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IMPORTANT NOTICE:

Dear Everyone, We can hardly believe that our first year is almost behind us. Without each of you, this magazine would not even exist. It has been your support, especially those of you who have chosen to subscribe, to pray, to write to us, that has given us the courage to keep going. Thank you. Over the past few months we have been wrestling with an interesting dilemma. The message of House2House magazine is obviously proving to be a blessing to many. Mission groups from traditional churches have been putting the magazine into the hands of all of their church planters, cell churches giving copies to all of their cell group leaders. There are missionaries who are using articles to help them in the establishing of church planting movements in other parts of the world. We have had requests from two countries for permission to publish the magazine in those countries. We have had reports and letters from many other parts of the world of people who are enjoying the magazine online. However, we have been running this magazine on a subscription basis and some people have not had access to the magazine. With this in mind, we have felt that it would be more appropriate for a ministry-based magazine such as House2House to switch from charging a subscription to suggesting a reasonable donation, while making it quite clear that we will willingly send the magazine to anyone who requests it. We want this ministry to be financially viable. At the same time we believe that the Lord will provide through any sources that He chooses. We dont want anyone to feel that they cant regularly receive this magazine just because they are short of money. The purpose of the magazine is best summed up in our mission statement, that we want to help saturate and transform communities with radical, home-based church planting movements. Clearly our goal is mission. Our method is to get out a message. In addition to this magazine, we are also producing an online house church community, to help facilitate the communication between those involved in house churches around the world. We are producing various resources and materials, including, a video series, audio tapes, and literature to help people start and multiply home churches. So from this point onwards we are going to provide the magazine on a donation basis to all who request it. We will ask that we hear from you occasionally so that we know that you actually want the magazine! If you have already paid a subscription, and want to request your subscription money back we will gladly refund it. It isnt that we dont need the money, but we feel that integrity demands that everyone, especially those who have helped by subscribing, should be able to receive the magazine on the same basis. Please pass on the magazine to friends who might be interested. There will be an envelope in each issue so that those who are led by the Lord to support the ministry can do so. When you support House2House, you are partnering with us to saturate and transform communities with radical, home-based church planting movements. Keep praying for us, that we may be able to see this ministry move forward in the Lords way, and through His means. The Editorial Team

HOUSE2HOUSE MAGAZINE, ISSUE 5

ISSUE 5 WWW.HOUSE2HOUSE.TV
COVER STORY

Gods Project

Take a peek into what happens to a housing project when a house church begins there.
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MIRACLES 12 The Miraculous: Then & Now Jim Rutz details modern day Bible stories of lepers receiving healing, people being raised from the dead, and much more. The Kingdom Now and Not Yet Tony Dale explores the dichotomy of the Kingdom that is both here and not yet arrived. 26 I Dont Mind What You Call It, Get It! Baptism of the Holy Spirit or indwelling of the Holy Spirit? Tony doesnt mind what we call it, he just urges us to seek after it. And You Shall Receive Power Robert Fitts helps us to understand the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. The Gifts or the Gift? A study that leads us through the scriptures regarding the gifts of the Holy Spirit. DEPARTMENTS & COLUMNS 4 5 How to Reach Us Phone, fax, email, or check out our websiteall the contact info is here. Editorial: All Over the World, the Spirit Is Moving Tony Dale shares his observations on the church here and around the world and how it is expanding. Letters to the Editor Postcard from the Edge How to Have a Conference for the Poor (Part 2): Missionary in Mozambique, Africa, Rolland Baker details the impact the church conference had on everyone involved. Upcoming Events Book Review Surprised By the Power of the Spirit by Jack Deere Questions & Answers How do we start a house church? Practical answers from Dan and Jody Mayhew. Sheepcomics.com A delightful, amusing, thought-provoking look at church experiences. Lucas On Life - A Big, Big House Grieving parents are comforted by a word from the Lord.

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HOUSE CHURCHES 18 A Unique Expression of Gods Love Dave Kahle shares the viewpoint that house churches are not to be just a reaction to institutional churches but a special gift from God. 15 Theses The last part of Wolfgang Simsons series on his 15 theses on house churches. A New Church For a New Generation Todays generation is seeking a church where they can relate to one another and be released to minister as God has called them.

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CHURCH PLANTING MOVEMENTS 31 Inside A Movement: A Report From India Observations from members of The Austin Fellowship of Home Churches after their trip to India in October 2001. Interview with an Indian Church Planter House2Houses interview with Joshua Pillai, a DAWN associate in India. My Favorite Vacation Activity A summer vacation can change lives when it is spent planting a new church. 29 33 40

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THE HOLY SPIRIT 24 Whats In A Name? Frank Viola illustrates how disagreements over the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit are often rooted in varying theological explanations.

CHILDREN 36 Let the Little Children Come to Me If you think ministering to others is just for adults, God has a surprise for you!

Copyright 2001, by Association of Home Churches, Inc. All rights reserved. House2House is issued 6 times a year on a donation basis by House2House Magazine, 1019 Meredith, Austin, TX 78748, USA.

Printed in the USA

HOUSE2HOUSE MAGAZINE, ISSUE 5

House2House Magazine Issue 5


Mission Statement: We are pursuing the rapid advancement of the kingdom of God by saturating and transforming communities with a radical, home-based, church planting movements. Editor Tony Dale Editorial Assistant Holly Urbach Office Manager Sandra Hatley Staff Photographer Michelle Reed Editorial Board: Felicity Dale Tony Dale Jim Mellon David Underwood Advisory Board: Derek Brown Kings Churches, U.K. Frank Viola Present Testimony Ministry John Reinhold Christian Care Medi-Share Jim Rutz Open Church Ministries Andrew Jones Boaz Project, N.Z. Mike Steele Dawn Ministries John White House Church Coach Nate Krupp Author Robert Fitts ABC Bible Schools Lynn Reddick Open Church Ministries Linda Reddick Open Church Ministries Jeff Lucas Evangelical Alliance, U.K. Wolfgang Simson DAWN, Switzerland

HOW TO REACH US
H2H SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION/PROBLEMS/ADDRESS CHANGES H2H Subscription Services 1019 Meredith Drive, Austin, TX 78748 USA Website: www.house2house.tv Email: subscriptions@house2house.tv Phone: (512) 282-2322 Fax: (512) 292-5700 EDITORIAL INQUIRIES AND PERMISSIONS If you have an article to submit, an idea or a suggestion, or you would like permission to reprint an article, please visit us online at www.house2house.tv or contact: Sandra Hatley Editorial Assistant E-mail: shatley@house2house.tv Phone: (512) 282-2322 x111 Fax: (512) 292-5700 Reprint Permissions: If you are making copies for friends or church, you have blanket permission to make up to 100 copies. Please include the phrase Copied from House2House Magazineused by permission. For any other use, please request permission. Every attempt will be made to grant requests, but we need to protect the rights of our authors. WANT TO ORDER BACK ISSUES OF H2H? Visit us online at www.house2house.tv or Call (512) 282-2322 GRAPHICS INQUIRIES If you have questions about artwork, graphics, or would like to send samples of your art or photography, please visit us online at www.house2house.tv or contact: Sandra Hatley E-mail: shatley@house2house.tv Phone: (512) 282-2322 x104 Fax: (512) 292-5700 ADVERTISING If you would like information about advertising in H2H or have questions or concerns about our advertisements, contact: Jonathan Dale E-mail: jdale@house2house.tv Phone: (512) 282-2322 x104 Fax: (512) 292-5700 INTERESTED IN HAVING A CONFERENCE IN YOUR AREA? H2H will try to direct you to teams of people around the country who are available to help those in your area catch a vision for what God is doing through house churches. Contact: Sandra Hatley E-mail: shatley@house2house.tv Phone: (512) 282-2322 x111 Fax: (512) 292-5700

The views and opinions expressed by contributing authors and advertisers do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of this magazine or our board members. 4 HOUSE2HOUSE MAGAZINE, ISSUE 5

All Over the World, The Spirit Is Moving

From the Editor

nd it shall come to pass in the last days, The events of September 11th have done much more says God, That I will pour out of My than shake our confidence in ourselves. They have awakened Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your us to the reality that we cannot go on presuming on the blessdaughters shall prophesy, your young ing of God on this nation that has, in practice, turned its back men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams on Him. We need help, and God may be sending it in ways (Acts 2:17). that we neither recognize nor desire. Incredible things are happening all over the world. The Break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek rate at which the church is growing is accelerating, as is the Lord, till He comes and rains righteousness on you graphically shown in the chart on this page. (Hosea 10:12). The Lord is currently stirring His church in It is estimated that 185,000 this country, as well as in many people worldwide become Chrisother countries around the world, tians each day. Powerful moves about the role of house churches. of God, such as that described Maybe some of the reasons for 3500 in Mozambique in this issue of this are tied up with Gods desire House2House, show us that it is to truly reach out to the poor and 3000 literally possible for us to expect the needy. Most new churches in to disciple the nations as comthis country are planted in middle manded by Jesus in Matthew and upper class areas where there 28:18. In many parts of the world, will be enough money to support the growth of the church is rapthe new ministry. Rapid church idly outstripping the growth of growth in most other parts of the population and the growth of the world happens among those all other religious movements. least able to support the work. I So, what can we expect to wonder which model is actually see here in the United States? blown along by the wind of the 1000 We do know that God has promHoly Spirit? ised the knowledge of the glory God will have his way. He of the Lord will cover the earth as cares about people, all the people. 500 the waters cover the sea (HabaHouse churches will grow rapkuk 2:14). Stories from Africa, idly as they reach out to those 100 China and India just whet our who know that they have needs. 1975 1985 1993 1998 2000 appetite for more here. But, we Increasingly, that is true of all can learn important lessons from of societyfrom the out of work NUMBER OF CHURCHES PLANTED the experiences of other nations dot-comers to the third generPER WEEK as they become open to a major ation welfare recipients. Most (SOURCE: JOSHUA PILLAI - DAWN MINISTRIES) outpouring of the Holy Spirit. articles in this issue focus on the However, these lessons may not role of the Holy Spirit in church be things that we look forward to learning! planting. We know that the Spirit of Jesus, felt compassion Hardship usually precedes revival. Times of testing for the multitude, for they were like sheep without a shepprepare us for times of refreshing. It is still the hungry that herd (Mark 6:34). May we become those who follow the He fills with good things (Luke 1:53). Whether it was the Holy Spirit and so find ourselves doing what the Father is persecuted Christians under Chinas communism or the dev- doing. astated poor of Mozambique, we see that God loves to reach out to those in need. Jesus told us, It is the sick that need a physician (Matt. 9:12). So, what will prepare the way for the Great Physician to come to us in America? You say, I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothingand do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked (Revelation 3:17). When we, the church in this nation, admit our need, we open ourselves up to receive from the Lord. Tony Dale - Editor HOUSE2HOUSE MAGAZINE, ISSUE 5 5

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

}I must tell you that I am very disappointed and a bit perturbed by the cover image on this issue.~
Brad Herman Colorado Springs, CO
I AM NOT ALONE One of my employees brought your magazine in to me last Friday (Issue 3). He just started laughing as he gave it to me because he knew what I would do. Ive been banging my head here trying to make progress. I actually howled for JOY that God was speaking to someone else on this. I can only say that I guess I am/was fairly insulated here in West Virginia. NO one here speaks of house churches (except me, based on my reading of the Bible). I truly didnt know that this was already taking movement form. I thought I was alone. Really! I kept trying to make inroads in my church and with my pastors but was having little success. My biggest joy was helping people who are hurting. They are the ones who respond. Frank Gahl West Virginia QUESTIONABLE COVER First, I would like to commend you on the choice of topic as well as authors for this latest issue. The articles from Tony Dale, John White, Frank Viola and Jody and Dan Mayhew were exceptional. The topic of leadership is a critical issue in the house 6 HOUSE2HOUSE MAGAZINE, ISSUE 5 church movement, and really needs to be thoughtfully discussed as well as taught. However, I must tell you that I am very disappointed and a bit perturbed by the cover image on this issue. Giving you all the benefit of the doubt, I would love to hear why you used the particular image. After seeing the cover, I read the magazine with hopes that I might find a positive reason for the image, but I came up snake eyes. The interior articles have nothing to do with anyone on the cover. My first impression after reading some of them was that you are pointing to these evangelical and charismatic leaders as being part of the problem of leadership in the church today. But what is the purpose of House2House magazine? Is it to point to institutional church leaders as bad examples of leadership? Using the negative will never lead to the establishment of the positive. Our call must be to establish the truth and not to tear down what others believe or are doing. I want you to know that I love House2House magazine. I love to give it out to people. But this particular issue makes me nervous. If I have misread the whole cover image thing, I am sorry. I would love to hear your intent for the image. My hearts desire is for the house churches and your magazine, but I felt I needed to contact you and at least give you my impressions. Brad Herman Colorado Springs, Colorado

Brad, Finding a cover that represents the subject matter of each issue has been one of our most exciting and interesting challenges. The cover of Issue 4 was one of 3 options that were presented to us by our layout department (a much appreciated volunteer in Australia!!!). The cover features some of the most well known Christian faces from around the world. The hope was that this would challenge people to think about different leadership styles. We were not attempting to criticize anyone, but rather to provoke thought on the issue. I, personally, greatly respect each of those pictured and have been blessed in different ways by the work of each one. I hope this helps explain the thought process behind the choice of covers. From Jonathan Dale Editorial Team

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR


DYING TO GLORY Thank you so much for your article on Dying to Glory. The author so clearly brought out the fact that it is easy for us to lose sight that we are meant to seek and serve the kingdom of God, and not our own. For many, it might be a humiliating thing to attend a house church and not a more prestigious cathedral, but it is Gods glory and truth we must seek, and not our own image. Jesus left heavens glory to do what needed to be done so that we could obtain personal salvation. Now, it is our turn to put our energy, not into organizations, but into an organism that will reach neighborhoods for Christ. It is my prayer also that the house church movement will become a mighty force for the cause of missions. For this also, we must learn to Die to Glory and our self-perceived needs of buildings and staff, and reach out to those who still need to hear. There are millions working to hear, and through the use of technology, we can do it economically. Richard Oostra Woodinville, Washington VIOLA ON LEADERSHIP We do not do well to ignore numerous passages of Scripture that speak of the legitimate authority and leadership mandate given to elders in order to correct abuses of Biblical leadership that may be prevalent around us and practiced throughout the history of the church. I am dismayed that Frank Viola failed to avoid this error in his article, The Dramatic Lack of Attention Given to Leadership in the NT (Issue 4 p.16). Viola makes many legitimate observations in his examination of the topic of church leadership, but to conclude that . . . the NT knows nothing of an elder-ruled, elder-governed, or elder-directed church is, simply, wrong. Hebrews 13:17 tells us that elders watch out for our souls. Based on this imperative to care for the church, members are to submit to the elders rule. In the Greek, the word translated rule is hegeomai, derived from the same root word that is used by Jesus in Mark 13:9 and Luke 21:12 to speak of government rulers. Both, I Thessalonians 5:12-13 and I Timothy 5:17 & 18 speak of the honor and esteem that elders are to receive from the church. Gal 6:6 and I Cor 9: 1-14 both speak of financial remuneration for those who teach the Word. Has the church suffered greatly at the hands of empire builders (to use Wolfgang Simsons metaphor)? Yes. In fact, I think it is fair to say the hierarchical leadership as practiced by church leaders for centuries has absolutely devastated the expression of the life and ministry of Christ in His church. However, if we make the mistake of minimizing the legitimate leadership, and even authority, mandate that Gods Word clearly gives to elders, then the pendulum will simply swing in the opposite direction. And our grandchildren will be writing articles in periodicals like this about the chaos and lack of direction Gods church suffered during the age when the ministry of the elder was ignored. Paul Smith Sunnyvale, California WHATS WITH THE TITLES? I truly enjoy your magazine and can only imagine the financial and emotional investment you have made. The main comment or observation I wish to make is about the great article by Wolfgang Simpson on Speaking Prophetically, Acting Apostolically. The article is not what my observation is about. It is about your Advisory Committee and in particular, their titles, i.e., Respected leader, home church leader, Founder, authority, and other such titles. Now, please know that I understand why you do this, but in light of the truth of Wolfgangs article about unassuming people, it is food for thought. David Malinowski Winter Springs, Florida David, We agree! Please note the changes in this issue. From Jonathan Dale Editorial Team Some of our more mature readers may remember a series of letters from a senior demon called Screwtape to his nephew, Wormwood, instructing him on how to render Christians ineffective. House2House has recently acquired possession of letters supposedly written by another demon named C.D. Screw, instructing his subordinate, Dryrot, on some of these principles. We will publish them from time to time as they become relevant. (With apologies to C.S. Lewis) Dear Dryrot, I really want to commend you on the success of your latest strategy. You are doing a sterling work in convincing Christians in this dangerous and subversive house church movement that they are so much better than the traditional church. To get them concentrating on the reasons why they left the institutional church and focusing on the problems they had there is a master-stroke of ingenuity! It appears that our Enemy is really on the move and it is vital that we prevent this. If these Christians understood the strategic importance of what was happening, and started to look forward to what our Foe is doing instead of looking back at the things they didnt like, they might be unstoppable. Your main job is to find ways to make this a reactionary and negative movement. Our Enemy would be hamstrung by His own principles because He never blesses anything that stems out of bitterness. Otherwise we are in danger of losing as much ground here in the West as we have in other parts of the world. Keep up the good work, C.D. Screw

HOUSE2HOUSE MAGAZINE, ISSUE 5

Gods project
COVER STORY

L
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ets see . . . the elements of a house church? First, youll need a perfect house thats always immaculately clean. And of course a gourmet chef to prepare all the meals. Most importantly, you must only have perfectly behaved children that sit quietly in

church and memorize scripture in their spare time. Isnt this what the Bible says? Or, does it say, Wherever two or more are gathered in His name, thats where Hell be? And didnt Jesus say, Let the children come unto Me, when they were disturbing the adults? What is the perfect church? Ive heard it said that there is no such thing as a perfect church because there are no perfect people. This being said, we all have our own preconceived notions of what church should be, built on our experiences, teachings, and maybe even the Bible. A group in Austin, Texas is expanding the borders of their concepts of church, and Im fortunate enough to be a part of it.

HOUSE2HOUSE MAGAZINE, ISSUE 5

HOUSE2HOUSE MAGAZINE, ISSUE 5

COVER STORY
This all takes place at a housing walking the area. So, fairly frequently, It seemed that every week someone in project called Meadowbrook. Yes, a they would make the drive to the other side their group was receiving Christ, or sharhousing project (where drug busts, domes- of town, and walk through Meadowbrook ing an incredible testimony or new insight. tic disputes, violence, and fatherless chil- and pray. On one such trip it started pour- Finally, the decision was made that Lily dren abound) is a would start a church prime location for in her home. My a growing church. husband eagerly We gather in a tiny elbowed me and corner apartment suggested that we every Sunday at go and help. Inside noon. We are greatly I was kicking and outnumbered by screaming, but on children. Its hot, the outside I was and the only air conpretending to be a ditioner is a window supportive wife. unit plus several The mega church moody fans that only that I used to attend work sporadically. hadnt prepared me The kids argue and for this. horseplay, as we go The first week out to several other at Meadowbrook apartments to invite was a bit chaotic, to others to church. put it mildly. We After weve eaten started at 10 a.m., (an event about as which we later calm as opening a learned was too GODS PROJECT: THE CHURCH AT MEADOWBROOK bag of peanuts in a early for this area. herd of starving eleWe moved to noon phants), we start strumming the guitar and ing down rain, so they ducked onto the to make sure everyone was awake by singing some worship songs. At the sound front porch of a friendly resident, named church time. I was to work with the chilof the music, all the kids that were outside Lily. God is good at arranging introduc- dren, so after praise and worship, I was come lumbering in to request their favorite tions, and so they began making frequent sent out with another hapless victim, and songs. The worship is modestthere are trips to her home to pray for her and we taught the kids incredible messages. no great musicians, but the singers are sin- her family. Lily became a Christian and The truth is that we couldnt get them to cere. Usually several prayer requests are decided to come to church with Felicity. stop fighting long enough to listen to us. heard at some point during the afternoon. Every week Lily and her family were I left that day frustrated and wondering The requests are vivid reminders of where picked up and brought over to the Dales if wed made a mistake. My husband was we are: unpaid bills, alcoholism, violence, home church, and every week the group more excited than ever, telling me all about drug abuse, suicide attempts, fear, and got bigger and more vehicles were needed. the awesome things God did with the adults sickness. The members of as they studied the Bible. I this assembly believe in prayer; spent all week long praying theyve seen it work many that something would come times. They have new hope up so that I wouldnt be able in Jesus, and you can see the to go. Next Sunday rolled joy in their eyes. There is not around, and I had no good much that is traditional about excuse. The adults had a this church, but there is a lot great time again; the kids that is right. had two or three fights and How did this ragtag one bloody nose. group come together? Several Lilys son, Ray, who months ago, Felicity Dale, who was about 19 years old, was was involved in a growing really growing in the Lord. home church in her own home, He was asking all these felt led to start a church at great questions and was so Meadowbrook. She and her hungry for the Word. It husband didnt know a soul seemed that every week in HANGING OUT: AMY WITH JOSEPH, DEVON & DOUGLAS the adult group they were there, but a group started prayer 10 HOUSE2HOUSE MAGAZINE, ISSUE 5

COVER STORY
dealing with some major The next week as we issue: anger, sexual purity, pulled up and I saw those little the Holy Spirit and on and dirty-faced kids running up on. I really enjoyed seeing to our car, my heart leapt, and Rays desire for more of God. I jumped out to hug them. They were all hungry, and I took them in my arms, they were all being filled. and I did the only thing I Each week I could feel could do, I loved them. I God tapping on my heart. had secretly dubbed one little He was taking the hardness trouble maker the thorn in away. I would listen to their my side. That week the testimonies and hold back thorn in my side hugged me my tears. I would watch the and told me that I was his kids, who had been trying best friend. Something was to kill each other a moment so right about this! It can ago, sing praise songs with be done. A little apartment all their heart, and I knew in a neighborhood thats not SPECIAL REQUEST: CAN WE SING NUMBER FIVE? that God loved this. It broke completely safe at night can my heart when I heard that become a house of God. one of our 11-year-old boys had tried to voice of my sister from Tulsa. What can commit suicide. I spent the night crying, you do? Just be there. Be there for them Amy Dale is a freelance writer and and I asked God what we could do and and love them. They may not have anyone musician. She lives in Austin, TX with how we could make a difference in these else in their lives that does that. It was her husband, Jon, and their 2-year-old circumstances. The answer came not in a simple, obvious answer. It changed my daughter, Anna. Visit her website online at a booming voice from Heaven, but in the heart. www.amydale.com.

Appreciated Appreciated is a word that most people cant say it But Im a man because of yall my family made it Making it through hard times and worries And I wouldnt care who hears me That one simple word I hope brings a smile to yalls face Showing me the way to heavens gates From helping my sister putting her lights on at her place To Kathy putting food on our plates I thought to myself that they could have turned the other way Instead they helped and they prayed Praying for my family to make it another day For now I could only give a poem You gave me a view for a man that no one can come before him And to Tony, Felicity, and Kathy Your blessings are always with me Helping me when things get out stated And to getting people educated For this word I say with joy Appreciated
Lilys son, Ray, wrote this poem and read it aloud one Sunday as a thank you to all those who helped him and his mother start a church in their home. Ray is a talented poet and rapper. HOUSE2HOUSE MAGAZINE, ISSUE 5 11

The Miraculous: Then & Now


by Jim Rutz
A leper is healed in the marketplace. Water is changed into wine. A paralytic leaps from his pallet. A demoniac chained up for years is delivered from demons and speaks to a large crowd, clothed and in his right mind. A small bit of food feeds a big group. The gospel is preached in one language, but heard in another. The sound of a mighty, rushing wind is heard during a meeting of believers . . . yet there is no wind. The deaf hear; the blind see. A desperate woman with a flow of blood is healed. A girl is raised from the dead. And Jesus appears in a dream to one of his chief persecutors.

MIRACLES

reat historic events by any measure. And all have happened in the last ten years. After 2,000 years of people praying, Thy kingdom come, it has come. The long war between God and Satan has turned into a romp. We are now winning the world at an astonishing pace, with our growth swept along by a vast array of miracles. Be astonished! Be astounded! For I am going to do something in your own lifetime that you will have to see to believe Habakkuk 1:5. YOU ARE IN A NEW WORLD Very few people realize that the nature of life on Earth has just gone through a major change. Since the mid-1980s, we have seen a massive reversal in the direction of human history. Before then, the ancient war between good and evil was almost a stalemate. Now all has changed. The God of Israel, the all-powerful Creator whose epic story flows through the pages of Scripture, has broken through the defense lines of the Prince of Darkness and begun to shred the strongholds of evil. We see this new drama played out hourly around the globe. As if to underline the connection with the events in olden times, many of todays miracles mirror those in the Bible: 12 HOUSE2HOUSE MAGAZINE, ISSUE 5

In June 1999, two Korean women came to pray for a village in Uzbekistan. Although they spoke only Korean, they were invited (by gestures) to enter a home and pray for an old man who was unable to move. One of the ladies, Kim, said later, The lame man began to wriggle, and then stood up as though someone had just cut his chains. He was healed! But as he got to his feet, the Koreans suddenly realized that the impressed bystanders had no idea why the man was healed. So in desperation, Kim began explaining the gospel in Korean, hoping that they would understand a word or two and catch the drift. To their amazement, the people listened in rapt attention for the next 20 minutesbecause they were all hearing her in their own language! More than 40 people immediately became followers of Christ. i And they were all amazed and marveled, saying one to another ... how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? Acts 2:7-8. In the summer of 2000, a Christian man went to preach in the marketplace of a village near Chennai, India. He was met by a beggar with advanced leprosy, who asked him for money. He replied that he had no money, but offered to pray for him. The beggar accepted, and was healed instantly,

greatly surprising both of themand the whole town, which had known the leper for many years! Within months, the mans whole village turned to Christ. ii And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed Matthew 8:3. On December 11, 1997, the congregation of North Plymouth Community Church had just finished singing, Shout to the Lord. One of the men present reported what happened next: I have experienced many storms and high winds, living here on the south coast of England, but nothing could compare to what I experienced that Thursday evening. It was ten oclock, and we had just finished singing when this enormous wind sound started. I could only throw myself to the ground and crawl from the stage, because I felt so unworthy in Gods tangible presence. I switched off the overhead projector, leaving only the sound of the wind. For the next 15 minutes, the church was filled with the sound of a storm, but there was not even a breeze to be felt. We all realized that it was no natural phenomenon . . . After 15 minutes, the sound of the wind died down, completely disappearing within 10 seconds. Literally everyone present wanted to commit their life again to God and serve him with all their strength . . .

MIRACLES
When I returned home that evening to my wife, who had been looking after our son, I asked her if she had noticed any wind. She told me that it had been a particularly still evening, and wanted to know why I asked. iii I have received two other recent reports of the sound of a mighty rushing wind with no wind. One of them, at St. Timothys Anglican Church in Pond Inlet, Nunavut, Canada, in 1999, was actually recorded by the sound system.a It left the congregation undeniably changed, forever. iv And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting Acts 2:2. In the Punjab state of India, a city called Firozpur lies next to the Pakistan border. Everyone in that town knew a certain man who was so deranged that he had been kept on a chain like a wild animal for eight years. But in April, 1997, God used an evangelist named Daleb to heal and deliver him. And when he later ascended Dales crusade platform, with a helper carrying the now-useless chain, the crowd broke out in wild cheering. See the photos [above/ below]. And they came to Jesus, and She and Judy, the other conference planner, only had about $30, so they prayed earnestly over the choice of food. And after they bought it, they prayed over it again, fervently! They came to the first meal on Friday, and their two sacks full of chicken, rice, beans, oatmeal, powdered milk, and little else suddenly looked pretty small, as 38 people showed up, more than expected. But they set up a buffet line, said grace, and stood back as the crowd swept through: 20 adults, 16 boys, and two girlsand the teens were voracious eaters, Marilyn emphasized. They especially swarmed over the chicken, which had all fit neatly into a slightly rounded pile in one cake-type pan about nine by twelve inches (22 x 30 cm). The few adults who knew about the food situation kept glancing at the pan nervously . . . and were bug-eyed to see that the pile of chicken never went down! The more they ate, the more there was. Perhaps 60 to 90 pieces were takenmuch more than they started with. In fact, as Marilyn went to pull out a third piece for herself, she watched the pan intently, and was shocked to see, as she yanked her piece from one end of the pile, the other end jump like popcorn popping. (She was tempted to play with it by pulling out more, but decided, Nooo, that might not be such a good idea.) In fact, the rice, beans, oatmeal, and milk grew apace with the chicken, and by the end of the meal, there was enough food left over to feed the 17 teens and three adults who stayed for the whole next week. vi And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments HOUSE2HOUSE MAGAZINE, ISSUE 5 13

A team went on a mission to a remote island in the Philippines, which had a reputation for being gospel-resistant. Fully expecting to be turned away, they were delighted to be welcomed. After three days of giving medical tips, digging wells, installing a water pump, and telling some Bible stories, they were surprised to see 40 people turn to Christ. One of them later said, We knew you were different from the start. Our children always run DEMON POSSESSED MAN, CHAINED TO A TREE away when strangers come, but they ran to welcome you! And, saw him that was possessed with the do you remember the family that invited devil, and had the legion, sitting, and you for a meal? They poisoned your food. clothed, and in his right mind: and they So when none of you died, we knew you were awe-struck Mark 5:15. were from God. v Being a bacheloryet not wanting to And these signs shall follow them die of malnutritionI always have a cook/ that believe: . . . and if they drink any housekeeper. The current one is Marilyn deadly thing, it shall not hurt them Wilson, a high-energy lady who once put Mark 16:17:18. on an outreach camp for teenagers at Wilderness Ranch near St. David, Arizona.

MIRACLES
that remained twelve baskets full Matthew 14:20. In 1995, three women evangelists went into the Xinyue district of Henan province, China, where everyone on whom they laid hands felt a burning sensation. The resulting healings were unlike anything known there before. But as they tried to preach Christ in one place, an unbeliever appeared and began cursing them nonstop. After they had paid no attention to him for some time, other non-believers walked up and asked them why they were ignoring the man and even showing compassion for him. As soon as they had asked this, he fell to the ground, dead. The witnesses were awed, and many repented and accepted Jesus. vii And Ananias hearing these words fell down and died: and great fear came on all them that heard these things Acts 5:5. A woman in the state of Tamil Nadu, India, had been suffering from severe hemorrhages. When she heard that an evangelist named Joseph was coming to a nearby church, she asked friends to carry her to the meetings on her bed. Nothing happened on the first day, but on the second day, she got up from her bed and started jumping for joy! That day, 50 people became believers. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment. For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole. And straightway the flow of her blood was dried up Mark 5:27-29. In Hazard, Kentucky, a local pastor named Ken Gaub visited the hospital a number of times to pray for a sick, oneyear-old baby boy at his mothers request. The father didnt believe in prayerand even got angry when his wife mentioned churchso the mother would meet Gaub and quietly escort him to the boys room when the father wasnt around. One day, Gaub happened to be in the hospital alone and decided to peek into the room. No one was there, so he tiptoed in and prayed for the baby. Being careful not to awaken him, he softly touched the sheet covering him and prayed, Lord, raise up this baby for Your glory. 14 HOUSE2HOUSE MAGAZINE, ISSUE 5 At that point, the baby started squirming, so Gaub decided to sneak out before he began crying and attracting attention. But as he turned to leave, he saw the doorway blocked by the large frame of his father, glaring at him. To Gaubs distress, the man glanced at the crib and yelled, Oh, God! He began screaming, which brought a nurse. Gaub thought, Oh no! Now Ive done it. The nurse tried to calm the father down, but he kept crying and pointing to the bed with the still-squirming boy. Then she screamed. All the color drained from her face as she backed out the door and ran down the hall. But Peter made them all leave the room; then he knelt down and prayed; and turning to the body said, Tabitha, arise! Acts 9:40. James H. Rutz has authored several books. This excerpt from his new book is used by permission.
Endnotes: a. You can hear it on the Sentinel Groups video, Transformations II. i. Joel News International #271 and Friday Fax #12, 1999. ii. From a report in the August 18, 2000, India Mail by Dr. Daniel Sathiaraj of the India Missions Association, 48 First Main Road, East Shenoy Nagar, Chennai 600 030, India. Tel: (91) 44-644-4602, <jlove@cal.vsnl.net.in>, cited in Friday Fax #35, 2000. iii. Senior Pastor John Etherington. Reported in Friday Fax #1, 1998. iv. World InSight, Sentinel Group, April 2001. v. Mark Kelly, Advance. Reported in Friday Fax #48, 2000. See also www.brigada.org. vi. Tani and Dane, volunteers with Operation Mobilization in Albania, recently fed over 200 Kosovo refugees on half a pot of bean soup. It takes four full pots to serve 200. Their O.M. office is in Switzerland, 41 (1) 832-8383. Cited in Friday Fax #27, 1999. vii. Various. Cited in Friday Fax #39, 1995. viii. Dr. Bill Clemmer, Evangelical Hospital, Vanga, Congo, quoted in Awakening, reported in Joel News International #273-3, May 28, 1999. Another incident involved men in white cloaks standing around a church building, intimidating the Stasi, the East German police, in 1986 (reported in Friday Fax #45, 1995). When the Stasi arrested the pastor and questioned him about the men, he laughed until it hurt. In 1995, a gang of punks planned a raid to destroy a Christian coffeehouse in Switzerland. It was foiled when they barged in and discovered a big, tough bouncer in every corner of the place. We wouldnt have had a chance, they lamented afterward. As you might guess, the punks were the only ones who could see the bouncers. And in 2000 we received a report (Friday Fax #36) of an attempt by ten men to ambush a Christian Chamula family in Chiapas state, Mexico. It backfired when a long line of people with guns suddenly appeared, aiming at the ten men. The attackers freaked out and cut their feet and tore their chamarras in panicked flight. To date, 60 Chamulas have been martyred, but their blood has brought 1.3 million Chamulas to faith in Christabout 40% of the population of Chiapas! ix. Adapted from Ken Gaub, Gods Got Your Number (Green Forest, AR: New Leaf Press, 1998), page 83f.

AFTER PRAYER: SET FREE The baby must be dying, Gaub thought, And Im messing up everything. So, as the father went to the crib and picked up the baby, Gaub quietly left. About an hour later, Gaub received a call from the hospital to report back. He said to himself, Either the babys dead, or theyre going to chew me out royally. But at the hospital, Gaub was flabbergasted when the father rushed up and threw his arms around him. Preacher, I want to tell you I changed my mind about that religious stuff! I believe now! He started crying and couldnt talk, so the confused Gaub inquired, Whats going on? The mother finally spoke up: Didnt you know that our baby died two hours before you came? ix

nce f or on f e r e have a c Ba k e r o How t olla nd 2) b y R (p a r t he p oor t


traveled on foot and by local transport for days to join us here. They are so excited, so encouraged. Jesus has not forgotten them. They are part of His Body, linked together in spirit and love across huge distances. In Him they have found family! They have wanted this conference for so long. We move into simple guest rooms at a World Vision compound, a huge help to us. Soon the van arrives after a long, rough trip, and our team is together again. The sky darkens, and the stars of the Southern Hemisphere enrich the heavens in their vast array. The town is dim. The air cools down. There is no arena or auditorium. We just move out onto a dirt field nearby and see what has been set up for us. Thousands have already arrived from the bush, and they have been cooking maize in big pots over wood fires. Tonight they will huddle on straw mats laid out on the dirt under trees or by the field in a bombed-out build-

othings getting across the Zambezi, Darryl announces over the phone. The ferries arent running, and I had to drive my Isuzu back down the Caia Road. The truck got so damaged I barely made it home! Our Morrumbala Conference plans are already in pieces. Without our trucks, were going to have to fly all of our equipment and us across the river.
ing with no roof. They have no changes of clothes. There is no running water. There are no bathrooms or showers. They dont even have toothbrushes or towels. They live with sweat and dirt, decaying teeth, sickness and running sores. And tonight they will be cold. But they have come for the fire of the Holy Spirit... Some crude planks have been nailed together for a speaking platform in the center of the field, covered by plastic sheeting for protection from the next days sun. Crowds surge toward us, trying to see what were doing. We set up our generator far off to one side and run a long cord to the platform. Everyone wants to see the Jesus film this first night, so somehow in the darkness and all the confusion, we string up a king-size bed sheet for a screen and set up the projector and sound system. Thick, blowing dust is kicked up by tramping feet. Someone mislabeled the videotape, HOUSE2HOUSE MAGAZINE, ISSUE 5 15

We get our team of pastors past the Zambezi to Quelimane by commercial plane, and I haul the generator and all the sound gear I can in our Cessna. We manage to hire a beat-up van to take most of the team to Morrumbala, and again I load my plane down. I touch down onto weeds and rocks just before sunset the night of our first meeting. The airstrip has hardly been used in years. We are in remote Africa, far from hotels and restaurants, surrounded by the silent suffering of poverty. Mozambiques civil war was cruel to Morrumbala, a frequent battleground. Many died, leaving many more orphans. Now floods, hunger and disease bear down on the people with even more cruelty. But today, hundreds of children in their rags jump and shout all around us as we unload. The missionaries have come! This is a big night for our churches all across Zambezia Province. Pastors have

POSTCARD FROM THE EDGE


and we have the wrong dialect. The people hunger for God is sweeping this country. understand enough and want us to show Our pastors do another careful count it anyway. The video plug is intermittent, of our churches, and we find that we have and the screen keeps going blank. Every- more than three thousand, including those one desperately wants to see. They press in in Malawi and South Africaa thousand and fall over each other. Children are under more than we realized. We count as a my feet and everywhere. Pastors are trying church a group of more than fifty, and these to keep the crowd under control. Im trying churches usually include as many as can to keep the video working. This event is hear a preachers voice without a sound unimaginably rare and special, and no one systemthree hundred or more. We are wants to miss out. approaching the point of having a church Just before the end, the projector quits in every single village in large areas of completely. We turn on a floodlight and central Mozambique and southern Malawi. start preaching anyway. Everyone wants Pastors are calling us from other counJesus. Everyone is shouting, cheering, sing- triesGhana, Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbaing and praying. Out of disorder comes a huge cry for the King. We have come together for Him! He is the hope of Mozambique, the only salvation for these destitute people, so poor in spirit. In all the noise and tumult, Jesus is finding lost sheep, and He will hold them safely in His heart forever... Eventually there is quiet, and we can tear down for the night. I walk back to our compound, exhausted. Its impossible for so many people to see such a video. But hunger for God has broken out, and Zambezia CROWDS PRAY TO GOD: SEEKING HIS FACE will not be denied the Gospel. For the rest of our three days bwe, wanting the same revival. Our leading in Morrumbala our team preaches and evangelists cannot wait to get to Angola teachesin the hot sun, in the dark night, and Sudan. The harvest is ready! The wedat every available moment. No one resists ding feast is prepared, and the poor must be the Gospel. Children eagerly gather to hear called in! Bible stories. The sick are brought to us for We are asked how we can continue prayer. Passionately our speakers impart doing such tiring work. How do we put up a pastors heart to our church leaders in with such poverty and stressful conditions? the bush, who are thrilled. The Holy Spirit How can we deal with so many people and sweeps through the meetings, and with needs? How long can we do this? But we shaking, weeping and loud cries the hungry have nothing to gain by slowing down and throw themselves before God. They need trying to hold on to our lives. We give Him, they want Him, and they love Him. ourselves as a fragrant offering of love to And He loves them back. Hearts are filled. Jesus, and in return He gives us His superEnergy and initiative rise up. Visions are natural life. We have to stand up and face granted. Healings are reported. A girl deaf some of the poorest people on earth, who and dumb from birth speaks for the first suffer, starve and die as most of us cannot time, and her family and friends sing and imagine. Yet we can confidently preach: dance all the way back to their village. Who shall separate us from the love of Now we have to move on to yet Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or perseanother conference to the south at Dondo. cution or famine or nakedness or danger Again we will see revival. Intense or sword? As it is written: For your sake 16 HOUSE2HOUSE MAGAZINE, ISSUE 5 we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered. No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom. 8:35-39). We have His love. We have Him! This is no time to be conservative. This is no time to let our hearts by captured by this world. We cannot improve on His will and His life. Lets concentrate on what captures Gods attention, and spend ourselves as He spends Himself. He knows what is worthwhile to do, so lets learn from Him and not waste our lives. We will never run dry. We always have His resources, because He died for us. Lets run the race to win, and never stop bearing fruit. Join us! Come preach, teach, serve and stay. Search for Him with all your heart. Set your heart on nothing less than revival. Support the work of the Lord, here and wherever He is glorified. Be useful to the Master, prepared for every good work. Be filled with the Spirit! We love and thank all of you who have supported us with great sensitivity and generosity. Many have written to encourage us, and your love has been a rich gift from Jesus. We, our staff and our children continue to be extremely thankful for all the parcels of clothes and other badly needed goods that you have mailed to us. It is such an exciting sight to see these boxes opened and distributed. And we thank all our visitors who have given time, effort and talents in His great love. The Body of Christ is beautiful! May He be with you richly in every way, and have His way perfectly with us all. Rolland and Heidi Baker, Directors Iris Ministries, Inc. Email: Rolland@irismin.org Website: www.irismin.org

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serves as Intl Director of DOVE Christian Fellowship Intl, a worldwide network of cell-based churches and house churches. A featured speaker at conferences and churches, he travels extenHOUSE2HOUSE MAGAZINE, ISSUE 5 sively training Christian leaders.

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17

A Unique Expression of Gods Love


by Dave Kahle
Yet, we often forget that central fact, While all this makes sense to those or think in such a way as to ignore its exis- of us within the house church movement, tence. this rhetoric leaves our institutional church Those of us in the house church brothers and sisters shaking their heads at movement have been guilty of this. We our total confusion of thought. Weve all often talk about house churches in the con- had the experience of trying to talk to an text of a reaction against the institutional church. Its difficult to say anything about house churches without drawing the contrast to the institutional church. For example, in trying to describe a house church to someone we might say, House churches generally are not led by ordained pastors the way that institutional churches are. Or, House churches dont have church buildings like institutional churches do. Or, Unlike the specA CHURCH BUILDING? tator form of worship service we see in the institutional institutional brother about house churches churches, house church gatherings are inter- and sense that glaze come over their eyes, active, participatory events. a symptom of their mental dismissal of In each of these cases, we describe our position. Normally, they then change the house church movement as a reaction the subject to describe some new program against the practices of the institutional of their church. Were sponsoring an church. And, of course, we make the case outreach to college students at the local that the house church is the original pattern campus, they say, as if that explains everyfound in scripture, while the institutional thing. Yet, unfortunately, it often is the last church is a man-made perversion of Gods word. plan. These encounters turn out to be unen18 HOUSE2HOUSE MAGAZINE, ISSUE 5

HOUSE CHURCHES

If there is one central truth to Christianity, it is this: God loves us to a degree beyond our ability to comprehend. As we are so often reminded, God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son . . .
lightening for both parties. They go away thinking, That guy is a radical. We, just as sure of ourselves, go away frustrated, thinking, They just dont get it. But, maybe it is us! Maybe we just dont get it! Maybe we dont get what house churches are all about. Instead of positioning house churches as a reaction against the errors of the instit utional church, we ought to see house churches as a unique expression of Gods love for His children. Instead of seeing house churches as a correction of the mistakes of the church system, we ought to see them as a Godinspired solution for some individuals. House churches are a special expression of Gods grace, a unique initiative of His love, Gods provision for a number of His children who are disappointed, disgruntled and depressed. The unfortunate reality of our time is that the overwhelming majority of Christians are content in the institutional church. They are so deeply imbued with the pastor-centric model that they cannot really consider an alternative. The house church

HOUSE CHURCHES
movement is, at this point in its growth, not for them. On the other hand, we all know that there are hundreds of thousands of disgruntled, disconnected Christians in the world around us. These are people who have left the institutional church and exist in the limbo of non-attachmentthey are not a part of a Christian community. There could be variety of reasons that they are disconnected. Some could have had bad experiences in their churches. It could be that they were snubbed, ignored or dealt with inappropriately by the clergy at some past church home. Perhaps, the pastor didnt show up when a loved one was in the hospital. Or, they were snubbed or gossiped about at a committee meeting. Or, they were pressured for money in some church fund-raising. Regardless, they were hurt. Because of that, they left the church and have not been able to move beyond the hurt to some other church affiliation. Their disillusionment with the institutional church isnt with the system; it is with some specific person or congregation that became a symbol of things wrong with the system. Then there are those who grew beyond the institutional experience. They went through a time of heavy involvement, taught the Sunday School classes, attended church gatherings three times a week, sent their kids to the youth group, headed the committees, etc. Somewhere in this process, they felt that their experience was short of the mark. Something was missing. They witnessed the familiar patterns of church politics, power struggles among the clergy and burnout among the active. After a time, they gave up and moved out of the institutional church. Some have become permanent church shoppers, attending the latest hot congregation for a while, or picking and choosing the flavor of the day based on their mood of the moment. Still others hang out in anonymity, shunning involvement with the institutional church, sliding in and out of the back pews of mega churches, but frustrated and unaware of any alternative. There are those whose study of the Bible brought them to the theological support of the house church from a biblical perspective. They may not have had a bad personal experience, and may not have lived through the deficiencies of the institutional churches. Their study, however, has led them to conclude that Gods plan is not a church building on every block and pastors in every pulpit. God loves all of these people, too. He loves them so much that He wants them to have a life lived in Christian community. He wants them to exercise the one anothers of the New Testament (Gal. 6:2, Eph. 4:32, etc.), to grow in spirit and in truth, to worship Him, and to spread the word. He loves them so much that he has energized the house church movement, and spread its seeds throughout the world like a farmer throwing seed onto the fields. The house church movement is one of His solutions for those of His children who, for one of the reasons listed above, will not find community and connection in the institutional church. Once we recognize this, we will stop trying to find fault with the institutional church, we will no longer talk about house churches only in contrast to our more bureaucratic brothers, and we will stop trying to convert every institutional Christian we see to our more enlightened practices. Rather, well seek out the disgruntled and disconnected among us, and offer the house church for what it is: an expression of Gods love, an outreach to a significant and growing population of His children. There may be a time in the not too distant future that house churches will become the mainstream option for the mass of Christians. But, in the meantime, house churches are a unique expression of Gods love to His disaffected children. For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son . . , and then energized the house church movement for his hurting and disillusioned children. Dave Kahle currently serves as the Michigan coordinator for the Network of Open Church Ministries. He has walked with Christ for 30 years, taken nine shortterm missionary trips, foster-parented 19 children, and spent a number of years as an elder in the institutional church. He is an author of primarily business-related material, having published over 300 articles and four books.

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HOUSE2HOUSE MAGAZINE, ISSUE 5

19

Want to start a house church? Do we need thousands of them? Im Gonna Let it Shine!
(10 Million Lighthouses to Go)

Will get you there!


This delightful new book by veteran strategist Jim Montgomery is not a handbook on how to start a house church. But it does show in simple yet powerful chapters how to develop the seedbed from which your housechurch - and tens of thousands of them can spring up.
Reading this refreshing book that comes from the heart of God, lay men and women will see what a delightful experience becoming a Lighthouse in his or her neighborhood can be. You will learn how simply loving your neighbors, praying for them, caring for them in practical ways and ultimately sharing the gospel with them when they are asking questions can ultimately lead to the gathering of new converts. If your heart isnt breaking for your neighbors who are lost and headed for eternity without God, Im Gonna Let it Shine is the next book you ought to read. Youll discover you are living exactly where you are because God placed you there - to love your neighbors and show them the way to eternal life. Suggestion: Use this helpful book as a discussion guide in your house church or small group.
Evangelist Luis Palau Dr. Paul Cedar, Chairman, Mission America/The Lighthouse Movement

Yes, I want to read IM GONNA LET IT SHINE!


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The Kingdom, Now and Not Yet


by Tony Dale

here is a tension, it seems to me, that underlines the profound difference of expectation between differing understandings of the kingdom of God and the degree to which we live in and experience this kingdom now. That God quite frequently does heal is currently really beyond speculation. Unless we feel that those who are reporting extraordinary accounts of the miraculous in various Third World countries (let alone folk like myself who have seen the Lord do a considerable amount of healing in this country) are lying, then we have little reason to doubt what God can do. If one wants documentation of Gods healing power from well attested sources, one can probably do little better than to read Healing Miracles

by Dr. Rex Gardiner. However, the question is not what God can do, but what God will do. Where do we draw the line between understanding what is ordinarily available to the Christian and what is only available as an extraordinary manifestation of grace? I believe the issue is clearly set out in The Lords Prayer: Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. We know that in heaven there is neither sickness nor dying, neither sorrow nor pain (see, for example, Rev. 21:4). A part of our task, as outposts of the kingdom of God on earth, is to be actively praying that the reality of that kingdom rule, which is now perfectly manifest in heaven, enters our earthly situations. It is obviously going

to be a matter of both battle and perseverance for an open manifestation of this kingdom to come, whether it be in terms of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit (Rom. 14:17), or in the casting out of demons (Luke 11:20). Both are equal manifestations of the presence of the kingdom. Both are areas where we need to be involved aggressively in taking hold of Christ, but which will only be captured in this life as we pursue the Lord. The Christian walk is not passive. Although Jesus is our righteousness, we are still commanded to pursue righteousness. Although He is our peace, we are still told to pursue peace with all men. And certainly it is plain that He is our life. This does not take away our necesHOUSE2HOUSE MAGAZINE, ISSUE 5 21

MIRACLES
sity to reach out to Him for this life. The degree to which we manifest the kingdom of God is going to depend on the extent to which we allow Gods Word to take root in our heart. Gods Word is equally valid to all people at all times. However, it only produces fruit in our individual lives when it is mixed with faith. The writer to the Hebrews remarks, Therefore, since the promise of entering His rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard it did not combine it with faith. Now we who have believed enter that rest (Heb. 4:1-2). Jesus taught us clearly that the kingdom of God suffers violence and that the violent take it by force (Matt. 11:12). We obviously play an integral part in this earthly manifestation of Gods rule. This is typical of the whole realm of prayer warfare and what the Lord has taught us of prayer. Surely, it is not God who is changing as we pray, but we ourselves. We, as we pray, are exercised by it. It teaches us to be dependent on God, and it inspires us to pray more, even without ceasing. More to the point, prayer is God in us, with groanings which cannot be uttered, seeking to bring about change in us, others, and His kingdom. Even as we pray, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, we are effectively saying, Lord, change me so that I can help extend the reality and answer of that prayer. Perhaps I can illustrate this with a situation out of my own familys experience. A number of years ago when my wife Felicity and I were medical students, we had the opportunity of doing an elective period in the United States. While we were there, Felicity experienced a bacterial infection that was extremely painful. It was at a period in our Christian walk when we were seeking to learn much more from the Lord about healing. So rather than just take antibiotics (which would almost certainly have helped with the situation!), we felt that we should pray. In our seeking the 22 HOUSE2HOUSE MAGAZINE, ISSUE 5 Lord, he made it very plain that this infection was at a spiritual level, a direct result of something being wrong in our lives. As we asked His forgiveness and turned away from this, the infection immediately cleared. A few weeks later the infection recurred. We went back to the Lord to ask Him why. He made it plain that this time it was not due to any sin, but so that he could manifest His glory. The Lord told Felicity that at a specific time on a specific day the pain would go, and she would be healed. To the very hour, what the Lord had promised happened. At both times, we had to seek God and then pray His will into being. Is this not an expression of His command to us that the children of God are already enjoying a glorious liberty. The context is that of creation (i.e. the physical realm). One way, although certainly not the only way, of understanding this statement is to see that Gods children are already enjoying a liberty in the physical realm, which will only be shared subsequently by the rest of creation. Its as if we, who are the first fruits of redemption, are also experiencing the powers of the age to come in a way that is not yet available to the rest of creation. This being subject to decay obviously affects Christian and non-Christian alike. Some Christians postulate that being a Christian is no more likely to protect one from disease than if one were a nonChristian. I find this view unacceptable. It is clear that we, as Christians, are often delivered from the common maladies of society. Simple obedience to the Word of God will protect us from venereal disease, because our lifestyle will not promote it. A love of Gods Word will lead us to honor our bodies, which are the temple of the Holy Spirit. This means that we are unlikely to smoke or drink excessively, and so again, we find that we are protected from illnesses to which many non-Christians succumb. My own experience of much pastoral work within the church leads me to think that the prevalence of anxiety and depression within it is substantially different from that within the world at large. I do not mean to imply that it is not there. Any pastor knows that it is, and in abundance. However, the answers to these peoples problems will be found as they move more into the peace and joy of Christ, and accordingly they will find their anxiety and depression dissipating. There are some very interesting, but anecdotal rather than statistically valid, accounts that can be gleaned from Christian writings as to the public health effects of local, powerful healing ministries. Approximately 250 years ago, in a district of Germany, a godly pastor by the name of Bloemheart took over the responsibility of the local parish church. Over the thirty

to pray, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven? CREATION STILL GROANS Scripture makes it plain that there are limitations placed upon us. Although the sting of death has been taken away, the factor of death has not been removed. Our temporal bodies have not yet put on immortality. Creation itself, as is beautifully described by Paul in Romans 8, is still subject to both futility and decay. Our bodies are not excluded. It is interesting to note what Romans 8 says: The creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God (v. 21). This verse seems to imply

MIRACLES
years that he was in that district, he exercised a powerful ministry of healing and casting out demons. It was said of that district that it enjoyed better health than any of the other districts in Germany. Perhaps more verifiable, in the modern scientific sense,* are accounts of the life and ministry of such men as John G. Lake. This remarkable Christian business entrepreneur was called of God first to South Africa, where he established the rapidly growing and influential Apostolic Faith Churches, then later returned in the late 1920s to the state of Washington. Here, based in Spokane, he exercised a powerful healing ministry over a period of five years. It is recorded that 100,000 medically verified healings took place under his ministry during that five-year period. The Washington State Senior Public Health official commented that the health of the whole region had been affected by John G. Lakes ministry. It is, at best, speculation to state how this happened. Had the powers of darkness somehow been rolled back from a particular geographical location for a period of time? We may not yet see everything in the Spirit clearly, but we can certainly see some of the effects. Jesus himself, describing the work of the Holy Spirit, said that we may not see (or understand) all that He does, but we would certainly see His effects, even as we see the effects of the wind in the trees (John 3:8). THE PRINCIPLE OF LIFE WORKING THROUGH DEATH 2 Corinthians 4:12 tells us that Death is at work in us, but life is at work in you. This very interesting passage seems to explain the underlying pressures that all those in Christian leadership know are part and parcel of our following the Lord Jesus Christ. Somehow the very pressures that we work under produce their own toll, whether that is at a mental, emotional, spiritual, or physical level. It is into this context that Paul says, Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal (2 Cor. 4:16). However, this is certainly not willing surrender to increasing decay, as much as it is joyful and obedient sacrifice for the sake of others. Earlier in this very passage, after Paul emphasizes that what is eternal is clearly more important than what is temporal, he tells us, We who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus sake, so that His life may be revealed in our mortal body(2 Cor. 4:11). It is the actual life of God, which is finding expression, not just through our spiritual existence, but also our physical life. This was the great revelation that the founder of the Christian and Missionary Alliance, Dr. A. B. Simpson, had when he himself was crippled through overwork and pulmonary disease. In his understanding that Christ was his life, he was able to take hold of healing. He worked from that day onwards with a renewed strength and vigor that had never been his, even in his earliest days in the ministry when he was exceedingly fit. The subsequent tremendous growth of the Christian & Missionary Alliance through the United States and across the world says volumes for this saintly man of God. Many other spiritual giants have emerged from this denomination that had its roots in A. B. Simpsons revelation of the glory and power of the risen Christ. The best known are F. F. Bosworth, who conducted massive healing crusades across the United States and Canada in the beginning of the 1900s and A. W. Tozer, considered by many one of the most spiritual prophets of recent years. UNANSWERED QUESTIONS So why then do we go so often without this apparent liberty that is available to the believer (i.e. the liberty of health and healing)? It seems to me that there are a number of reasons that help to give us pointers in this area. 1. The lies of Satan. Satan is a liar and the father of lies. If there is some way that he can work out his task of seeking to steal and kill and destroy, then he will do that. He will lie within our minds and within our bodies. Perhaps the greatest lie that he has perpetrated on the church is that Christs salvation is really only effective for our spiritual needs. He has left us blind to the glorious truth that salvation is completespirit, soul, and body, so that we may be preserved blameless(1 Thess. 5:23). 2. The kingdom not yet fully realized. It is not enough though, just to say that Satan has kept Gods people in bondage. I think we have to realize that we are now experiencing, in only an incomplete and imperfect way, the promise of the kingdom. We are still praying as our Lord taught us to pray, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. But that kingdom is neither fully realized nor perhaps even fully anticipated by us in this present age. It is this lack of faith that leads us to the third area. 3. Low level of faith and expectation in the church. Lack of clear biblical teaching over many generations has led to the appallingly low expectation of health and healing that is now experienced in the Body of Christ, the church. In addition, modern scientific medicine has effectively become a religion of its own, with most of the church willingly bowing down at the altar of what the doctor says. It is little wonder that we see such lack of health in the church. The doctor has replaced the priest as the foremost prognosticator of future events. His divine ability to give a prognosis has become a type of negative prophecy that usually inspires despair and fear in those who receive it. As believers, we do not need to expect that the coming of illness will necessarily have a natural course and outcome. We live as believers, not only within the natural realm, but in the whole realm that is pervaded by the Spirit of God. When confronted with the reality (fact) of sickness, we do not give in to the medical prognosis any more than we expect to give in to our feelings when we feel anxious, low, or angry. Instead, it is right at this point of vulnerability that we reach out to God in faith and take hold of the promises of His Word. It is from there that we are empowered to challenge the powers of darkness in aggressive prayer that God will restore us to full health. Tony Dale is a businessman and church planter. He is the Senior Editor of House2House Magazine. *It is worth noting that science is not the ultimate arbiter of truth, nor is a detailed statistical analysis, but rather what the Word of God says. HOUSE2HOUSE MAGAZINE, ISSUE 5 23

THE HOLY SPIRIT

Whats In A Name?
by Frank Viola

Much of the contention among believers regarding the gifts often finds its basis in a conflicting conversational style.
Regrettably, the label reads Valium. The consequences would be disastrous. You would be deceived by the label, thinking you were ingesting a certain medication, when, in fact, you were taking something else.

ver the past four decades, a heated controversy has raged in the church over the question of spiritual gifts. It has been my experience that much of the contention among believers regarding the gifts often finds its basis in a conflicting conversational style. Let me explain. Two believers may actually have similar beliefs and experiences regarding spiritual gifts, but because they do not use the same theological jargon, they mistakenly conclude that their beliefs and experiences are worlds apart. I compare this phenomenon to that of medicine and medicine labels. Suppose, for example, that your doctor prescribes a certain medicine for a stomach disorder you are suffering from. Through a careless mistake, the medicine is labeled improperly. Instead of being labeled Senna, as it should, the medicine bottle is mislabeled to read Sopor. Not knowing the difference, you take the medicine, and it aids in your recovery. Yet, when you tell others about how Sopor has helped you, they cannot understand this, and doubt your account (for Sopor does not relieve stomach problems). Now, lets shift the scenario. Suppose that your doctor tells you that you need to begin taking Valium. Yet, when you receive the prescription, you are given the wrong medicine-it is actually Ritalin. 24 HOUSE2HOUSE MAGAZINE, ISSUE 5

My analogy regarding the potential problems that can arise over medicine and medicine labels is an apt metaphor for the conversational barriers that often bring confusion in the arena of spiritual gifts. The medicine is analogous to the gifts, while the label is analogous to how we describe and define them. Oftentimes, believers will actually have tasted the same medicine, but because one is using a Pentecostal label to describe his experience and the other is using a Reformed label, confusion and trivialization over the issues tend to be the result. On the other hand, a person may use Biblical language to describe his experience, but the language itself doesnt insure that the experience is valid. The label can be

correct, and the medicine could be wrong. Let me pose an example to illustrate how this often fleshes out. Suppose that Pete and Roger are carrying on a dialogue about the gift of prophecy. Pete believes the gift of prophecy exists today, and he claims to have it. Given his Pentecostal background, P e t e describes his gift with a Pentecostal label. Hence, his e x pl a n a tion of the gift is punctuated with expressions like revel a t io n , thus saith the Lord, God told me, etc. Roger, on the other hand, comes from a Reformed background. He believes that divine revelation is no longer given to the church, and that the apostolic gift of prophecy ceased with the closing of the canon of Scripture. So, when Pete says that he prophesies to people using the King James aphorism, thus saith the Lord, Roger is incredulous. Further, when Roger presses Pete about the actual content and effect of these prophecies, Pete admits that they were general exhortations in the main, and they have not necessarily produced any real changes in the individuals receiving them. As a result, Roger doubts that God speaks to Pete in this way, and it confirms his belief

that genuine prophecy no longer exists in the genuine gift of the Spirit. In a word, the church. Roger has tasted the correct medicine, but Although Roger rejects Pentecostal has used the wrong label; Pete has tasted theology, and fails to use standard charis- the wrong medicine, but has used the right matic jargon to describe his experiences, label (prophecy). he does possess a vital relationship with This illustration demonstrates how God. In addition, Roger has expressed how disagreements over the miraculous gifts he often receives thoughts and burdens are often rooted in varying conversational to exhort, challenge, and direct others in styles and theological explanatory frametheir walk with God, and he often senses works. In addition, the principle of the things about people that go beyond his nat- medicine and the medicine label, as it were, ural reasoning powers. lies at the root of many other controversies In one instance, Roger shared with regarding Christian experience. Pete how he was awakened from sleep one Such divergent labels that are comnight, feeling constrained to write a letter monplace along this line are as follows: to a friend who had left his church. After the baptism of the Holy Ghost vs. the prayerfully writing the letter, he sent it fullness or empowering of the Spiritout the next day. When his friend received illumination vs. revelation-faith healthe letter, he notified Roger and told him ing vs. divine healing-having a burden that it was exactly what he needed to from God vs. having a prophetic wordhear, and was amazed at the accuracy and being exercised vs. being led-having urgency with which an unction vs. Roger wrote him. having an anointTwo believers may As a result, Rogers ing, etc. actually have similar friend was greatly No doubt, convicted, and was there are many beliefs and experiences restored to the Lord other directions in regarding spiritual gifts, and to the church. which the medicine but because they do not One could label metaphor can use the same theologirightly argue that be applied. Suffice cal jargon, they mistakRoger was exerit to say that the cising the genuine common mistake of enly conclude that their gift of prophecy confusing the label beliefs and experiences through his letter (1 with the medicine are worlds apart. Cor. 14:3, 24, 25). ought to urge us to Yet, because Rogreevaluate the laners notion of Bibliguage we use when cal prophecy is much more dramatic, he discussing supernatural phenomena and doesnt recognize it as such. In addition, spiritual experiences. because Rogers experience was not accomRather than hone in on the specific modated with all of the charismatic accents rhetoric that one utilizes, we ought to that mark Petes description of the gift, it instead seek to hear and understand the never occurs to Pete that Roger has in fact reality of that persons experience, even prophesied by the Spirit of God. though they may describe it in a way that is The fact of the matter is that Roger foreign (and sometimes irritating) to us. As has operated in the gift of prophecy (the we seek to do this, perhaps we can discover Biblical gift of prophecy is simply the together what the true medicine tastes like, speaking forth of a present word from the as well as how to label it properly. Holy Spirit). Yet, due to his acceptance of the Reformed notion of the gifts, Roger Frank Viola is a prolific author. More of fails to use the language of Scripture to his writings can be obtained through his describe his experience. website www.ptmin.org. On the other hand, although Pete may use the correct label when describing this gift (prophecy), he does not own the true medicine, but appears to have substituted his good intentions, ideas, and zeal with

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HOUSE2HOUSE MAGAZINE, ISSUE 5 25

I Dont Mind What You Call I

ithin the last 100 years, few subjects have shown themselves more able to bring divisio than the subject of the baptism in the Holy Spirit. tooth-and-nail to divide Gods people into opposing camps? Why, there may be some

What is so important about one manifestation of the Holy Spirits workspeakin

while loving everything that House2House magazine stands for, will decide that they cant continue in fellowship magazine) because we allow such articles to be published.
It is because of the likelihood of such reactions that I, as the Editor of House2House, would like to give some personal background that I hope will encourage tolerance and open-mindedness as we continue to explore these areas together. It is clear that over the past 100 years the Holy Spirit has not only allowed the Pentecostal and Charismatic elements of Christs body to become a third force in Christendom (after the Orthodox/Catholic and Protestant sections), but also to become by far the most rapidly growing section of His body world-wide. Just as you can hear the wind but cant tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you cant explain how people are born of the Spirit. John 3:8 NLT In the 1960s the wind of change was blowing into the church worldwide. I was a young teenager, the child of missionary parents who were serving the Lord in Taiwan. I didnt know anything about this stuff, except that the grown-ups seemed to get awfully excited and angry whenever anyone mentioned something like speaking in tongues. I remember hearing that the sister of one of my best friends had been caught speaking in tongues in a dorm prayer meeting (we all went to a mission boarding school) and it sounded like the school was going to expel her! Around 1964 or 1965, Bill Bright of Campus Crusade for Christ came to Taiwan and spoke at a conference for kids of missionaries and military personnel. I remember sitting around the campfire that Saturday night as he explained being filled with the Holy Spirit. (Anyone remember that Campus Crusade booklet with the pictures of what it means to make Jesus Lord of ones life? Then came the train with the 26 HOUSE2HOUSE MAGAZINE, ISSUE 5 three carriages representing fact, faith and feelings as the appropriate order for things to occur when you asked Jesus to fill you with the Holy Spirit.) I was one of many who stood up and asked Jesus to fill me. Something happened. My hunger for God deepened. I can remember many evenings following that special night when Ian (it was his sister who had got in trouble for speaking in tongues!) and I would go up onto the dorm roof, and pray as we continued to seek God for whatever it meant to be filled with the Holy Spirit. We were serious. For hours on end we would pray, and God was doing something in our lives. Like any typical teenage guy, my main focus by day was soccer and beautiful girls, but this did not take away from the reality of a genuine hunger for God! It was three years later (1968) when I had started in medical school in England, that I found myself in the waiting room of an accountants office in central London. I was meeting with a rapidly growing group of believers who were hungry for more of God. A young seminary graduate led the meeting. On the very day of his graduation, the Anglican seminary actually refused to let him graduate, because he refused to stop speaking in tongues in private. God was challenging me on the priorities in my life. Would I really put Jesus first in everything? As we prayed together that day, something happened. Jesus was there. I knew if I just opened my eyes that I would see Him. As my heart felt that it would burst, I found myself shouting out praises to Him in a language that I had never learned. What was happening? The Bible suddenly became alive to me. I found myself sharing Jesus with anyone who would listen. Just a few days later, when a friend and I came back from a midnight walk around the medical school (we had never heard of prayer walking in those days), we met a couple of friends from our class at the door, who accused us of being drunk (Acts 2:13-15). This was getting wild! A few weeks later this same friend and I gate-crashed a party going on at the home of some Christian friends. We told everyone about some amazing things that we had just seen happening at a meeting where people were getting healed. We offered to pray with people; several nurses got filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in tongues. The party was in an uproar! We had no idea what we were doing, but it appeared that God was doing something. So, theologically, what was happening? Surely it is clear from scripture that every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ (Eph. 1:3) is ours from the moment of conversion. This is true, and represents the classic evangelical position. Everything is ours in Christ. There is no more. Every blessing is already ours. Why would we look for some second blessing? But although it is all ours, dont we need to experience it? Third wave theology (possibly best represented by John Wimber and the Vineyard churches) teaches people to reach out for and experience everything that God has already given to them. Its not enough to say that we believe in healing; we need to seek God to actually experience the reality of the healing. Again this theological position is clearly true. However, many who accept the valid-

It, Get It!


who will read through this issue, and
ity of the above two positions, find from their own study of scripture that God, in His wisdom, has clearly led us to expect a specific endowment with power from on high. It is true that you must repent, be baptized, and you will be filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38). Each step is distinct. Ideally, it all happens at once. This is the classic evangelical position. (Interestingly, I personally know of few evangelicals who follow the logic and clear scriptural practice of this and actually baptize in water their converts on the same day that they come to the Lord, even though this was the norm in New Testament times.) Maybe each of these three steps can and should all be claimed at once. But if that doesnt happen (Acts 19:1-6), then lets by all means teach the believer that he can subsequently have and experience all that Christ has promised. There are manyfrom Andrew Murray of the Keswick Deeper Life Movement in England in the 19th Century, to Dwight L Moody in the last century describing his own moment of endowment with power, to the modern day Pentecostals and Charismaticswho find that the simplest way to understand Jesus words is to literally ask to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit subsequent to conversion. A.W. Tozer, the great prophet of the Christian and Missionary Alliance movement, who was by no means a Pentecostal or Charismatic, when he was talking about being filled with the Holy Spirit, perhaps put it best: I dont mind what you call itget it! By Tony Dale

on and discord in the Body of Christ

And You Shall Receive Power


by Robert Fitts

THE HOLY SPIRIT

ng in tonguesthat Satan has battled

p with us (i.e. continue to receive the

ore and more people are hearing about the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Many would like to receive it, but have never been instructed as to what it is and how to receive it. The baptism in the Holy Spirit is a definite experience in which the Holy Spirit, who is already dwelling within the believer, is released to overflow and empower him. This baptism is administered by Jesus, and is received by faith. Jesus himself is our pattern and our example in this matter. He was born of the Spirit at birth, but he was not baptized in the Spirit until he received water baptism in the Jordan River at the age of thirty when the Holy Spirit came upon him. (John 1:29-34) The disciples experienced this same transforming event on the Day of Pentecost. The gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38; 10:45) was followed by manifestations of the Spirit such as supernatural praise, prophecy, and speaking in unknown tongues (I Cor. 12: 7 - 11). The baptism in the Holy Spirit is given for the purpose of exalting Jesus Christ in the life and service of the believer. In order to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit, it is important to understand the following: IT IS PROMISED TO EVERY BELIEVER For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call (Acts 2:38). Here, the promise refers to the outpouring of the Spirit. This experience is not just for missionaries, evangelists and pastors; it is for every believer. IT IS A GIFT We do not have to beg for it. We cannot work for it. We cannot make ourselves good enough to receive it. We must

receive it as we would receive any gift. We just take it by simple faith, and then express our thanks to God for hearing and answering our prayer. After we receive it by faith, we will begin to experience it. IT IS ADMINISTERED BY JESUS John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose; He shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire (Luke 3:16). The baptism in the Holy Spirit is administered by Jesus, and there may or may not be a physical experience of it the moment it is received. There will be an empowering, which sooner or later will become evident in the life of the one who receives it. Jesus said, You shall receive power after the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you shall be witnesses unto me . . . (Acts 1:8). In Acts 1:4, Jesus emphasized the importance of being baptized in the Holy Spirit: And being assembled together with them, Jesus commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith He, ye have heard of Me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days hence. Ten days later they all received the baptism in the Holy Spirit. When the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting . . . And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance (Acts 2:1-4). Receiving the Holy Spirit when we are born again and being baptized in the Holy Spirit are two separate events. The HOUSE2HOUSE MAGAZINE, ISSUE 5 27

THE HOLY SPIRIT


disciples had received the Holy Spirit on the same as the born-again experience. It years for this blessing, yet they do not the day of Jesus resurrection.And when is another experience altogether. receive it. Why not? It is because they He had said this, He breathed on them, do not lay claim to it or thank God for it and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy IT IS THE WILL OF GOD THAT YOU by simple, child-like faith. They ask for Spirit (John 20:22). I am fully confident RECEIVE IT it. They beg for it, but they do not claim that they did receive the Holy Spirit when God commands all believers to be it by faith and thank God for it before they Jesus breathed on them that day. Fifty filled with the Spirit: Be not drunk with experience it. Put your faith out in front of days later, they received the baptism in the wine . . . but be filled with the Spirit your feelings, and you will receive it. By Holy Spirit. (Ephesians 5:18). faith, pray the following prayer, and you We read in Acts 8 that the Samaritans When you pray for the baptism in the will receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit had been baptized in water after having Holy Spirit, you are asking according to immediately: believed in Jesus, and yet they Jesus, I do acknowledge did not receive the filling of the You as my Lord and Savior. Holy Spirit until Peter and John I thank You for dying on the laid their hands on them, and cross for my sins. You said that prayed for them to receive it. if I ask anything within Your Saul of Tarsus received will, You will hear and answer. Jesus on the road to Damascus. Lord, Your Word commands He always referred to his Damasme to be filled with the Holy cus Road experience as the day Spirit. So, I ask You to baphe received Jesus into his life. tize me in the Holy Spirit right However, he did not receive the now. I thank You for hearing filling of the Holy Spirit until my prayer and granting my three days later when Ananias request. Thank You, Jesus! laid his hands on him, and said, Amen Brother Saul, the Lord, even The Bible says, The just Jesus . . . hath sent me, that thou shall live by faith. So, do mightest receive thy sight and be not seek to have an emotional filled with the Holy Ghost (Acts experience. Claim the bap9:17). tism in the Holy Spirit by faith, We know that if any man and walk in the reality of it by does not have the Spirit of Christ faith. in him he does not belong to Feelings will come, but Christ. He is not saved. He leave that in the hands of is not a Christian. Paul was a God. Your part is to believe, Christian for at least three days embrace, confess, and act like before he received the baptism in the work is done. You must the Holy Spirit. He received the TRUST HIS WORD OF indwelling of the Spirit on the PROMISE. The results will road to Damascus the moment follow. You will begin to expehe believed in Jesus. rience supernatural gifts and Also, in Acts 19:1-7, cermanifestations of the power tain disciples in Ephesus had and presence of God that you not received the baptism in the never had before. Holy Spirit, although they were Now that you have PRAISING THE LORD: ROBERT FITTS ON THE GUITAR believers and were called disprayed and by faith received ciples. If we automatically receive the bap- the will of God. Therefore, you can know the baptism in the Holy Spirit, it is time to tism in the Holy Spirit the moment we that God will answer your prayer because express your faith that God has heard and believe, it would have been pointless for of the following promise: And this is answered your prayer: just begin to praise Paul to ask, Have ye received the Holy the confidence we have in Him that, if God, but not in your own language. The Ghost since ye believed? When Paul we ask anything according to His will, experience of the apostles on the day of found that they were ignorant of the Holy He hears us; and if we know that He Pentecost can be yours as well. Simply Ghost and his ministry, He laid hands on hears us, whatsoever we ask, we know we open your mouth and begin to praise God, them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and have the petitions that we desired of Him and trust him to give you words in a lanthey all spoke with tongues and prophe- (I John 5:14-15). guage unknown to you, a spiritual lansied. It is not enough to pray for the bap- guage of the Spirit. By this, you will be The baptism in the Holy Spirit is not tism in the Holy Spirit. Many pray for offering perfect praise to God in the Spirit.

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You will be doing what the apostle Paul did when he said, I will pray with my spirit, and I will pray with my understanding also. I will sing with my spirit, and I will sing with my understanding also. It is not a matter of emotion, but a matter of the will. You can will to pray in your own language, and you can will to pray in your heavenly language. Paul went on to say to the Christians in Corinth, The spirit of the prophet is subject to the prophet, therefore let all things be done decently and in order. You can star nd you can stop. You are in control. The baptism in the Holy Spirit will bring many wonderful changes into your life: Jesus will become more real and personal to you than ever before. As you read the Bible, God will speak to you more clearly. You will find its truths more meaningful, and have a greater desire to read it. You will feel love for others flowing through your life in a way you have never experienced before. You will begin to experience miracles day-by-day as you walk in the Spirit. You will have a desire to minister to others in the power of the Spirit. It will be easier for you to share your faith in Jesus with those who do not know him. You will have a new power in witnessing for him. As you open up your life more fully to the ministry of the Holy Spirit, you will be used in spiritual gifts such as healing, miracles, prophecy, tongues, interpretation of tongues, word of knowledge, word of wisdom, etc. (I Corinthians 12 & 14, Romans 12). Now that you have received the baptism in the Holy Spirit, it is important to walk in the Spirit by faith, moment by moment. Ephesians 5:18 in the original Greek says, Keep on being filled with the Spirit. We are not to rely on a one-time experience, but we are to daily experience fresh fillings of the Spirit. Robert Fitts has been with Youth With A Mission in Hawaii for many years. He is available to help people start house churches using his ABC Bible Colleges. Please contact Sandra Hatley in the House2House office for more information. (512) 282-2322 or shatley@house2house.tv.

THE HOLY SPIRIT

Upcoming Events
RADICAL DISCIPLESHIP - THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT - JEFF LUCAS (HOUSE2HOUSE) January 4th & 5th, 2002 - Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas Youll laugh and youll cry as Jeff Lucas, author of Lucas on Life, takes a look at radical discipleship-Jesus style. Cost is $39 per person includes Workbook by Jeff. For More Information Contact: House2House Magazine (512) 282-2322 or visit us online at www.house2house.tv HEARING PROPHETICALLY, ACTING APOSTOLICALLY - WOLFGANG SIMSON (HOUSE2HOUSE) (The Importance of the Prophetic in Rapid Church Planting) April 4th- 6th, 2002 - Location T.B.A. (D/FW or Denver likely) Wolfgang Simson and Chris Daza from Switzerland/Germany teaching on the importance of the prophetic in rapid church planting. For More Information Contact: House2House Magazine (512) 282-2322 or visit us online at www.house2house.tv CHURCH LIFE CONFERENCE - FRANK VIOLA (PRESENT TESTIMONY MINISTRIES) March 26th-30th, 2002-Ireland (in the Drogheda Co Louth area) For More Information Contact: Frank Viola by e-mail: FViola3891@aol.com GROWING HEALTHY CELL GROUPS SEMINAR - RON MYER (DCFI) January 11th-12th, 2002: Columbia Falls, MT For More Information Contact: DOVE Christian Fellowship International Phone: (800) 848-5892, e-mail: dcfi@dcfi.org, website: www.dcfi.org SPIRITUAL FATHERING & MOTHERING SEMINARS-LARRY KREIDER (DCFI) January 25th & 26th-Bolingbrook, IL February 1st & 2nd-Coeur dAlene, ID February 8th & 9th-Longview, WA February 22nd & 23rd-Wilmington, OH - RON MYER March 22nd & 23rd-West Milford, NJ April 12th & 13th-Williston, VT April 26th & 27th-Richmond, VA May 3rd & 4th-Bristol, IN For More Information Contact: DOVE Christian Fellowship International Phone: (800) 848-5892, e-mail: dcfi@dcfi.org, website: www.dcfi.org

Visit us online for the latest details: www.house2house.tv


HOUSE2HOUSE MAGAZINE, ISSUE 5 29

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HOUSE2HOUSE MAGAZINE, ISSUE 5

Inside a Movement: A Report From India

CHURCH PLANTING MOVEMENTS


very carefully at what is the best use of money raised in the West. Our money can be a blessing, and it can also easily be corrupting. Wisdom must be employed when deciding how money is allocated and used in mission situations. Ideally, mission work needs to facilitate and back up the work that is coordinated and controlled by nationals who really understand the culture, and who by their lives have demonstrated that they are above reproach. The Biblical standards for church leadership, mentioned in Timothy and Titus, need to be applied to all churches everywhere. There is a price to pay for standing up for the Gospel. Jesus told us that we would suffer persecution. In India, a growing number of believers are experiencing this as reality. In Madhaya Pradesh and certain other states, people can be sentenced to 7 years in prison for baptizing a person. Christians are often beaten, and at times killed. Social discrimination within some villages can become a serious problem. If, for example, as a Christian you are denied the right to use the village well for water, you may have to walk many miles every day to get water elsewhere. The social and economic consequences of such ostracism are very severe. Everywhere we had people tell us stories of the miraculous. There is both an expectation and excitement about these accounts that makes me anxious to see the same in the States. One particular story stands out. A young man we met has a friend in his church who was injured in a medical incident some years ago. This persons arm became paralyzed following a severe reaction to an injection. The damage to the arm was so severe that the doctors recommended amputation. The boy refused. Some time later he came into contact with some Christians who prayed for his arm. Over the period of the next month, that arm came back to life. The formerly disabled boy now rides a bike, plays cricket, and is able to do everything normally with the once withered arm. Many have come to Christ through what happened to this young man. Hallelujah!India Missions Team HOUSE2HOUSE MAGAZINE, ISSUE 5 31

ndia, the worlds second most pop- ship. These range from minor local deities, ulous country, is a land of amazing say a big tree in the middle of a village, contrasts and fascinating people. It to massive shrines and temples to which is made up of over 1 billion people, nearly all major national politicians will go representing around 3000 different people to seek blessing before starting any politigroups and almost that many languages. cal campaign. There is no question that It has always been called a nation of vil- this is a nation in bondage. It is helping lagesaround 60% of the population lives me to see how it is equally real in the in small, rural settings. But like all coun- States, that we wrestle not against flesh tries that are rapidly industrializing, there and blood, but against principalities and is a massive movement of people to the powers, and spiritual forces of wickedness urban areas. India has many large cities. in the heavenly places. Bombay (Mumbai), Calcutta, and Madras Seeing how far an American dollar (Chennai) each are as large in population will go in another part of the world is a as Los Angeles or New York. serious lesson in the approach that needs In October 2001, four members of to be taken in reaching the world for Jesus. the Austin Fellowship of Home Churches The average income for the lower 50% of went over to India, at the invitation of var- people in this country would be around $2 ious church groups, to help them explore per day. As foreigners, we might inadverthe whole area of church planting through tently give a person a tip of a dollar, then homes. Six 3-day conferences in four states over a period of four weeks kept the team very busy. The following are some of their thoughts from those weeks: There is so much more for us to learn from the Indians than the other way around! They talk in such genuinely confident terms that the Lord can reach all of the people in their country. They love to learn from nations who, in this past century, have seen national scale transformation, such as NEW INDIAN CHRISTIANS South Korea and China. They are praying towards transformation on a similar scale. In China the find out that a dollar was as much as they church has grown from around 2 million in expected to earn all day. This makes for1949 when the Communists took overto eigners, particularly foreign Christians, a around 120 million now. The Indians are potentially difficult ally for the Gospel in looking to the Lord for similar growth India. If an Indian national is taking a forin the Indian church over the next two eign missionary to see some villages, the decades. presumption of all concerned is that the Spiritual warfare becomes so much national is being paid by the missionary. more real when you see the poverty, the The militant Hindus constantly accuse the idols, and the way that the Hindu caste Christians of buying converts, and actusystem has trapped the people in the ally take Christian organizations to court untouchable classes. After a couple of trying to prove that they are paying people weeks, the sights and the smells seemed to become Christians. normal. But knowing that people were It may take 50 to 100 times as much actually living in fear of the multitude of to support a foreigner doing mission work idols all around, makes it very real and as it does to support a local person doing helps me understand why people need to be the same work. Does this mean that we saved. It is estimated that India has around shouldnt have any foreign missionaries? 330 million different idols that people wor- No, but it does mean that we have to look

ollowing is an interview that House2House magazine conducted in October 2001 with Joshua Pillai, an associate to the DAWN vision in India. Joshua was formerly the Missions Director for the Assemblies of God in India. His primary burden is reaching Indias masses through rapid church planting. Over the past five years he has been instrumental in working with a variety of church denominations as a DAWN associate and a minister with the Assemblies of God. This has resulted in around 5000 new churches being established.
H2H: We understand that the church in India is seeing much in terms of the miraculous. Could you give us some examples of this, and what has been the effect? J.P.: We are getting increasing numbers of reports of healings and of the dead being raisedwith many coming to the Lord as a direct result. I, myself, have actually met one of the people whom the Lord raised from the dead, and have talked with a number of Christians who have been used of the Lord in this way to raise up others. One pastor that I know personally has been used of the Lord five times in this way in North India. A 16-year-old girl named Bhagavati was visiting a village in Central India to preach the gospel, but the local villagers detested her. One day, one of the girls, whom she was constantly visiting and had become good friends with, died due to a prolonged illness. When Bhagavati heard about this, she ran to the village and prayed from morning til night that God would raise her from death to life. She knew that this would cause a breakthrough in reaching the village. In the evening, the dead girl came to life. As a result, the girls father, who is the village chief, accepted Christ, and many families from the village came to Christ. A church was planted as a direct result of this miracle. In connection with this there was a subsequent, equally remarkable miracle. As news of the dead girls resur32 HOUSE2HOUSE MAGAZINE, ISSUE 5 rection spread to neighboring villages, a man crippled for 38 years was thrilled by the news, and decided to go to the place where the new church had been planted. He believed in his heart that if he could get to that place, he would also be healed. He had to crawl many man stood up for the first time in his life, and was able to walk the remaining distance to the village church, where he immediately testified to what the Lord had done for him! H2H: Why do you think that the church in India sees so much more of Gods divine power than we do in the West? JP: Here the belief system is so different. People ask no questions as to whether or not this can happen. They just believe that it is possible from God. That causes the miraculous. In my experience, when I have prayed for intellectuals and educated people, nothing much happens. But when I prayed for illiterate people from the slums, then the miraculous occurs. I do not think there is any difference in how I prayed or in my own faith level. It is the faith or expectation of the person being prayed for. Also, we cannot put God in a box and apply formulae to healing. Jesus never used one simple method for healing. JOSHUA PILLAI miles to try to get there, accompanied by a young boy to show him the way. Darkness fell before they could get to the village, but they continued anyway. At last they could see the light from the church in the distance. At that point the lame H2H: What do you think that we need to do in the West to see the same kinds of things happening? JP: You have to forget about all your intelligence. For example, if you, as a doctor, get sick, you know the causes of the illness and what will happen. If you do not open your mind to divine intervention, then it will not happen!

Interview With An Indian Church Planter

Surprised By The Power Of The Spirit

Reviewed by Holly Urbach


through years of Christian counseling, he heard God speak to him for the very first time. The words which he heardYoure a deceiver and a manipulator, and youre just playing at churchcaused him to realize that he was at a crossroad, and that the way he responded would set a whole new direction for his life. Jack began a journey that day that

f you have ever spent time wondering, Where are miracles today? or, Why dont we see the power of God? then I have a book for you! Jack Deere, a former professor at Dallas Theological Seminary, believed that God no longer gave the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit, that is, until he had an encounter with the Holy Spirit, courtesy of Dr. John White, a noted British psychiatrist and Christian author. Dr. White had been invited to speak at a conference at Jack Deeres church, and he agreed to come under certain conditions. He stipulated that he must be allowed to give a talk on healing and actually pray for sick people in the church, which was not the norm for the church Jack attended. As Jack watched Dr. White cast a demon out of a woman who had previously sought healing in her life

changed his life dramatically. He began to see that God does heal, that we need to pursue the spiritual gifts for the right reasons, and that miracles build the church. Conversion does tend to make a person very clear in their thinking, and in their ability to understand the position that they previously believed. That is clear in the writing of Jack Deere. Obviously for someone who was in the cessationist camp, it comes as a personal, intellectual blow to find out how wrong you could have been. Jacks personal odyssey provides a compelling, and thoroughly Biblical, look at a subject that is taking increasing prominence in church planting movements around the world. This book is available at major Christian bookstores or from amazon.com. HOUSE2HOUSE MAGAZINE, ISSUE 5 33

The Organic Church Planters GREENHOUSE provides a supportive enironment for Christian leaders who have chosen to function in ways similar to the apostolic role of the New Testament. It is for leaders who arent just interested in planting a church but rather, in churching a region. It is for those who are willing to get their hands dirty in the soil of lost people. It is for those wanting to make a globalocal impact from the ground up!

UPCOMING GREENHOUSES
Spokane, WA Jan 11-13th 2002 Las Vegas, NV - May 24th-26th 2002 LA, CA- June 28th-30th 2002 Phoenix, AZ October 11th-13th 2002

For more information please contact: Church Multiplication Associates 1965 E. 21st Street Signal Hill, CA 90806 (562) 961-1962 (562) 961-1982 (fax)

Dead Child Revived Through Prayer


TOGO, Western Africa-- I was at Toms house last Friday. Their electricity had been cut off because they were unable to pay the bills, and a prayer meeting was planned at their house that evening, reports Cosmos Touleassi from Togo, western Africa. After we had praised God for a while, a couple arrived, whose 2-year-old son had just died. They were crying and weeping in desperation. The dead boys mother heard us singing, and told her husband, We have no money for the hospitals morgue, so lets go in and see whether God will do something. A Christian took the dead child in her arms, and Tom said, If these people bring the dead child to us, it means that they believe that God will do something. So we prayed for about 20 minutes, until Tom started to cry and finally said, The child is alive! The confusion was indescribable, as everyone excitedly thanked God for reviving the child. The parents decided to follow Jesus. Swiss Vineyards Markus Moser adds: Cosmos was a refugee in Switzerland a number of years ago, and became a missionary, returning to Togo six years ago to plant new churches with the Vineyard. There are now over 30 house churches in Lome and central Togo.
More than 7 million people around the world read or hear the famous stories brought to you by Wolfgang Simsons FridayFAX. Every week we provide you with up-to-date reports what God is doing around the world.

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34 HOUSE2HOUSE MAGAZINE, ISSUE 5

My Favorite Vacation Activity


by Paul Kaak

CHURCH PLANTING

A NEW CHURCH?: SHARING AT A CAMPSITE church planting. In mid-July, Mike said, You know . . . Ive had a lot of people talk to me about Christian leadership, outreach, small groups . . . now church planting. But no one ever does it with me or shows me how. Show me how! I had arrived thinking we could. Kieva knew we should. Now, Mike and I committed that we would! Our first service out on the property was on July 29. That first one happened by accident. We got more purposeful in the next few weeks. One highlight was what happened with the children. As we spent time in the Word, they played. As various adults felt led, they left the circle and joined the little ones. Or, the kids sat down in the middle of our circle and watched us pray. One little boy taught us all a song. One time, a little girl got a bee sting! My son put his little hand on her knee and prayed that Jesus would heal her, and He did! Other highlights included the father who prayed out loud for his adult daughter for the first time. Then, she prayed out loud for her husband for the first time. In addition, there was the prophetic insight that the Lord gave someone regarding the difficulties being faced by a single mom. One morning, we had communion with a pancake and cranberry juice. After a lection divina (i.e. sacred reading in a divine service) exercise around the story in Matthew 26 of Jesus being anointed for burial by the women, each person brought incredible insights that were honest and helpful to everyone else in the gathering. There were vulnerable prayers of hurts, confession, repentance, and gratitude, in some cases, by people who were meeting others in the group for the first time. After five weeks, 33 people had participated in one of our organic church gatherings. Some had been family and friends, but others had been people in Mike and Tanas sphere of influence. Some were non-Christians. Some were fired-up Christians, no longer connected with traditional church. At this point, it looks quite possible that the Macys have the people potential to start 3 or more new churches in various parts of this community. Here are some things that we learned as a result of this experience: 1. Church planting is not so tough! In fact, it comes quite naturally as people bring the reality of Christ into their relationships. 2. Validating and commissioning godly, apostolically inclined, ordinary people is a HUGE factor in getting the ball rolling in a region. 3. In an organic church, the ministry to, with, and of children impacts everyone! 4. There are tons of people (non-believers and believers alike) who are chomping at the bit for church that is more like family. They are all over each community, as well as everywhere across America. It will be fun to reflect with our son, Elijah Wesley, in years to come, how he helped plant a church when he was three, on our vacation, just outside the door to our tent! Paul Kaak is a coach & strategist with Church Multiplication Associates. Paul works to encourage, empower, and equip church planters to think and act in apostolic ways, both globally and locally. He works in partnership with Neil Cole in facilitating the Organic Church Planters GREENHOUSEs, now growing up around the U.S. HOUSE2HOUSE MAGAZINE, ISSUE 5 35

A
tion!

ugust 26, 2001 was our last Sunday to be at this church. This new church which we had helped plant . . . on our vaca-

The day before yesterday, in the woods near Weed, California, we said goodbye to this church, and turned it over to Mike and Tana Macy. Our challenge to them, as we laid hands on them and passed the talking stick, was that they would be used by God to facilitate the start of many such churches throughout Siskiyou Countyperhaps even all at once. All at once? Mike asked. Absolutely, I said. He looked at mebewildered, yet eager. Youre gonna have to explain to me how to do that! It all started after leaving the Organic Church Planters GREENHOUSE Retreat in Oakland, California on the first of July. I got in the car with my pregnant wife, Kieva, and three-year-old son, Elijah. We headed north up I-5 to spend two months in a tent. As we were setting up camp, I said to Kieva, Hey, we should plant a church while we are here. She smiled a smile of agreement. She knew we could and should. Our friends Mike and Tana are veteran organic gardeners. They have been mentors to me in understanding organic processes, and I have mentored them in organic church planting. Mike and Tana are wonderful Christians with a contagious faith. They are proven evangelists and disciplers, but they hadnt yet planted a church. During our first weeks up here, we talked a lot about the principles of organic

Let the Little Children Come to Me

CHILDREN

by Belinda Watson

coloring, and cute songs. They desire to see the signs and wonders of God and to be lay in a hospital bed on the Ute Indian Reservation, having used by Him. They dont want to just sing songs about Him; they want to sing songs resigned herself to losing her leg the next day. Gangrene was to Him and be in His presence. Later that same year, another team in her leg due to complications from diabetes, and all hope for consisting of children, with an average age of 11, went to Puerto Rico on a mission keeping her leg was gone. trip. We were having a childrens crusade in a building that was 30 x 50 ft.about That afternoon, a mission team of having their church time filled with games, the size of a typical classroom here in the children from Tasch Ministries United States. The children International (TMI) was schedwere packed in so tightly uled to come in and pray for her. they were sitting two chilCrystal had considered canceling dren per chair. The teentheir visit, but something stopped agers stood in the back of her. The small group of children the room, pressed against from the mission team arrived the wall. As we were worat the designated time, and they shipping, the power of God were certainly ready to pray! A came down so strong that nine-year-old girl named Faith the teenagers began sliding led the prayer. She laid her small down the walls under the hand on Crystals leg, and, in a power of God. Children fell sweet voice, said a simple prayer, over onto each other, and the Dear Jesus, please heal her leg. adults who couldnt get into That was all. No long, superthe building were slain in spiritual prayer. The prayer and the Spirit in the parking lot expectancy in the childrens eyes outside. This is yet another and voices touched Crystals heart example of how God wants as they said good-bye that afterto touch the children! noon. The children doing One year later, my husmost of the ministry on a band, Michael, and I took another TMI mission trip are under team back to the same reservaage 12. They teach, preach, tion. We saw Crystal cheerfully share testimonies, lay hands cooking and socializing in the on the sick, and minister kitchen. She ran to us and asked, in drama and song. Many Wheres Faith, wheres Faith? opportunities for ministry She prayed for me last year when open up because commuI was in the hospital about to lose nity leaders are intrigued my leg, and God healed me! and impressed that children, Wow, God used a 9-year-old girl rather than adults, minister to heal Crystals leg! and perform in the serGod is using the children! vices. Isaiah 8:18 says our children are Just as a child led for signs and wonders. No longer Samson to his greatest vicWHAT WOULD MAKE OUR CHILDREN HUNGRY? are our children satisfied with tory before the end of Sam36 HOUSE2HOUSE MAGAZINE, ISSUE 5

n the spring of 1998, Crystal, a 47-year-old Native American,

CHILDREN
sons life, it will be the children leading the giftings and grow in the Lord. The Bible body of Christ to our greatest victory, our says in Matthew 10:42, that, Whosoever greatest hour, before Jesus returns. shall give a cup of cold water to a little one Children have always played an will surely receive a reward. important role in the plan of God. God The book of Proverbs is a great has used children in many instances. In I guide for training children. The word Samuel 3, He used Samuel to give mes- proverb means a rule or a standard, sages to Israel. In another passage in I something that is stable. Throughout the Samuel 16, a teenager, by the name of book of Proverbs you will hear and read David, was used to defeat Goliath. In Gen- the words knowledge, understanding esis 37, Joseph was a young man to whom and wisdom. The word knowledge God gave dreams, and in 2 Kings 5, God means the ability to get the facts. Underused a faithful servant girl. standing is the ability to arrange the facts. A childs faith is so be it. The Wisdom is the ability to use the facts. Bible speaks of four types of ground: stony, You are not just a hearer of the Word, which thorny, wayside, and the good ground. is knowledge, but you are a doer, which is Children are the good ground, the fresh, wisdom. If I were to plant a tree in my fertile ground. Children dont have all of yard, I would dig a hole, put the tree in it, the hang-ups and the spiritual scars that a and fill it back up with good soil. Then, I lot of adults have. We had a childrens cru- would put a stake or a pole (or standard) sade at a tent in downtown Cleveland over next to that young tree to stabilize it so the summer. There were about 80 - 100 that it would grow tall and strong. The children each night; some had never set foot inside a church their entire lives. On the first night of the crusade, 31 children asked Jesus to be their Lord! The next night, we taught on the power of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. Michael said, If you want to receive your special prayer language, come down here now. The front area of the tent was quickly packed with children. Approximately 95% of them received their new prayer language, speaking in tongues. Many of the adults from the church that was sponsoring the crusade, were surprised to see how many of the children received so easily. This outcome is typical of children. Show them what the Bible says, and they believe it and do it. A childs faith is so be it. No longer can we look at childrens services as babysitting. God is entrusting us with the spiritual nurturing of the children. What a great challenge and blessing it is to mentor children, to see them COULD YOU MENTOR A CHILD? discover their own spiritual young tree also would need the stake for stability during storms so that it would not be uprooted and tossed to and fro. You see, the proverb or the standard is something that is stable. Likewise, we as parents are standards. We are the stakes that go into the ground and do not move. The tree represents your children; if that young tree was not connected to you, it might grow crooked. But, that isnt going to happen because it is connected to you. There comes a time when that young tree is no longer little; it has become mature, and the stake is no longer needed. The childs roots have gone down deep into the good, fertile soil. That tree is now a tall, mature tree. Every day that our children are in our care, we are shaping them into strong, vibrant children of God. We must reach the children and prepare them for the work of the ministry while they are still good ground. John Tasch, the President of TMI says, It is better to prepare a childs life than to repair an adults. The church or home group setting is supplemental to what is taught at home. Childrens ministers might only have access to a child for a few hours each week, and if that is the extent of their spiritual food, it will be very hard for them to grow in the things of the Lord. Teaching must be done in the home. Too many parents look at child-raising as an experiment. Its similar to when you bake a cakeyou put all of the ingredients in and mix it up, put the cake in the oven and walk away thinking, Oh, I hope it turns out . Every five minutes you check on it. Forty-five minutes later when you take it out it is just finewhy is that? You have put all of the ingredients in it and followed the cooking directions. Well, parents think of child raising the same way hoping they turn out all right. If you put all of the ingredients into your children and follow the directions, dont worry. They will be all right because Proverbs 22:6 says, Train up HOUSE2HOUSE MAGAZINE, ISSUE 5 37

CHILDREN
a child in the way he should go God is pouring out His and when he is old he will not Spirit in such awesome ways depart I know some parents upon our sons and daughters think that during the teenage in these last days. Yes, our years their children will draw children are going far beyond away from the Lord and do us in the things of the Spirit. spiritually harmful things, but What we need to do as parthis doesnt have to happen. ents and adults is to aim them The Bible says, train up your in the right direction so they children, and when they are will not miss the target that old they will not depart. God has marked for them. The word train means In Psalm 127:4 we read, As to mold, to form, to shape, to arrows in the hand of a mighty drill or to make prepared for man; so are children This a test of skill. There are four verse is telling us that our PUTTING ON A SHOW FOR THE ADULTS basic training steps that we use children are like arrows. Note to teach the children. I do and you watch, the children. Do you? Where can you how an arrow always goes beyond you. I do and you help, you do and I help, and, best invest your life over the next 20 years Speaking Gods word and praying finally, you do and I watch. All of the steps to have the greatest eternal benefit for the over your children are keys to assuring that are necessary;you must fulfill each of the kingdom of God? In the children! they will hit the target. We need to see them steps or you and the child will the way God sees them: born become frustrated. again, Spirit-filled, on fire, I have met many parents and serving Him with all their who have missed their chilheart, mind and strength. dren growing up. I have never heard one of them say, I wish The Watsons travel and minisI would have spent more time ter full-time with Tasch Minin the office. Instead, they istries International, holding say, I wish I would have Family Revival Services, spent more time with my chilFamily Camps, Leadership dren as they were growing Training and Family Misup. Remember this: the only sions Trips. earthly possession that you can take with you to heaven is They believe it is better to your children. You have to put prepare a child than repair everything into your children an adult. The children in before you untie them from their services are challenged that stake. I would rather go to go deeper with God in fishing with my son today than practical and powerful ways, go fishing for him tomorrow. using high-energy, actionAbraham was chosen as packed ideas that will keep a covenant partner because them on the edge of their God knew that Abraham would seats. train his children well (see Gen. 18:19). Jesus was never For more information or to too busy to minister to the contact them: children. In Matthew 19:13-15 Tasch Ministries InternaJesus said, Let the little chiltional dren come unto me The Address: P O Box 1705, disciples tried to get the parClemmons, NC 27012 ents to stop bothering their Ph (336) 778-9200 master with the children, but Fax (336) 778-8686 Jesus told them not to hold Toll Free 1-888-887-2076 them back because the kingWatsonmb@aol.com dom of heaven is filled with www.taschministries.com such as these. Jesus knew the CAN YOU TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR KIDS? importance of reaching out to 38 HOUSE2HOUSE MAGAZINE, ISSUE 5

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Q.

Questions & Answers


bilities for at least part of the time by hiring, as a group, somebody to help with the kids, or trading the responsibility among themselves. Be ready to address the needs of the kids. It will be one of your first opportunities to work through some of the practical issues of church life. Diverse parenting styles can present some serious challenges to group unity. GIVING Heres what I encourage regarding giving. First, tithing is a great discipline, but generosity is the real New Testament principle. What you give is first a matter between you and the Father. No person or organization has a prior claim on your money. Thats Gods place. That means you should prayerfully decide where your privilege of generosity should be directed. Whats the Lord saying? Thats the place to start. The epistle of James also has something to say about how our giving should be directed: If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, Go in peace, be warmed and be filled, and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself (James 2:14-17). Another option is to set money aside as a church for ministry purposes. Have somebody open an account for the congregation; keep a coffee can for ministry. The Summit network has an account for groups that want to use it. I think its cool when a group decides together how to be generous. One house church gave hundreds to disaster relief. Three networks in Texas contributed to the publication of House2House magazine. Get creative together! Most of the groups that I know are informal when it comes to giving. Many put a bowl or a basket somewhere when they meet, a few take an offering, while still others just share with each other. One thing is true, though, when a group talks about money, it raises some interesting responses. Try it. Talking about our stuff tends to poke at some deep feelings. Approach such discussions with prayer, patience and, most of all, love. Dan and Jody Mayhew Portland, OR http://www.worldaccessnet.com/~summit

A.

Theres a good possibility that were going to be having a home church in our home in the near future. Id really like to hear some suggestions, advice, what we shoulda dones, anything that might help us get started off on the right foot and avoid some pitfalls . . . Thanks, Bob and Sherrill Hawley

When we started, we treated the gathering as though it were a church service. That was a mistake. The idea of being the church is to leave room for everybody to participate, not to have a few skilled people do church for the guests. Also, it is important to meet often, at least once a week. In Malachi 3:16 it speaks of those who fear the Lord and speak often to each other. A community tends to make it a priority to spend time together. One of the big hurdles for anyone making the transition from normal church to home church is getting beyond the meeting mentality and moving toward relational community. That takes time and intentionality. You may have folks with you who want to think of the gathering as a Bible study or fellowship group. That is an indication that they are still viewing the big church service on Saturday or Sunday as the real church, and the home church as something less. Part of the challenge is to get comfortable with the small group as the church. In our situation, we finally ended up terminating the Sunday service altogether! Now, we are beginning to do a multi-congregation (i.e., house church) celebration and reunion gathering monthly again. The good news (and the bad news) about the celebrations is that now it is hard to convince people that they are a priority anymore! Another problem with the celebrations is that folks sometimes just congregate with people who they already know well, rather than use the time as a chance to meet others from different groups and strengthen the relational network among house churches. DEALING WITH KIDS IN THE HOME CHURCH SETTING There are so many variables with the kidsage, temperament, gender its tough to generalize. Your approach will likely be decided by the parents. Some parents feel strongly that their kids should be with Mom and Dad while they are together as the church. Others welcome a break from parenting responsi-

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15 Theses (Part 5)
by Wolfgang Simson
13. FROM DENOMINATIONS TO CITY-WIDE CELEBRATIONS Jesus called a universal movement, and what came was a series of religious corporations with global chains marketing their special brands of Christianity and competing with each other. Through this branding of Christianity, most of Protestantism has lost its voice in the world and become politically insignificant, more concerned with traditional distinctives and religious infighting than with developing a collective testimony before the world. Jesus simply never asked people to organize themselves into factions and denominations, and Paul spoke of it as worldly, a sign of baby Christians. In the early days of the church, Christians had a dual identity: they were truly His church and vertically converted to God, and they then organized themselves according to geography, that is, converting also horizontally to each other on earth. This means not only Christian neighbors organizing themselves into neighborhood or house-churches, where they share their lives locally, but Christians coming together as a collective identity as much as they can for city-wide or regional celebrations, expressing the corporateness of the church in the city or region. Authenticity in the neighborhoods connected with a regional or city-wide corporate identity will make the church not only politically significant and spiritually convincing, but will allow a return to the Biblical model of the city church, the sum total of all born-again Christians of a city or an area. 14. DEVELOPING A PERSECUTION-PROOF SPIRIT They crucified Jesus, the leader of all the Christians. Today, His followers are often more into titles, medals, and social respectability, or, worst of all, they remain silent and are not worth being noticed at all. Blessed are you when you are persecuted, says Jesus. Biblical Christianity is a healthy threat to pagan godlessness and sinfulness, in a world overcome by greed, materialism, jealousy and any amount of demonic standards of ethics, sex, money and power. Contemporary Christianity in many countries is simply too harmless and polite to be worth persecuting. But as Christians again live out New Testament standards of life and, for example, call sin as sin, the natural reaction of the world will be, as it has always been, conversion or perpare now for the future by developing a persecution-proof spirit and an even more persecution-proof structure. 15. THE CHURCH COMES HOME Where is the easiest place, say, for a man to be spiritual? Is it, perhaps, hiding behind a big pulpit, dressed up in holy robes, preaching holy words to a faceless crowd and then disappearing into an office? And what is the most difficultand therefore most meaningfulplace for a man to be spiritual? At home, in the presence of his spouse and children, where everything he does and says is automatically put through a spiritual litmus test against reality, where hypocrisy can be effectively weeded out and authenticity can grow. Much of Christianity has fled the family, often as a place of its own spiritual defeat, and then has organized artificial performances in sacred buildings far from the atmosphere of real life. As God goes about the business of recapturing the homes, the church turns back to its rootsback to where it came from. It literally comes home, completing the circle of Church history at the end of world history. As Christians of all walks of life, from all denominations and backgrounds, hear a clear echo in their spirit to what Gods Spirit is saying to the church, and start to hear globally in order to act locally, they begin to function again as one body. They stop asking God to bless what they are doing, and start doing what God is blessing. They organize themselves into neighborhood house-churches and meet in regional or city celebrations. And you. . . you are invited to become part of this movement and make your own contribution. Maybe your home, too, will become a house that God uses to change the world. Taken from Houses That Change the World by Wolfgang Simson. This book may be ordered from H2H for $15.00 through www.house2house.tv or by calling (512)282-2322.

HOUSE CHURCH

secution. Instead of nesting comfortably in temporary zones of religious liberty, Christians will have to prepare to be again discovered as the main culprits against global humanism, the modern slavery of having to have fun and the outright worship of Self, the wrong centre of the universe. That is why Christians will and must feel the repressive tolerance of a world which has lost its absolutes and therefore refuses to recognize and obey its creator God with His absolute standards. Coupled with the growing ideologization, privatization, and spiritualization of politics and economics, Christians willsooner than most think have their chance to stand happily accused in the company of Jesus. They need to pre-

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Welcome to The Sheep Comics: an editorial comic strip that tells the story of a thoughtful little lamb named Lionel who finds himself alone and confused in the world of large, professionally-managed churches. Lionel has many adventures in his big church, all the while searching for the truth about the Great Shepherd. The purpose of The Sheep Comics is to provide Christians with an alternative point of view concerning church and faith. A main theme of The Sheep Comics is that there is a difference between going to church and genuinely taking ownership of ones faith and eternal destiny. The comics are an attempt to illustrate this in an entertaining and memorable way. The inspiration for this particular cartoon came to me as I was thinking about how large, corporate churches remind me of large machines that people sit in, like buses or trains. A train became the compelling choice for the illustration, because trains have sleeper cars. Ive often wanted to go to sleep in church. In this cartoon, Lionel decides hes been sitting in the sleeper car long enough. He has realized that the only way to get somewhere in his spiritual life is to walk the walk. I hope you enjoy The Sheep Comics. If you would like to see more, please visit www.sheepcomics.com. Web Shepherd

Welcome To Sheepcomics

SHEEPCOMICS.COM

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BIBLE STUDY

This study is based on an article submitted by Pierre Wuytack, a missionary working in Madagascar (madagascar4jesus.com). It also draws heavily from an excellent booklet, Concerning Spiritual Gifts, by Gordon P. Gardiner, an early Pentecostal pioneer in New York. Copies of the booklet are available from House2House. Editor

The Gifts or the Gift?


dealing with the tough questions in Matt. 22:17ff or the way that he dealt with the woman taken in adultery in John 8:11. 2. The word of knowledge: Jesus in John 2:25 is described as not needing anyone to tell him about mans condition for He knew what was in man. Compare this with His comment about Nathaniel, even before he had met him, as an Israelite in whom there was no guile John 1:47.

he Gifts of the Spirit are the divinely ordained means and powers whereby the King enables His church to perform its task on earth. So wrote Abraham Kuyper, the great Dutch theologian-statesman. The fact is that God Himself wants to do His own work in His own way by His own means and has made ample provision therefore. THE GIFT The gift is the Holy Spirit. See Acts 2:38 and Acts 10:45. The way that the Gift shows (Biblical word here is manifests - See I Corinthians 12: 7) itself is through what we and 1 Corinthians 12:1 call Spiritual Gifts. In other words, the Holy Spirit, who is the gift to the church of the risen and ascended Lord (See Ephesians 4:8), shows Himself both through what we know as the gifts of the Holy Spirit as listed in 1 Corinthians 12, and through the gifted 5-fold ministries as listed in Ephesians 4. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. John 16:13 It stands to reason that the Spirit, who came to show us Jesus, will have already given us a perfect example in the life and ministry of Jesus while He was here on earth. THE GIFTS The gifts (manifestations) of the Holy Spirit (listed in 1 Corinthians 12:7-11 as demonstrated in the life of Jesus): 1. The word of wisdom: See Jesus

as understood in 1 Corinthians 14 is not primarily for foretelling the future, but rather for forthtelling a word from God to edify, exhort or encourage. Consider Jesus speaking to Peter, Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to have all of you, to sift you like wheat. But I have pleaded in prayer for you Luke 22:31-32. 7. Discerning of spirits: There is such a need to really understand what is going on in the spiritual realms. Consider Jesus dealing with one of the failures of the disciples in casting out a demon when he tells them, This kind only goes out by prayer and fasting Matt. 17:21. 8. Different kinds of tongues: We have no way of knowing whether or not Jesus spoke in tongues. Further study of this gift really needs an exploration of 1 Corinthians 12 and 14 and maybe a study of its use in the life of the apostle Paul. 9. Interpretation of tongues: See comments under point 8 above. THE MINISTRY GIFTS A study of how the Holy Spirit will manifest the life of Christ in His people could not be complete without examining how the ascended Lord gave gifts to men Eph. 4:8. These gifts are the actual gifted men/women that the Lord appoints to provide direction and leadership to His church. We know them as the five-fold ministry gifts of the apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers (Ephesians 4:11). 1. Apostle: Jesus is the great apostle and high priest of our faith. Hebrews 3:1 2. Prophet: Jesus, who was a prophet mighty in word and deed. Luke 24:19 3. Evangelist: For the Spirit of the Lord is upon me and He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor Luke 4:18. 4. Pastor: I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep John 10:11. 5. Teacher: I was daily in the temple with you teaching. Mark 14:49 The Holy Spirit, given to us by the ascended Lord, shows us Jesus by letting the very life and ministry of Jesus flow out to His people and the world through these gifts of the Holy Spirit. HOUSE2HOUSE MAGAZINE, ISSUE 5 43

Think about when Jesus was speaking with the woman at the well in John 4:17-18. She told Him that she had no husband, but Jesus saw right through this answer and told her the truth as revealed to Him by the Holy Spirit. 3. The gift of faith: Examples would include when Jesus stilled the storm (Mark 4:39) or when he spoke with confidence and certainty about His own resurrection. 4. Gifts of healings: It is very interesting to see that this gift is listed in the plural. On virtually every page of the gospels we see Jesus bringing healing to the sick. 5. The working of miracles: An example is the water being turned into wine (John 2:11). After all, He did create about 180 gallons of wine! Maybe we would think of Him feeding the 5000 (Matthew 14:21) as another great example. 6. The gift of prophecy: Prophecy,

A New Church For A New Generation


by Larry Kreider

HOUSE CHURCH

A new species of church is emerging throughout North America. Both in major cities and in rural areas, a unique kind of church life is peeking through like the fresh growth of new crops pressing through the surface of the soil each spring.

ungry for community and relationship, people are learning the values of the kingdom by firsthand participation. They meet in small groups in homes, offices, boardrooms or restaurants. Church becomes a way of life where discipleship and growth occur naturally as everyone develops their gifts and learns by doing, under the mentoring of spiritual fathers and mothers. They work together to foster accou nt abilit y and encouragement. I like to call this fledgling, grassroots phenomenon house church networks. House church networks are emerging rapidly and in growing numbers all throughout North America! Although the terminology house church networks may sound like a contemporary concept, it is not really new; in fact, house churches are as old as the book of Acts. The New Testament believers did not go to church or join the church; they were the church. These followers of Christ practiced their faith in spiritual families, met in homes and radically changed their world. They grew in number as they obeyed Gods Word by sharing resources and spiritual 44 HOUSE2HOUSE MAGAZINE, ISSUE 5

blessings. These were the original house church networks! THE CONSTANT NEED FOR NEW WINESKINS Although there are already thousands upon thousands of healthy, vibrant churches throughout North America and the world,

new wineskins are continually needed to accommodate the believers who do not fit into the current church structures. House church networks will help to restore simplicity to the contemporary church. I had the privilege of serving as a senior pastor of a church for fifteen years. In 1980, our new rural church plant in Pennsylvania began with 25 people and grew to over 2,000 by 1990, a true miracle of grace. Back then, we thought we had a

radical outlook on church because we incorporated cell groups as our foundational structure. However, after several years, it became apparent that there was a sense of unrest in our growing church. I especially noticed this with some of the young people. They craved a new wineskin that would provide a more contemporary venue in which to get involved. They were saying the same kind of things we had said ten years earlier: We are looking for something new that truly meets our needs. We shortly concluded that we must find ways to plant new churches and begin handing over the reins to the next generation, or we would lose what we already had. Only then could we reach out to our world and reap a harvest. As Dr. Peter Wagner often says, The single most effective way to evangelize is to plant new churches. Dawn (Discipling A Whole Nation) Ministries, a saturation church planting organization, agrees that this kind of church planting infiltration, that envisions a Christcentered congregation of believers in every neighborhood in every nation, will deeply affect our society. They suggest that one

HOUSE CHURCH
church is needed for every 500-1000 people, and our current and prevailing church models will not be able to do it without the influence of the house churches. Both young and old want involvement in church life but fail to find their niche. Like those before them, many of the Gen X group look at the existing wineskins and have no enthusiasm for them. They are looking for a church experience that will involve and motivate them to participate a little more enthusiastically. Older people, too, are looking for a new model of church where they can be fully involved. I can still vividly remember a man in his 50s confiding in me with tears running down his cheeks, I know the Lord called me years ago to be a pastor, but I just do not know how it can ever happen here in my church. This man, a loving pastoral person who put relationships first, was longing to fulfill Gods call on his life. Think what could happen if he had a house church venue; as a spiritual father in a house church, he could fulfill his hearts cry and find his niche. Though it is not just the younger generation to whom house churches appeal, I believe it will be the younger generation that will lead in starting new house churches and house church networks in our communities. Why? Young people will thrive in a new wineskin that fits their generations need for authentic relationships. Young adults are very open to small groups based on friendships, and socializing where they can spend time in discussion. This young generation especially craves real-life connections, because it is a generation raised in the non-physical oriented communication structures of cyberspace. GOD WANTS TO CONNECT THE GENERATIONS God longs to connect the generations in healthy relationships, so they can work together in unity and oneness to advance His kingdom. In my book, The Cry for Spiritual Fathers & Mothers, I explain why God desires this connection: Gods intention is to raise spiritual parents who are willing to nurture spiritual children and help them grow up in their Christian lives. This is a fulfillment of the Lords promise in the last days to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers... (Malachi 4:6). The Lord wants to restore harmony among fathers and their children, both naturally and spiritually, so fathers can freely impart their inheritance to the next generationwith the old and the young working together, a mighty and ongoing spiritual legacy will multiply and endure. Imparting spiritual fatherhood fills the void and closes the gap of broken relationships between the old and the young. 4 More than twenty years ago, a godly man named Dan Yutzy, a church leader and professor from Taylor University, turned Every generation needs to be free to discover and discern which wineskin is best for them. I like the explanation given in Leonard Sweets book, Aqua Church. My wife is a tea drinker. Her favorite container is a little cup with a handle so tiny I cant even get my finger through it. My favorite container is a Jadite coffee mug. Eight-year-old Thanes favorite container is a little glass we put juice in. Three-year-old Sorens favorite container is a Winnie the Pooh sippy cup, while eighteen-month-old Egils favorite container is a bottle. Every generation needs a shape that fits its own hands, its own soul. Each generation, every person, needs a different container from which to receive the living waters of Jesus. This is what Paul meant when he talked about our becoming all things to all men, that we might win some (I Corinthians 9:22). 5 We have a lot to learn, but we have an excellent pattern to follow in the New Testament church. The Lord will lead us step by step. Notes: 1 C. Peter Wagner, Church Planting For a Greater Harvest, (Regal 1990), p. 11 2 www.dawn.ch/HCGranhx.html 3 Paul Gray and Magid Igbaria, The Virtual Society, OR/MS Today, December 1996, p. 44. 4 Larry Kreider, The Cry for Spiritual Fathers & Mothers, (Ephrata, PA: House to House Publications, 2000), pg.3 &4 5 Leonard Sweet, Aqua Church, (Loveland, Colorado: Group, 1999), p. 28-29. Larry Kreider serves as International Director of DOVE Christian Fellowship International, training Christian leaders to make disciples with the small group concept. Larry and his wife LaVerne have been married 30 years, have four children, and live in Lititz, PA. We hope you enjoyed these excerpts from the first chapter of Larry Kreiders new book, House Church Networks: A New Church for a New Generation, due out in December 2001. To order the book, go to www.dcfi.org or phone 1-800-848-5892.

Every generation needs to be free to discover and discern which wineskin is best for them.
to a group of Mennonite bishops in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania and spoke a word about the younger leadership represented: We must release these young men and let them go! He knew the new generation needed to be trusted to start new church structures to accommodate the new Christians coming into the kingdom. I was a product of this decision. EACH GENERATION NEEDS TO FIND ITS FIT Why did we start this new cellbased church in our community? There was a growing need for it. The young believers coming to Christ through friendship evangelism did not fit into the existing churches. Jesus said, And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine will burst the wineskins and be spilled, and the wineskins will be ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins, and both are preserved (Luke 5:37-38). The new Christians are like new wine, still in the process of fermentation. When put in old wineskins (existing church structures), they may not be compatible.

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L u c a s

A Big, Big House


breakfast gathering we had ever attended. John and Cheri, their eyes swollen red with too many hours of sobbing, were just three hours away from an occasion that no parent should ever attendthe funeral of their youngest son. We had received a telephone call, asking us if we could fly out to be with John and Cheri, and asking me to be one of the speakers at the funeral service. We sat through the long flight with increasing dreadwhat words could we possibly say to these dear friends of ours who were now at the very extremities of pain? How could we comfort without resorting to clich? The four of us, together with two other close friends, joined at a table of tears to talk through the last minute details of the funeral service, and to try to help prepare the parents for this potential ordeal. We talked songs, the order of things, and who should speak when and where, and then, during a lull in the conversation, John leaned over to ask Kay a questionan enquiry that sent a surge of panic racing through me. Kay, has the Lord said anything to you about Jorys death? It seemed like a question too risky to answer. To say that God had said something, only to be mistaken, could cause enormous wounding at such a painful, sensitive moment. The danger of sounding clich was looming. I looked down at my coffee, and hoped that Kay would calmly and gently affirm that, no, she had not heard from God, and yes, she knew that God would be faithful and ultimately speak into this valley of tears. Except that she didnt answer in the negative. Yes, John, I do believe that God spoke to me this morning I scrutinized the coffee even more closely. It was very black. I held my breath

o n

L i f e
and tried to kick Kay under the table, but missed. I feel that God impressed me to tell you that Jory really is dancing with the angels now The black sheen of the coffee reflected my stare. Dancing with the angels now. Did this not sound a little trite? Apparently not. Dabbing his eyes with a tissue, John calmly responded. Kay, I know that youre not aware of this, but Jory loved to danceit was what he liked doing best. He couldnt keep still when there was music playing. But theres something more significant. Yesterday, Cheri and I went to the funeral home to say our good-byes to Jory. When the time came to leave, I looked at the face of my son for one last time, leaned over the coffin, kissed his cheek, and my parting, final words to him as a father were, dance, Jory, dance. The rest of our breakfast together was a buffet of laughter and weeping, of sensing that God had spoken and would yet speak. There are so many things that I just cant figure out, about God, about life, and about the nature of suffering. But I know this: there is a bright, laughing-eyed young man called Jory who is partying right now in the Fathers house; eating at a big, big tableand maybe kicking a football around as well.

ory was a bright, cheeky, twelveyear-old with an infectious giggle and a razor-sharp wit. He was a young man who had decided that he liked life a lot, had decided to live as a follower and friend of Jesus, and now was seriously enjoying the journey. John and Cheri, Jorys parents, were and are good friends of mine. I have often stayed in their home in Colorado Springs, and found it to be a true haven of love and laughter. Jory loved music. I can remember one particular song, obviously about heaven, that seemed to be playing endlessly in his room: Theres a big, big house, With lots and lots of room Theres a big, big table With lots and lots of food A big, big yard, where we can play football A big, big house, Thats my Fathers house Jory and Justin, his elder brother, were staying at their grandparents home in Wisconsin. Wanting to fetch chewing gum and some sunglasses to shield his eyes from the late afternoon sun, Jory had hopped on a fourwheel motorized bike and had headed back to the house, crossing a quiet road as he did. Mission accomplished, he hopped on the bike again to head back across the road to rejoin his brother. But it was not to be. He probably never saw the truck that ploughed into him, carrying him and the bike some yards up the road in a moment. Grandpa, hearing the sound of screeching tires, rushed out to discover his beloved grandson obviously dead on the road. The distraught truck driver stood nearby, his hands wringing with grief. And now, a couple of days later, Kay and I were at the most emotional 46 HOUSE2HOUSE MAGAZINE, ISSUE 5

Taken from the book, Lucas On Life. Published by WORD Publishing, U.K. Used with permission. Available from H2H. To order please call (512) 282-2322 or visit our online store at www.house2house.tv

Is This How To Do It?

Looking to start a house church?


Not sure where to start? The H2H Getting Started Right Pack Could Help! To order, visit our website or call (512) 282-2322. Contains: 6 Tapes, 2 Books, and useful literature. Find more useful materials online at :

Coming Soon: Online House Church Directory


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