified men in its path then you will see a changed
man.

He will hold his shoulders a bit taller, his head a bit higher and his eyes
will burn a bit brighter. THis because he is in Christ and Christ is in Him
and he is experiencing that marvelous union and participation in the fellowship
of the Father and the Son to which he was called before the foundations of the
eternals were laid (2 Cor 1:9). In Him

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Date: Tue, 07 May 2002 19:52:29 +0000
From: "David Jaggernauth"
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Excommunicating a brother

Dear brother,

When I spoke about spending time with God i wasnt talking about religious do's
and dont's. Fellowship with God is not a religious thing, it is a discipline
that has to be practiced.

There is a supernatural dimension of power that can be experienced when in
fellowship with God. Fellowship with God is a day by day experience. The moment
you stop seeking after him you will begin to fall away. Your flesh is always
trying to overcome the spirit.

This has also been my own personal experience with God as well. Jesus gives us
power to become sons of God (John 1:12).

A man can receive Jesus, be born again and still be in some form of bondage to
a habit or sin.

David J.

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Date: Tue, 7 May 2002 13:27:33 -0700
From: Dan Snyder
Subject: [NTCP] Re: Excommunicating a brother

Dear Link,

Your post reminded me of 1 John 5:16

"If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin not unto death, he shall ask and he
will give life to him..."

If we open to the Lord on behalf of a brother we can become a channel to supply
life to him. Isn't that good! The Lord may give us a word that gives life. The
reason any of us sin is that we become weak - we need the strengthening supply
to overcome.

I appreciate "Brittian's Mail's" fellowship... we need to minister the Lord
Himself as the life supply to strengthen our brother.

We may think that our only choices are to ignore the situation or to confront
the brother... but I really like John's view... we need to minister life to
help him.

I share this as a brother who has received the strengthening life supply from
my brothers... when I really needed it.

Dan

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Date: Tue, 7 May 2002 13:35:19 -0700 (PDT)
From: Link H
Subject: Re: [NTCP] planting the seed, sharing His love

Michael Millier wrote,

>Oh, ... I know Aaron. So he's no longer at COTN, huh? Tell him "hi" for me.
>And tell him blessings on the upcoming wedding of his son. Seems like
>churches are a dime-a-dozen in the downtown Athens area. What makes you think
>there needs to be another there?

The only churches I know of downtown right now are the ones that meet in
tradional church buildings with steeples on them. One closed down and another
moved. There are a lot of churches near the mall, now.

The church in Jerusalem met from house to house. Crowded areas may have had a
lot of home meetings.

Aaron has felt the Lord telling him to start this work for a long time. He
told the pastor at COTN about it. Some people are going to both churches since
this ministry meets on Saturday night.

Swayne, another brother has felt led to withdraw from COTN, pulling out of
ministry, etc. for the past couple of months. He didn't know why, but felt the
Lord wanted him to speak to Aaron (if I remember correctly, about a new church
plant he was supposed to be a part of.) He didn't know that the Lrod had laid
this on Aaron's heart.

>What will be your unique emphasis that will "existentialize" yourselves.

Aaron seems to be one of the more prominent leaders in the group, based on the
first meeting, and the fact that he is spearheading it. Aaron doesn't seem to
want to focus on one issue, since there are a variety of gifts. But I suspect
that the church will focus on evangelism, and charitable works like helping
unwed mothers, and ministering to the down and out--that sort of thing.

>To whom would you consider
>yourselves accountable? Humanly speaking, that is. I'm not saying there
>isn't a need. I'm just a little skeptical, that's all.

I suppose I can understand your skepticism, especially after seeing the great
need in Israel for the Gospel. Sometimes I'm tempted to feel that America is
over-evangelized and the real needs are all overseas. But even in Bible belt
down-town areas, there can still be enough need for yet another ministry.

Accountable? I don't know how all that is going to work out. Aaron already
seems to be recognized as a leader. many of the people who attended the first
meeting were in cell groups with him or went on missions trips with him int he
past. He doesn't want to siphon sheep off of other churches. He's more
interested in a church of new souls, and is happy for believers the Lord leads
there to attend.

I've been praying about who to meet with, etc., and I need to keep praying
about it. This does seem to be an answered prayer. I need to be in a place
where I can minister to others and use the gifts the Lord has given me. So
does my wife. I think we may find opportitunity to minister there.

>! And hope to see you, Hana, and
>"baby" when we arrive in Athens (God willing) July 21.

I look forward to seeing you.

Btw, is the Manila thing definite, or still up in the air?

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Date: Tue, 7 May 2002 13:41:33 -0700 (PDT)
From: Link H
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Excommunicating a brother

David J. wrote,

>>Fellowship with God is not a religious thing, it is a
discipline that has to be practiced.>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Excommunicating a
brother

absolutly brother, and I don't believe that you were saying that this man
didn't have salvation and I certainly didn't mean to imply that you would have
given him religous do's and don'ts. I would hope that the fellowship of the
father and the son that is going on inside of all the regenerated is something
more the prefunctory regulations. You're absolutly correct, in that fellowship
is the love that covers a multitude of sins and thats exciting! Jesus is our
salvation, He is our sanctification, He is our baptism, He is our head, He is
our armor, He is the beginning of our Christian life, and He is the end of our
Christian life, in fact He is all the parts in between too. That is why I can
say with no small level of assurance that this man and this group of believers
just needs Jesus, as do we all.

Good words brother

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Date: Tue, 07 May 2002 20:23:00 -0400
From: jferris
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Excommunicating a brother

>The problem is that I really care about this brother. I'd like to see him in
>the same church I am in, and I enjoy his fellowship. He even seems to have a
>lot of knowledge about things. But his life isn't right. I trust the Lord
>that the best thing for him is to follow what Christ taught, but it's hard.
>
Dear Link,

I'm with Keith in his advice. Caring for a brother in sin is not a problem it
is the foundation, even prerequisite for you to be used by God to win him out
of it. I also agree with Brittian, as far as he goes.

Here is the problem as I have experienced it. It has to do with the glory of
God and the content of our fellowship in Him.

About 2 years ago now I expressed it this way in an email to a spiritual
daughter:

7/26/2000

Dear _________,

To say that I came away from our time together with mixed emotions, is an
understatement of the highest order. You already know that I love you, so that
is nothing new. I felt, and continue to feel very blessed by our time together,
very encouraged in The Lord by who he has given me in you. At the same time, I
am torn up by what you are going through. I am groaning with you in it. I don't
think it right or possible for me to hold back any longer in sending you an
email that I sent you months ago c/o myself, so here it is:

"1/17/2000,

Dear _________,

I hope that you never get to read this email. I am writing, and sending it to
my file now, so that, if the day should come when you might need its
encouragement, you will know that it has been here for you, and for a long
time.

It has only been this past Saturday that you have spoken of your hopes and
plans for your future in show business. As I heard you, my heart went out to
you. I wanted to embrace and rejoice in your hopes, but, instead, I felt great
concern that you were going to meet with great pain and disappointment.

Do you know the derivation of the word "amature"? It comes from the French
verb, "to love". An amature is someone who does something for the love of it,
rather than for money. It is possible that money might come to an amature in
the excercise of their gift, but it is not the object. Love is the object.

Some weeks ago, I said to you that, "I hope that you never perform again."
Please forgive me if this caused you any pain. I spoke to quickly, not knowing
your hopes. I would never want to hurt you. I said that because I believe that
your gift is from The Lord, and for The Lord. I believe that you have been
gifted to take people to places in The Spirit. There are not many who can do
this. There is a great deal of performance in The Name of The Lord, but not so
many who actually minister to The Lord. In ministering to The Lord, it is
possible to take people with you, to take them to heavenly places. The
sensitivity to do this is born of much pain and suffering. My heart breaks as I
think about the cost for you, some of which you are already suffering, but
much, perhaps most of which is still ahead, even immediately ahead. At the same
time, my heart rejoices in the knowledge of what you are to God, and how He is
going to use you to minister to His people in ways which will make a difference
in eternity.

I hope that I will not only be worthy, but last long enough to be a part of
some of that ministry with you.Philippians 2:19-22

I plead with you, Do not dispair, You have such a beautiful future in The Lord,
in this present age, and in the age to come, eternal life.

I love you,

Jay"

The above is locked into my "in" box as of that date, and cannot be altered.
I'm sending it now, because I am still hoping that some how the pain that I
foresaw might be avoided, and, it is now apparent that you may bring that pain
upon yourself. I don't want that pain for you, no matter how it comes, so if
there is a chance that by sharing this ahead of time it may encourage you to
think about your own action in bringing it about, and thinking more about it,
you might be strengthened to be careful with yourself, then it will have
served, at least, part of its purpose.

_________, please don't feel alone, or that you cannot call or come, or yell
help, or ask me to come to you. I am here for you, and I have more for you than
you have asked or wanted so far. I hear your heart's cry, I understand your
heart's cry, and I groan with you in your need, your frustration, and your
struggle with who you are and how you are. I only wish you could borrow some of
my perspective, including the benefit of hindsight, and see that, whatever the
present struggles, insecurities, and in some cases even over securities, you
are going to be alright, and already are. What I pray for is a little less
sensational, and a little more spiritual, but time will take care of that, I
only hope with minimum pain, especially long term pain, and/or reduction in
life's fulfillments for you.

I think that I may have touched on pearls in the past, but I was reminded of
pearls again today as I thought about your situation, and what I might be able
to do or say to help. Pearls are made by covering an undesirable object with
something beautiful. but for the grain of sand, there would be no pearl, or to
put it another way, "where sin abounds, grace doth much more abound.

Some of my greatest treasures in The Lord are the pearls I have been given by
those who are older than I am in Him. Pearls should not be shared with those
who are unclean toward us, because of the danger that they will tear us to
pieces with the information. To reveal our pearls, is not only to reveal the
sufficiency of God's grace, but our own weakness which it covered. However
things may have been between us in the past, I came away from our time together
today, overwhelmed with a sense of how clean things are between us in the
present. I am ready to share pearls, if you are ready to receive them. Some of
mine may help in your present struggle. let me know, what would be good for
you. I will share anything with you that you would like to know, and certainly
the things that I already think might be of help.

...."

"Dear ______________,

As I have continued to think about the content of our time together yesterday,
I have some further thoughts that I would like to share with you.

... there is a great cultural paradigm shift going on. It is not necessarily a
shift in a good direction, but it is very real and substantial. Enough, so that
I am beginning to feel obsolete. If it's a good shift, then I just need to let
go, and be willing to pass peacefully into history. If it is a bad shift, then
out of love, I need to do everthing in my power against it. For me, as for
Paul, "the gospel is the power of God for the transformation of lives..." When
the lives of self professed believers are not transformed, I have to ask myself
and them, if they have heard the right gospel or made an appropriate response.

______, I know Who and what makes us safe together. As I hear your heart, the
"Who" and the "what" are missing in your present relationships, and that makes
me very concerned. I love you too much not to have strong feelings when I see
you operating in a way which experience tells me must lead to great, and
enduring pain.

In my view, the rationale of contemporary life style, including recreational
sex, is that traditional marriage does not work. I have to say that while the
evidence seems to be overwhelmingly supportive of that position, there is a
deeper root problem. Marriage is not working because enduring relationship does
not work when there is chronic self-indulgence. Marriage does not work, because
self-indulgence does not work. It's great for short term pleasure, but
disastrous for long term fulfillment. I now find myself living in what was once
for me, the long term. I've been to both places. I know the heart pounding
passion and desire for the immediate, the compelling need for intimacy, but
intimacy with no future, can only result in a past with no joy. It doesn't have
to be that way for you. Please, for God sake, for your sake, and the sake of
all those who love you, don't take all your present and potential, and trash it
by making a bad investment!

__________, I'm not speaking as one who has an ego stake in your flesh, but one
who, loving you in the present, has a view to your potential in the Spirit.

Oh yes, and _________, Cain asked a question, "Am I my brothers keeper?" For me
the answer is obvious, and put another way by Paul, "And now I really live
because you are standing firm in the Lord."

Please allow me to quote THE MESSAGE, in such a way as to make this more
personal, I Thessalonians 3:

'When I couldn't stand being seperated from you any longer and could find no
way to visit you myself, I sent Timothy to get you up and about, cheering you
on so you wouldn't be discouraged by these hard times. He's a brother and
companion in the faith, God's man in spreading the message preaching Christ.

Not that the trouble should come as any surprise to you. You've always known
that we're in for this kind of thing. It's part of our calling. When I was with
you , I made it quite clear that there was trouble ahead. And now that it's
happened, you know what it's like. That's why I couldn't quit worrying; I had
to know for myself how you were doing in the faith. I didn't want the Tempter
getting to you and tearing down everything we had built up together.

But now that Timothy is back, bringing me this terrific report on your faith
and love. (In the present case I would like to substitute the following: "But
now that we have had this time together, and I could see and feel with my own
eyes and heart your faith and love...") I feel much better. It's especially
gratifying to know that you continue to think well of me, and that you wanted
to see me as much as I wanted to see you! In the middle of our troubles and
hard times here, just knowing how you are doing keeps us going. Knowing that
your faith is alive keeps me alive.

What would be an adequate thanksgiving to offer God for all the joy I
experience before him because of you? I do what I can, praying always, night
and day, asking for the bonus of seeing your face again and doing what I can to
help when your faith falters.

May God our Father himself and our Master Jesus clear the road to you! And the
Master pour on the love so it fills your life and splashes over on everyone
around you, just as it does from me to you. May you be infused with strength
and purity, filled with confidence in the presence of God our Father when our
Master Jesus arrives with all his followers.

One final word, I ask you - urge is more like it - that you keep on doing what
we told you to do to please God, not in a dogged religious plod, but in a
living, spirited dance. You know the guidelines, (not only we, but your
parents) laid out for you from the Master Jesus. God wants you to live a pure
life.

Keep yourself from sexual promiscuity.

Learn to appreciate and give dignity to your body, not abusing it, as is so
common among those who know nothing of God.

Don't run roughshod over the concerns of your brothers and sisters. Their
concerns are God's concerns, and he will take care of them. I've warned you
about this before. God hasn't invited us into a disorderly, unkempt life but
into something consistent with His character, beautiful - - as beautiful on the
inside as the outside.

If you disregard this advice, you're not offending your neighbors; you're
rejecting God, who is making you a gift of his Holy Spirit.

Regarding life together and getting along with each other, you don't need me to
tell you what to do. You're god taught in these matters. Just love one another!
You're already good at it; your friends all over the place are the evidence.
Keep it up; get better and better at it.

Stay calm; mind your own business; do your own job. You've heard all this
before, but a reminder never hurts. I want you living in a way that will
command the respect of outsiders, not messing around, hoping to get from your
friends, what only god can give you.'

Well _________, you're the one who gave me that version, and I didn't have to
do much to make it speak for us, to us, and through us. You have lived life in
the center of the stage. That is wonderful, but there is a better stage and a
better center. My desire for you is that you could somehow see yourself center
stage at the foot of the cross. To see Christ there with you, and through Him
the love of your heavenly Father. So much so that you see yourself, not only as
His favorite, but already in His Son on the day He said I love you from the
cross. Every longing of your heart, every need, he put there so that you might
come to him for the provision of it all.

__________, you should know me well enough by now that you know I am not
talking religion here, I'm talking heart pounding passion finding fulfillment
in a more abundant life. I would still like to pray over you for the baptism of
the Holy Spirit. Not to turn you into the religious meeting of yesterday, or
some kind of a nun, but for clarity and power to be all that is yours in Him.

I love you!!

Dad"

Link, I didn't have to pray over her for the baptism in the Holy Spirit, she
received it while reading that email.

I hope you can receive the prophetic style of it, free of charismatic smoke and
mirrors, bells and whistles. I just tried to say to what The Father was saying
to her, and in words that she could understand.

I know that your situation is not precisely the same, but I hope you can
receive the spirit of what I have shared.

Yours in Christ,

Jay


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