Introduction To Call Of God

Introduction To Call Of God

“He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness by which they lie in wait to deceive, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head - Christ - from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love” (Eph.4:11-16)

Early one afternoon, the Spirit of God heightened the dimension of enlightenment in my spirit concerning the passage from Ephesians 4:11-16 with a message. This message-“Three Waves”-is placed just before the first chapter of this book. “Three Waves” alludes to three primary movements of God upon the earth. I perceive from the message this: There is going to be a widespread move in three waves that will embrace the whole generation of God’s believers in our time.

Some of you may have observed that the first of the three waves has already swept through several churches today. This wave stirs up the desire to carry out the restoration of the fivefold ministry to the Church. So in many churches, the recognition of the supernatural anointing in the domain of the fivefold ministry is gaining prominence. More ministers are emerging as workers of this manifold ministry and the Church is slowly receiving her rightful position of authority.

The second wave carries a sanctification that will come and refine believers so that we may all develop in a deeper way in Christlikeness, so that people may see and say that we are true disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ.

After that is established, the last of the three waves will come in an anointing that will flow from every believer to touch the world for the kingdom of God. Not only will the local church pastor or the international itinerant be the one to do the work of the Lord’s ministry, but every man, woman, or child who truly knows the Lord will participate in this work. It would be a time when we truly reflect God’s divine predestination for His people as a royal priesthood. This third wave, a movement concentrated among God’s saints, will release the anointing into the lives of true believers and empower every disciple to take up the commission of ministry.

It is our earnest prayer and desire that the contents of this book will - in such measure as God allows - help prepare the body of Christ to recognise and receive the second wave and at the same time prepare God’s army to ride the crest of the final lap of the three waves of His Spirit. Jesus enlightens us on this matter in this fashion: “No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for the patch pulls away from the garment, and the tear is made worse. Nor do people put new wine into old wineskins, or else the wineskins break, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved” (Matt.9:16-17).

The Lord our God, who constantly renews and extends His love, grace and power toward us, is still pouring new wine into His Church to refresh and restore us. Whenever this new wine comes, however, it does not always accomplish in and amongst us what it is supposed to. This is because, due to lack of discernment and understanding, many have neglected to replace “old wineskins” with new ones so that the new wine is not contained but left to spill away from the fellowship. The result is an unconscious and unintentional rejection of God’s blessings and provision.

We need to regularly examine ourselves and keep our walk with God along the path of renewal so that we can keep pace with His Spirit and be the new wineskin that is able to contain and preserve the new wine of God. When powerful waves of divine anointing come, people either surf them or sink under them. To surf these waves, our surfing boards must suit the condition of the waves; otherwise we will be engulfed by their sheer immensity.

At present, the body of Christ reflects more the condition recorded in 1 Sam.13:19-22 than the ideal of Eph. 4:11-16.

“ Now there was no blacksmith to be found throughout all the land of Israel, for the Philistines said, “Lest the Hebrews make swords or spears. But all the Israelites would go down to the Philistines to sharpen each man’s plowshare, his mattock, his axe, and his sickle…. So it came about, on the day of battle, that there was neither sword nor spear found in the hand of any of the people who were with Saul and Jonathan. But they were found with Saul and Jonathan” (1 Sam 13:19-22).

Israel in those days was in constant battle with the Philistines. However, as there were no ready blacksmiths then, only Saul and his son Jonathan (heads of the Israelite population) had weapons for warfare while the rest of the army were unarmed. Similarly, the Body of Christ today is without skilled blacksmiths who would equip us with weapons sharpened for spiritual warfare. As a result, only a select few are able to perform the ministry commissioned by God and therefore a threat to the enemy. This condition, however, is far from what God had intended for us. His intention was never for us to depend on a select few to fight the battle, but for every follower to be a soldier and a vital part of God’s military body composed of victorious overcomers. But we need “weapons” of warfare; and we need “blacksmiths” to do that for us. We need people who are anointed and appointed by God to equip every believer and make every follower a worthy warrior in Christ. The fivefold ministry is given to us for exactly this purpose - to equip and arm every member of Christ’s Body for battle. In order for God’s plan to be fulfilled a clear understanding and acceptance of the fivefold ministry within the Body must be in place. Ministers in the fivefold ministry must be prepared and willing to impart and equip the people. Likewise, the Church must receive their ministry.

Before we go further, let us just discuss some principles that will help us in understanding and better receiving the ways of God.

Extra Biblical vs Unbiblical

One of the most common questions asked when a new move of God sweeps the nations is “Is this biblical?” Of course this question is only reflective of a cautious worshipper who loves God and who wants to avoid involvement with activities that might be forbidden by God. It is only right that we exercise caution in things that are not otherwise familiar to us, especially when it comes to accepting things of a spiritual nature. While such a question is legitimate, we must be careful not to allow the spirit of caution and discernment to evolve into one of fear or insecurity or religious pride. The human tendency is to put up an immediate wall against anything foreign that does not seem understandable to us. This is especially so when our understanding of a particular theory or doctrine is confronted by a “new” revelation. However, throughout the Bible, we will find that God is constantly in the business of doing “new things”--things that are unprecedented. It is not possible, as the Apostle John would also agree, for the full revelations of an infinite God to be recorded within the limitations of pen and paper, or even tape and disk: “ And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written” (Jn.21:25). There can be many things that God will give us understanding even though they are not clearly revealed in Scripture. Visions, dreams and revelations are examples of some of these things. If it is going to be called revelation, then chances are we have never heard or understood it before! Instead of allowing ourselves to be overly concerned that what we believe to have been spiritual prompting or enlightenment given by the Holy Spirit is not supported by an exact description in the Bible, we can receive it with a right spirit and search the scriptures or seek counsel from mature and godly Christians. With the right spirit and approach, we can be greatly blessed and our understanding of the ways of God can be greatly. We are not saying that personal revelations have authority above God’s written Word but that they make the Word real to us.

During the birth of Jesus, the wise men from the East were led by the star to search for the king of the Jews. The knowledge of a certain prophecy indeed gave them details about a coming saviour; but it is in the appearance of the star in heaven that actually caused them to experience the presence of the saviour. Though we know the word of the Bible, we sometimes do not see the light in the Bible. For “in His light we see light”(Ps.36:9). Both the star in heaven and the prophecy of Scripture were necessary. Isn’t the star of Bethlehem “extra biblical”?

Written Word vs Living Word

The written Word is what we read in the Bible. It gives us knowledge of God and enlightens the reader to a certain extent. However, the living Spirit must illuminate the written Word before we can appropriate them. When that happens, we receive inspired insights into the word and a greater understanding. This in turn makes the application of the truth more meaningful and purposeful for us. Scripture says, “ for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life”(2Cor.3:6). Having said that, it should be emphasized that the foundation of our understanding in the written Word must be established before we can make clear judgements on the living Word. We need to be assured first that what is being revealed does not contradict that which is written.

Written Scripture is one thing, but the revelation of the Holy Spirit is another. There is teaching of Scripture line upon line, precepts upon precepts, and there is revelation, an inspired word in season. The knowledge of the Bible needs to be accompanied by the revelation of God. If all we have is only knowledge we will be like the Pharisees. Though we may know the Scripture, we do not see the light from heaven, and thus do not discern the times and seasons of God’s movement upon the earth.

Revelations are progressive and there is a season to reveal certain truths according to God’s divine time table. Jesus says, “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now”(Jn.16:12 -15). Yes, because of our finite minds and human weaknesses, Jesus has to unfold His truth and ways to us according to His timing. That is why, He continues by saying, “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.” Today, we need the Spirit of truth to continue to unveil the ways of God to us and give us greater understanding of His Word. If we are too quick to reject the things of the Spirit, it is likely that we would end up rejecting the precious truths from God that come to us from time to time.

A very important thing to note is to recognise that the understanding of certain biblical truths (especially prophetic truths) released within the time frame of the writing of Scripture has its dispensational restrictions. As an example, the mystery of the dispensation of Grace for the gentiles is only revealed during Paul’s time, though it has been prophesied many centuries before. Old Testament saints and the Jewish nation before the advent of Christ, it seems, did not receive the light to embrace this provocative truth. “if indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you, how by revelation He made known to me the mystery…which in other ages was not made known to the sons on men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets” (Eph.3:2-5).

In Daniel 12:4 , it is stated, “But you, Daniel, shut up the words and seal the Book until the time of the end. [Then] many shall run to and fro and search anxiously [through the Book], and knowledge [of God’s purposes as revealed by His prophets] shall be increased and become great”(Amp). This verse is commonly taken to mean advances in science and technology and the knowledge they bring. Though this interpretation is possible, more specifically, the context of this passage strongly suggests that many shall diligently investigate and scrutinize Scripture. It intimates that many will study the prophetic Word and that knowledge in regards to the Great Tribulation and the second coming of Christ shall increase. Like the prophet Daniel, we should be humble to accept that we can only have the light and the revelation to the degree the Spirit wants to reveal to us to profit our generations. We should recognise that we all only “know in part and prophesy in part”(1 Cor.13:9) and that we can learn much from one another the living Word as and when the Lord illumines our understanding.

Out Of Context vs Out Of the Full Counsel Of God

Another phrase commonly heard among believers is “Out of context”. It is certainly dangerous to build any doctrine out of context. However, it is also dangerous to build a doctrine, though in context, outside the full counsel of God’s Word. Take for example the instance when the devil tempted the Lord in the wilderness. Satan tells Jesus, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone’” (Mt. 4:6). Here, Satan was quoting from Ps. 91:11 and, admittedly, he was not bringing the word out of context, for in both instances, it was the message of divine protection that was being promised. However, what the devil suggested with that word contravened what another verse says in the Bible about not subjecting the power of God to the test: “Jesus said to him. “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God’” (Mt. 4:7). Thus, even though the context was adhered to, the essence of the word as suggested by the devil contradicted the more comprehensive biblical counsel. As a safe rule, any word that stands independently outside the full counsel of God’s written word is not acceptable.

On the other hand, it is possible for the Spirit of God to quicken a certain scripture in us not in its usual context in the Bible so as to initiate us into a certain truth or give us a specific guidance, thus proving that “the Word is living and powerful”(Heb.4:12). In Acts 1:20, Peter quotes from Ps. 69:25-“Let his habitation be desolate, and let no one live in it”-and Ps. 109:8, “Let another take his office.” A careful study will show that these two verses in the Old Testament do not refer to Judas. Nevertheless the Spirit led him to interpret them thus. With so much in the balance-our need of biblical accuracy and the sensitivity to a specific word at the quickening of His Spirit-we need surely to “be diligent to present ourselves approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Tim.2:15).

Truth Is Parallel

The Word of God is likened to a double-edged sword (Heb.4:12;Rev.1:16;Ps.149:6-9). It cuts on either sides of the blade because both sides are sharp. This means that though one thing is true (from what we gather from the Word), it does not always mean the opposite is not true also. This means that truth cuts in more than one direction, so, occasionally, seemingly opposite realities are equally true. Prosperity and blessing are definitely God’s plan for His children; however, that does not mean that suffering and affliction are not part of our Christian heritage. The Bible that promises us prosperity, healing and abundant life is the same Bible that says we are called to suffer, and through trial, tribulation and testing enter the kingdom of God. It is therefore unwise to judge another person’s walk with the Lord, for the guidance and call of God upon individuals can be very different one from another. It is good not to misunderstand others when we do not fully understand a matter. We might end up like Job’s friends, who having judged wrongly, ended up receiving rebuke from the Almighty God.

What Is Our Food ?

“My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work” (Jn.4:34). This statement does not mean that the Lord refrained from eating actual food. Rather, it means that the great aim and object of His life (things that keep Him, preserve Him and motivate Him) is not to cater to the body’s desires but rather to do the will of God. In Jn.7:17 He says, “If anyone wants to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine.” What Jesus is saying to us is that if our heart is towards Him and is determined to make His call upon our life as the priority, we will walk into our calling in life. This is because His Spirit Himself will guide the man whose heart is after Him into finding full identity and destiny in Christ. If our “food,” like Jesus, is only to do the work of the Father and finish it, we will know His doctrine and His ways. Jesus Himself is so consumed in the Father that He considers God’s work as His daily food. Food is the basic nutrition that keeps a person going from day to day - the substance that gives energy to the body for its many functions. Similarly, if we depend on God as much as the body depends on food for sustenance, we will come to be strengthened in Him day by day and move on with confidence each step that He leads us on.