© 20 January 2017 Revive Israel Ministries
“I Do Not Need to Be in a Congregation”
This statement is a representation of not only many young people today, but of even some older people who are in their senior years of disillusionment with congregational life as they experienced it. Yet, it is so very different than what would have been stated decades ago both by Jews and Christians. At that time the idea of being a part of a congregation was not based on a person’s perception of what he or she needed, but rather on what God required. God was understood as the great King who was to be feared. Yes, He is loving, but flouting his will was considered very dangerous. So the idea was common, that if one was to walk in the blessing and protection of God, we had better find out what his will is and conform our lives to that will. The question was not “what do I need?” but “what does the Lord require of me”?
One cannot fairly read the New Covenant Scriptures without seeing that God requires all who claim to be followers of Yeshua to be committed to a congregation where they are to be submitted to a qualified eldership as the shepherds and overseers of their lives (I Peter 5:1-5). We can begin with all the texts that speak of the responsibility of congregational members to their elders, from submitting to them (Hebrew 13:7, 17), being instructed by them (I Tim. 3, Titus 1) and exercising the gifts of the Spirit in a context of gatherings that assume their oversight and discernment (I Cor. 12, 14).
In addition, one should not determine their true needs without the revelation of God. It is like a car. We may think it is running fine. The idea that I have to take it to the shop for regular maintenance doesn’t seem to be needed. I pass the recommended standard and all seems to be running fine, until one day the engine freezes up and after being towed to the shop, I am told I “need” a new engine.
However, as God sees us, and in his definition of need, we truly need congregational life and eldership oversight. Here is why:
1. God expects us to be in submission to an eldership to whom were are accountable so that we might be taught and grow into the likeness of the Messiah. I know of no one who professes faith who has ever gotten very far in this without congregational life. For in the ups and downs of life together in a congregation, in forgiving, submitting, and serving we grow. We need congregational life to fulfil the Biblical demand to be conformed to Yeshua. We need congregation to grow in character.
2. We need a congregation to grown in our exercise of the gifts of the Spirit.
3. We need a congregation to bring regular corporate worship before God. This is both our responsibility as part of his corporate Temple and as part of intercessory responsibility as his priesthood.
4. We need a congregation so we might be taught and mentored by those who have attained what we have not yet attained. This includes everything from marriage and family life, to personal devotion. Plus, the Bible says that God has given five kinds of gifted people, apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers to equip us for the work of ministry (Eph. 4:11ff). But they cannot equip us if we are not in congressional life and submitted to their gifting to equip us.
5. We need a congregation to fulfil God’s command and to walk in the fear of God and to be assured of his blessing. If we are in known disobedience here, we cannot expect His blessing on our lives.
The Ruler of the Kings of the Earth
In the light of the current events at the UN and in world politics, we thought this word from Don Finto would be encouraging:
This phrase arrested my attention recently as I was reading through the opening verses of John's Revelation. Jesus is "the ruler of the kings of the earth." I assume this would also include, in our day, presidents, prime ministers or dictators. No one escapes His dominion!
This reminded me of Daniel's interpretation of King Nebuchadnezzar's dreams. The king had to acknowledge that "the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone He wishes" (Daniel 4:25, 32).
This is both interesting and comforting! Whether you were an Obama fan or not, whether you are a Trump fan or not, God has put in charge a person who will ultimately fulfill His purpose. Once that ruler is established, God rules over him or her for His predetermined will, and says nothing about whether that ruler is righteous or wicked.
We are on schedule. The world is moving toward God's desires and decrees. Reading His book is better than the latest news bulletins.
Meet the Team: Holly
This week meet Revive Israel team member: Holly Wallace
To watch, click HERE!
RESTORE Tikkun Family Conference
Registration is open for the RESTORE Tikkun Family Conference to be held on June 2-4 in Ellicot City, MD USA. Speakers include Mike Bickle, Asher Intrater, Eitan Shishkoff, and Daniel Juster with worship featuring Paul Wilbur and Misty Edwards! Internationals welcome! Seating is limited, so sign up soon!
Yeshua and the Kingdom
"What did Yeshua mean when said that the kingdom of God is at hand and what was he saying about the kingdom?"
To Watch in English click here.
Please PRAY for our ongoing ministry in Israel of indigenous evangelism, planting Messianic congregations, the discipleship training center, prophetic praise and prayer watches in Hebrew, and financial aid for the needy.