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The Restoration of All Things ~~ A Simple Start

Ok, I could have called this post: Kingdom Transformational Model for Communities. But, who would have read it? Got ya!

So, this the goal: To see the Restoration of All Things. We need a simple and effective start.

My friend Bill has boiled things down to an essence. He said, and I fully agree, that we live in three dimensions:

But, sadly, these dimensions barely touch. At some point, Christian life and Community life took different paths. And, at some point our faith was jettisoned from Country: Government and Politics. We're supposed to be salt and light: making disciplined followers of all nations, starting here, teaching people to love God and love their neigbor. This kingdom impact is for us and also for our Community and our Country ~ then on to the rest of the Nations. So, how is this working out for our Country? It's not. Turn on the news - you won't hear much about a Kingdom impact across our land. You won't hear about it because it is not happening. Choas has been multiplying: in our families, communities, in politics, in economics. The destroyer is walking our land almost unchallenged. The news is telling us about it, every day and in every way. We need to see the Restoration of All Things in our crumbling society.

Now, let's think this through. God has alway had the same plan, that his widsom and influence come from his body, the Church.

So, what is the Simple Start?

First we need to understand what the church is and is not. The church is not you. The church is not me. The church is 'us' - joined and knit together. And, the church has a 'core unit'. A core unit is the unit that has everything it needs to function. A congregation does not usually have everything it needs to function. I have some excellent powerpoints to explain this HERE and HERE.

In the scripture we see the church referred to again and again: The Church in Ephasus, The Church in Corinth. I am going to ask you to do something that is hard to do... we need to picture something that we don't see... Oh, it something we say we 'believe' but it is NOT something that we 'do'... I want you to picture the Church coming together in communities across our naton to advance His Kingdom.

This is what we need to picture: The Core Unit, the Church in the Community, coming together and impacting the 3 diminsions above:

It is so different than what we see today, it is hard to get our head around it. But, it is really quite simple. Working together, with God's GRACE and WISDOM (which He HAS PROMISED TO GIVE US!) we can see His Kingdom advance. We can see The Restoration of All Things in our churches, our communities and in our country.

How do we do it? Well, let's do what the early church did... They devoted themselves to Prayer, Fellowship, the Breaking of Bread and the Apostles teaching. I wrote an nice description of this HERE.

To some extent, currently we pray, we fellowship and we break bread. But, as the Church in the Community, we need to work on the 'apostles teaching' part. The apostle teaches us about starting new works and strengthing the foundation of existing works. This function works best if we also hear from those who have a keen sense of what God's saying right now; They understand to some extent what God's intentions are - where the cloud is moving, the prophetic if you will.

We can't work together on what we can't see.
So - this is the simplicity of it all...
One, we come together, the Church in the Community.
Two, we make make ministry visible. I call this "Mapping the Ministry Stream."
Three, we do it. From understanding where we are now and what God intends- we step forward and do it.

A simple start.

And, what we are doing in the Endless Mountains. More information here...

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Comment by Juanita on June 16, 2009 at 3:25pm
I am feeling that things are about to really 'fruit out' in the Endless Mountains. An incredible team of people have assembled for the kickoff. This is all really exciting. I have been so busy that I have not been able to update KingdomInsight. Soon there will be a dedicated website that will help us connect.
Comment by Juanita on June 14, 2009 at 9:34pm
Thanks for the comment. Yes, I was impressed today at church... the worship leader was saying something about asking God for direction regarding the service. I felt the spirit of God impress upon me that our minutes outside of service are just as important as our minutes in the service. For many of us, our ministry starts when we walk out of the door of the church.
Comment by SueW on June 12, 2009 at 7:58am
I like it when you said "CHURCH IS US" (you and me) I think if each of us strive to live a Christ centered life, Community will happen. Right now our churches do not have community because they are such once a week, places for many folks... Christianity is an every day, every minute of every day type of thing. These hard times may bring us closer to God. A favorite preacher of mine says that God allows evil so He can bring good out of it.
Comment by Jerry Hartman on April 21, 2009 at 2:32pm
I would like to think about something that Juanita mentioned from the scriptures. She referred to "The church at Ephesus" and "the church at Corinth" These references are for the group of believers in a whole city, not one individual group within a city. The church must be of one mind. However, this doesn't mean that we compromise doctrine. The essentials must be the same for all the churches that represent the church of a city or a region. That is, we must all believe that Jesus Christ was born of a virgin, died on the cross as a perfect sacrifice for our sins, was raised from the dead, that He is living in heaven right now, and that he is coming again for his Church. There is no other way to be saved accept through Jesus Christ. Another essential is that the Bible is truly and wholly God's word. It is irrefutable and relevant for all seasons and all ages.

There are many local churches that agree on these essentials, but they differ in other beliefs and preferences. Some believe that it is necessary to include certain rituals or symbols in the church service, others use different ones. Some prefer a traditional worship service, others a contemporary one, or a charismatic one. We often get hung up on the non-essentials and we miss the whole point about how God has wonderfully equipped his Church so that each individual gathering compliments the others. When we miss this truth we fall into a state of competition - churches competing against each other and criticizing each other instead of working as a united church of a region.

Jesus knew that this would be the major weakness of His Church before he even formed it. In His intercessory prayer He prayed, "Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name - the name you gave me - so that they may be one as we are one." John 17:11b. And, "I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me." John 17:20-23.

Four times Jesus prayed for unity in this one prayer. Every time that we criticize another local church because their non-essential beliefs or preferences don't match ours we destroy the unity of the Church. Yes, this means that Baptists and Pentecostals must be one. Our essential beliefs match and we are in the same Church, whether we like it or not. We must act in unity. Satan has divided us and we are very weak as a result of that division. It is my opinion, and the opinion of others I have read about and talked with, that until we see the restoration of the Church of a region we won't see the restoration of that region. We must repent of our sins we have committed against each other, church to church. The restoration of a region must start with the healing and restoration of the entire Church of that region.

There is a cause and affect relationship mentioned in Jesus prayer. It is in verse 21, "... so that the world may know that you have sent me." And also in verse 22, " let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me." When the world sees local churches that don't work in unity, or even worse, that criticize each other, then the world can't see that the Father sent Jesus. The world can't see that the Father loves them. Could it be that the lack of unity between individual churches is the reason why we haven't seen revival in our nation?

Pray for, and take action toward the unity of the Church.

Jerry Hartman
Comment by katey raymond on April 7, 2009 at 11:17pm
Excellent!! I am so burdened for this area andfeel excited as the Lord opens up the pathways for us to walk into the destiny that He planned all along for the church. TO RISE UP. COME FORTH SALT!
Comment by Bro Cope on April 5, 2009 at 7:05pm
The restoration of all things is not some off the wall concept. Apparently, according to the Bible, it is possibly the one central focus of prophecy. But have you ever heard it preached? I have only heard it preached on maybe twice in my life. Let me lay some foundation.

Ac 3:18 But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.

Jesus died as he was supposed to do, but what comes next is of as much importance.

19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;

The times of refreshing - plural. There is not going to be just one time of refreshing, vis-a-vis, the day of Pentecost. Pentecost was over now. Three thousand had believed, But more was to come.

20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:
21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things,...

Heaven will receive Jesus until the time of the end, when He will be sent back. That time period is called the times (plural) of restitution, or restoration, of all things.

which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.

See that? All his holy prophets since the world began have spoken of the times of restoration of all things. Have you read and understood these things? Or are you simply left speachless?

22 For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.
23 And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.
24 Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.

Before the great and terrible day of the Lord, there is a period of time when the church is restored to her rightful place of glory. The Lord does not return for a beer swilling, masturbating, fornicating body of lust driven wickedness. He comes for a bride who is pure and spotless, without spot or wrinkle, made righteous and prepared for her wedding feast.

Mt 17:10 And His disciples asked Him, saying, Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?
11 And answering Jesus said to them, Elijah truly shall come first and restore all things.

What does it mean - restoration? I think I know, but I want to hear from you all. What must change to compel the Lord to return? What must the church look like?

Here is a hint. At the time of the end, when the seventh angel shall begin to sound...let's see what the Bible says:

Re 10:7 But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.

When the seventh angel starts to blow the last trumpet, the mystery of God will be finished. The church will know and understand the mysteries of the kingdom. They will understand all of God's hidden wisdom. The darkness that now holds the earth captive will have been cracked wide open and will no longer deceive men. We we see again as we saw before the darkness came. All the eyes of Christians will be opened to be able to see into the heavenlies, just like Stephen on the day he was stoned.

There is much that needs to be done, though. The time is short and the work that needs to be done is massive. It is much more than just bringing in the harvest. It is finding God's promise for your life and pressing on until you obtain it. Let nothing, no loss, no death, no loved one dissuade you from finding your goal an persevere until you get there.

Don't let the enemy lie to you that you can't obtain it. Don't let him convince you that he is too strong for you. Lay ahold of the promises of God, and trust in them. Jesus the Christ has said, "Be ye perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect". He would not command something that is impossible to do. PRESS ON UNTIL YOU GET THERE!!!

We are very close, if not already in, the times of restoration of all things. Get on board.

Bro Cope
Comment by Howard Sherman on April 5, 2009 at 5:24pm
This was originally supposed to be on another post I did this morning, but I didn't feel "right" (or comfortable) with it, so I deleted it from that post.
I think i know now why I "felt" that way.
The other post can be found in "Community Hall"

Think about Christs ministry for a moment. He already had His instructions from the Father as to what He was to do, and in what order.
WE, already have our instructions as to what we are to do, and in what order.
I for one, have yet to find anywhere within the Word of God where we are instructed to:
"Open the doors to the church and hope they will come in."
But isn't that essentially what we do?
Like all things concerning the Church, door to door evangelism (which I have done) is great, and it has it's place in the overall picture.
It's the same with street evangelism (which I have also done) has it's place in the overall picture as well.
And there are other "church style" activities one can do to reach the lost; and I believe that there are those who are called specifically for this purpose.
However, I also believe that the "Church" has created a stereo type image for itself in the past that has come back to create havoc for, and on the Church; and Lucifer couldn't be any happier.

I'm of the opinion that the Church is still seen as being a joyless place, with nothing but rules and regulations that people need to follow. Unfortunately, some of those churches with this profile are still around today.
I don't know if this is what you are referring to or not, but I believe that the church body, needs to realize what the truth behind the scriptures mean, when it says "Ye shall know them by their fruit" and when Jesus said " Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works (deeds) and glorify your Father in Heaven." (Matt.5:18)
Stated a little differently, (I believe) we all have a specific "calling" on our lives, but we are also to be examples by doing those things which others would not think them to be worthwhile.
Things like rebuilding an elderly persons garage that is about to cave in, repairing and painting a fence in a public park that has been neglected.
When we start doing things like these for others, out of Christ like love and not for the sake of "boasting rights". People will take notice, and some will get involved.
This alone may expand/extend to other benefits that we may never know of in this life.
Well, I think I've said too much already.
Comment by debrah on April 5, 2009 at 4:35pm
Great Post Juanita! Donna I have been praying the same prayer...I am making it my daily prayer..LORD what do you want me to do? I believe that the very same people who have a heart to support our brothers and sisters outside our nation are the very same people who are seeking the Lord for our communities and nation. You have a very valid point about people come to church and remain inside the walls...but I am beginning to perceive that some (if not most) have a heart like you and I...wanting to do something but not knowing what. I think that it is a good idea for all of us to ask the Lord what He would have us do.

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