Category Archives: apostolic movement

What Should the Church Look Like? (Part 6) — We Are a Healing Center

healingJesus is the Healer, and He has commissioned us to labor with Him in that capacity, because “…as [Jesus] is, so are we in this world” (1 John 4:17).

Jesus commissioned His disciples, in Matthew 10:7, 8, “And as you go, preach, saying, ”The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, and cast out demons; freely you have received, now freely give.”

We are His ambassadors, so we should be doing the same things He did. Indeed, He said we would: “Truly, Truly, I say to you, He who believes on Me, the works that I do, he shall do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go to my Father” (John 14:12).

We all love miraculous healing stories, whether in the Bible or in modern times, don’t we? While we’re excited and delighted to see people healed instantly, some healing takes a long time — especially inner healing. Yet I have heard it said, time and again, by multiple preachers, “The church is not supposed to be a hospital!” Ahem. Yes, it is.

If you travel in apostolic circles, you are probably having fits with me about now. Because, most likely you are into hosting spiritual boot camps to equip the saints for battle, right? But let’s think this through a bit.

You want a harvest of souls, don’t you? What kind of world do we have around us? One full of hurting, traumatized people. More than half come from broken homes. At least one in four has been a victim of sexual abuse. Still others have suffered other types of physical or emotional abuse. Some are refugees and have lived through the greatest atrocities imaginable in their home countries. Some have tried to commit suicide because they can’t deal with the pain anymore.

Now tell me the Church is not supposed to be a hospital! What are you going to do with them once you have brought them to Jesus, if you won’t provide a place of healing for them within the Church? Will you just push them through boot camp and out to the battlefield?

And what about Christians who once were healthy, but now are not? Should we just ignore their hurt, perhaps write them off as unfit? Do we pressure them to pretend everything is all right, when it is not? Or should we instead be compassionate enough to be an active part of their healing process, realizing with a heart of humility that any of us could also experience a stretch of life where we aren’t in top form?

That’s my human reasoning, but let’s look at what the Bible says about it. “We, then, who are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak and not to please ourselves” (Romans 15:1). Jesus bound up the brokenhearted (Isaiah 61:1). “A bruised reed shall He not break, and smoking flax shall He not quench, until He sends forth judgment to victory” (Isaiah 42:3; Matthew 12:20).

Realizing that the Church should be a healing center — including a “hospital,” if you will — doesn’t mean that we let people sit around and lick their wounds for the rest of their lives. The whole purpose of doctors and hospitals is to get people well, so they can lead healthy lives when possible. Indeed, healing people of emotional wounds is an element of equipping the saints — because part of healing is giving them the tools to stay well and strong, so that they can go out there and make a difference in God’s kingdom.

I think that might be a worthy reason to think the Church should be a hospital. How about you?

What Should the Church Look Like? (Part 1)
Part 2 — We Are Family
Part 3 — We Are One Body
Part 4 — We Are an Army
Part 5 — We Are a House of Prayer and Worship
Next: Part 7 — Other Attributes of the Church

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healing

 

God’s Word on Healing
by Lee Ann Rubsam

 

 

Christian encouragement

 

 

Encouragement from God’s Word
by Lee Ann Rubsam

What Should the Church Look Like? (Part 4) — We Are an Army

In Christian circles, we often refer to the Church as an army. We sing Onward Christian Soldiers, God’s Got an Army, and the children’s song, I’m in the Lord’s Army! Unquestionably, warfare is a major theme throughout the Bible. The physical warfare so prevalent in the Old Testament becomes the spiritual warfare of the New.

Surprisingly though, while the Old Testament frequently refers to the armies of Israel, the New Testament only uses the word “army” or “armies” for the Church once, in Revelation 19:14: “And the armies which were in heaven followed Him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.” The context is Jesus’ return to earth to rule and reign. He is accompanied by the already raptured and glorified Church. We know this is the Church because of the emphasis upon their apparel, which is “white and clean.”

We do have a number of verses which speak of Christians as soldiers engaged in combat:

Ephesians 6:11-18 — the familiar passage about putting on the whole armor of God

Romans 13:12… Let us put on the armor of light.”

2 Timothy 2:3, 4 “Therefore, endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man going to war entangles himself with the affairs of this life, so that he may please him who has chosen him to be a soldier.”

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 — “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh: (for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds), casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”

We also have several verses on overcoming and triumphing in the context of spiritual warfare.

One of the clearest implications of the Church being an army is given by Jesus, in Matthew 16:18. Peter has just professed His belief that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God (v. 16). Jesus then comments, “Upon this rock I will build My church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” That sounds like the Church will be engaging together in warfare — assaulting the gates of the enemy and winning the battle.

So, that’s what we’ve got in the Bible — Israel fighting together as an army for the sake of their family inheritance, several references to the Church engaging in spiritual warfare individually and together as a group, and finally, the Church appearing as the armies in heaven who follow Jesus back to earth. Yet, in some Christian circles, the Church is referred to as an army incessantly, while Church as family is rarely spoken of. That’s where we run into problems, with the extreme emphasis of the one over the other.

We hear much talk among Charismatics in particular about leaders being “generals,” and various levels of leaders having “rank” above others in the Body of Christ. I think we should be very careful to avoid that language and the attitude behind it. While God has put in place an orderly hierarchy for church leadership, using terms such as bishops and elders, He calls them shepherds of the flock, not military officers. Indeed, Jesus warned his disciples against lording it over others:

But Jesus called them to him, and said to them, “You know that those who are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and their great ones exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you. But whoever wants to be great among you shall be your servant, and whoever of you desires to be chief, shall be servant of all.”Mark 10:42-44

In Matthew 23:10, 11, He also said, “Neither be called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant.”

Peter encouraged church leaders to be shepherds: “The elders which are among you I exhort, who also am an elder, … feed the flock of God which is among you … not as lords over God’s heritage, but as examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, you will receive a crown of glory that does not fade away” (1 Peter 5:1-4).

The functions of apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, and teacher were not ever meant by the Lord to be positions used to levy power over others. They are gifts to the Church to help train us for ministry and to build up the Body of Christ. Ephesians 4:8-13 explains this, with verse 8 saying Jesus ascended and gave gifts to men,” and verse 11 saying “He gave some to be apostles and some to be prophets….”

When church leaders view themselves as army officers instead of fellow brothers and sisters in God’s family, they can easily become heavy-handed. Abuse takes place, and people get hurt. When kingdom purposes become more important than valuing the people who make up the kingdom, we’ve lost the vision God intended. God does not see the individuals in His army as expendable cannon fodder, and we shouldn’t see anyone that way either.

How can we change these attitudes, when they are so prevalent? Being aware of the truth is a big step, so that we no longer buy into man-made misconceptions. And, if we have the opportunity to lead others in any way, we don’t have to make the same mistakes which have been made before. We can bring change through how we treat others. It all comes back to the core description we started with: The Church is the expression of Jesus Christ upon the earth.

I know some of you have been deeply hurt by leaders who were not gentle, who used, rather than cherished, the church flock. I do not write this to stir up bitterness, but in hopes of bringing some truth to bear so that adjustments can be made, even if it is only in the thinking of a few. May God give those of you who have been hurt grace to forgive, to receive healing, and to be instruments of change for the better in the Lord’s hands.

Ultimately, when we think of the Church as an army, if we keep it in the perspective of the Church being first and foremost God’s family, we’ll be all right. We will carry out our warrior calling in the way God intended, without harming our fellow soldiers in the process.

What Should the Church Look Like? (Part 1)
Part 2 — We Are Family
Part 3 — We Are One Body
Next: Part 5 — We Are a House of Prayer and Worship

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prophetic teaching

 

Growing in the Prophetic,
Audio teaching by Lee Ann Rubsam

 

 

 

nature of God, Christian discipleship

 

 

Before Whom We Stand, by Lee Ann Rubsam

Flowing in the Prophetic Seminars

At Full Gospel Family Publications, we’re very excited about adding apostolic teacher Steve Driessen’s CD resources to our product line. Pastor Steve is our personal pastor. His teaching is dynamic, thought-provoking, practical, and wisdom-filled. Much of what I know about prayer and the prophetic I have learned from this man. I think you will find his materials to be a great blessing upon your life.

Flowing in the Prophetic
Level 1: The Prophetic Anointing

Have you ever longed to:

  • Hear God more clearly and more often?
  • Be more certain it was really Him you were hearing?
  • Better understand your dreams and visions?
  • Or didn’t even know where to start?

No matter what level you are currently operating in prophetically, this 6-CD set is sure to bring you higher. Apostolic teacher Steve Driessen imparts prophetic understanding that is practical, easy to relate to, and life-changing.

Topics covered:

  • The Ministry of Jesus in the Church
  • Having a Hearing Ear and a Seeing Eye
  • Anointed to Serve
  • An Open Heaven
  • Visions and Dreams: The Language of the Holy Spirit
  • How to Interpret Dreams


$32.00
US

Optional Accompanying Study Notebook — 41 pages
($11.00 US)   

 Order Now


Flowing in the Prophetic
Level 2: Prophetic Alignment

You’ve got the prophetic gifts.
Now, what do you do with them?

In this 6-CD set you will learn how to:

  • Release life and light to those around you through prophecy
  • Use your prophetic gifts within the church setting
  • Maintain a pure word of the Lord
  • Maximize the blessing potential of your prophetic words for others

Today’s world needs the prophetic voice, both in the Church and outside of it. You can be that voice. This seminar will help you prepare to take your place in the greatest release of prophetic revelation the Church has ever seen.

Topics covered:

  • Keeping a Clean Stream
  • False Assumptions About Prophetic Giftings
  • God Offends the Mind to Reveal the Heart
  • Pastors and Prophets: How to Function Together
  • Prophetic Words in Public Worship
  • Women in Ministry

$32.00 US

Optional Accompanying Study Notebook — 37 pages
($11.00 US)

 Order Now


Leveraging Kingdom Authority

For centuries the Church has thought that we must accept sickness and disease as “normal.” But God is restoring the understanding that health is God’s plan for His people. When we fear sickness, we become its victims. By learning to exercise our rightful authority, we become victors.

In this message, you will gain understanding of how to leverage Kingdom authority over every sickness and disease. Fear will no longer rule your thoughts, and healing will become a reality in your life. It’s time for you to enforce the victory already won for you by Jesus.

Included is the healing prayer time that took place immediately after this message was delivered. We encourage you to actively participate in that powerfully anointed time of prayer, so that you, too, will receive your healing.

$9.00 US)

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Where’s Waldo?

LeeAnnRubsam.com

Remember Waldo?  When my children were small, they enjoyed finding him hidden in crowds of hundreds of people who were doing odd things.

Over the last few days, I’ve been thinking that Jesus has a lot in common with Waldo: in the church crowd He is often very hidden and hard to find (not to mention God’s people sometimes doing odd things).  I sometimes wonder, “Where’s Jesus?”

You know, it’s easy to have the right intentions and to start out with noble motives.  We want to win the lost for Jesus.  (So far, so good.)  In some circles, we talk extensively about “building the Kingdom,” and we spend a lot of time and effort on teaching everyone how to do it — great, and I love it!  Church growth is a necessary component of Kingdom building, so we get focused on expanding our numbers.  We long to have meaningful purpose for our lives, so personal destiny becomes a huge deal.  We pursue signs and wonders, because nearly  everyone is tired of powerless Christianity — believers and nonbelievers alike.

But I have a question troubling me in the midst of it all: where’s Jesus?  While we’ve heard countless sermons on the Kingdom of God, fulfilling our destiny, and how to rule and reign as King’s kids, when was the last time we heard much about Jesus Himself?  Where’s Jesus?  And what good is the Kingdom if somewhere along the way we have forgotten the King?

We should be teaching on building the Kingdom, equipping the Church to fulfill its mission, bringing growth to the local church, winning the lost, and growing in the gifts of the Spirit.  It’s all pretty important, isn’t it.  But there is a danger to avoid.  After a while, without us even noticing what has happened, we become more excited about what we are doing for Jesus, or the authority we have in Him, than we are about Him.  Or we get bogged down in the nitty-gritty of what Jesus Himself asked us to accomplish and lose the big picture of Who it is all for to begin with.  A subtle shift in focus takes place, and before we realize it, we have veered off course.  Isn’t this exactly what happened to the Ephesian Church?  So much so that the Lord soundly rebuked them and warned them to repent (Revelation 2:1-7)?

I believe with all my heart that there is a Great Awakening coming, and perhaps it is already in its beginning stages.  Within that Awakening, we will see millions coming to the Lord, the miraculous unleashed, holy living revived, and the Church moving in a supernatural authority such as this world has never yet seen.   But I believe it must start with the restoration of Jesus to first place in the heart of His Church.   Whenever He is not the driving reason, the focal point, we end up with something off-kilter.  In whatever we promote, love, or focus upon, it’s either all about Jesus or it’s not genuinely about Jesus at all.

What can we do, besides cluck our tongues about the present state of things? How will the restoration of Jesus to His rightful place be accomplished?  By the sovereign move of the Holy Spirit.   But “sovereign” moves of God do not generally come by themselves.  God raises up a remnant who understand His desires — a remnant willing to  speak and pray into existence what their physical eyes are not currently seeing.

I determine to be one who speaks through the written and oral word what I understand to be spiritual truth — whether it’s the current consensus or not.  One of the most strategic ways of speaking those truths is in the place of intercession — speaking the heart of God back to Him in prayer, until Jesus is no longer a side issue, but the issue.

Lord Jesus, be all.  And may Holy Spirit breathe upon Your Bride until she awakes out of her coma.  Truly, may the Kingdom come and Father’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Be exalted and honored to the utmost in it all, King Jesus.