HOLY SPIRIT STRUCTURE AND GATHERINGS – By Ron McGatlin
Can there be truly spiritual family love experiences of gatherings with Christ Jesus as Head in this world today?
The restoration of apostles and apostolic kingdom networks and gatherings are important areas of concern that are in the process of being understood. The natural minds of most people immediately erroneously consider networks to imply structure and organization.
The term apostolic is erroneously construed as an office of authority within the church system. Very soon the chief apostle concept comes into view as a headship position in the “church network.” Not long after that, the structure of additional offices of church authority of pastor, prophet, evangelist, and teacher become erroneously considered as church offices of authority.
Conflicts arise in our understanding as the Holy Spirit intervenes in our process of logical natural thinking with God’s revealed spiritual concepts such as:
- The practical reality of Christ Jesus as the Head of His church
- The clergy/laity order exposed as ungodly
- The brotherhood of all believers at one level revealed
- The exposure of the business-corporation style of church as ungodly
- The religious order of the institutionalized church exposed as ungodly
- The hideous hidden mixture of sin and godliness in Christians
- The practice of separating godly faith practices from practical life activities such as business, home, recreation, education, and government is inordinate.
The list goes on as greater truth continues to be revealed and one after another of our time-honored beliefs and practices are seen as faulty and in need of either being dissolved or greatly altered and purified.
Our traditional concepts of leadership and networking are challenged by the biblical and spiritual revelation of these things. Therefore, we may have begun to adjust our leadership and networking ideas to some degree but may not yet be free from the old patterns of traditional natural thinking.
Giving things new names and calling it spiritual is not enough.
God is not bringing us to traditional leadership and natural networks with spiritual overtones.
He is not even taking us to networks based primarily on natural relationships with one another. If we network first based on relating naturally to one another it is very easy to begin to esteem one above another and establish invisible hierarchical order and arrangements.
Yes, relating to one another in the love of God is a very important part of spiritual networking. But it is secondary to the individual intimately relating to Father God through Jesus by the Holy Spirit.
A spiritual relationship with one another begins with being fully connected to and in love with Father God through the indwelling Spirit of Christ. There is a significant difference between networking of the HOLY SPIRIT and natural networking of spiritual things.
True relationship with one another begins with falling in love with God. God’s total unconditional love draws us to love God above all else. His love flowing through us then connects us in love to one another.
God is seeking Spiritual love Family order above man’s natural government or man’s intervention, but with man’s fully yielded cooperation with the headship of Christ Jesus in the Holy Spirit.
Human recommendations will not get you into a spiritual family order. A spiritual network is a spiritual organism. One is added to the network by the Holy Spirit. Spiritual networking is a connecting of spirits of just men made perfect coming together with God, Jesus, and many angels. Jesus is the mediator, and at the registration desk is in heaven.
Heb 12:22-24: But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.
If this seems too ethereal for us, we may need to adjust and become just men made perfect (mature). We need to grow up spiritually and be fully in love with God and one another by the Holy Spirit so that our spirits may assemble with the Spirit of Christ in the new covenant reality of walking IN THE SPIRIT.
NEW HEAVENLY SPIRITUAL ORDER
The spiritual network that God is sending down from heaven under the headship of our Great Apostle Christ Jesus is called the New Jerusalem. It is the ruling city of the worldwide kingdom of God.
The patterns of all life in the kingdom emanate from the city whose builder and maker is God. Nothing enters the city that defiles it.
God does not just visit His people there; He dwells among them. All love, all power, all wisdom dwells with His people and is imparted to us as He wills.
This is the grace imparted to order the world to the kingdom of God. This is Christ in us by the Holy Spirit to rule and reign with Him now on this earth.
God is not sending a replica of heaven on earth. He is sending the reality of heaven to earth in Christ Jesus by the Holy Spirit in His people.
God is not delegating His authority on earth. He is the authority on earth dwelling in His people – His network of pure, holy, humble people who have died to the old and are alive only as Christ lives in them.
In natural reality, Christ is alive on earth living in His people who are dead and yet are alive by the Spirit, as they abide in the Spirit, Christ abides in them.
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20.
THE FALLING AWAY
Natural institutional church systems took over around the third century when the Holy Spirit pulled away from the religious church systems that man had developed. For about two thousand years God has been seeking to restore the world to the kingdom of heaven reality that Christ Jesus proclaimed in the first century.
A notable move of reformation began over five centuries ago. Portions of the church have experienced major layers of reformation since then.
We are yet seeking to fully realign with the Holy Spirit and be cleansed of the man-made systems that have prevented the fullness of corporate life in the Holy Spirit.
All the Christian religious group divisions of history from Catholicism’s variations to protestant religion with its many denominations and divisions such as orthodox, liturgical, evangelical, Pentecostal, charismatic, prophetic, various other streams, and more recently apostolic networks, have all functioned in natural networking.
Most, if not all the historical religious groups and networks have functioned in something far less than the true spiritual networking of the Holy Spirit as presented in the heavenly New Jerusalem on earth.
Most of the diverse groups of history remain today in some form, each stuck in their old experience. However, the revelation of restored truth from God has continued to advance generation after generation toward the truth of Holy Spirit-led living in the spiritual city of the living God.
We are yet struggling today to return to the preeminence of Christ in the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has been made out to be less significant. However, the truth is without the Holy Spirit we have nothing of the reality of Jesus and the Father in our lives today.
It is the season to be transformed to live by the Spirit in the New Jerusalem lifestyle. Thereby bringing the reality of the kingdom of God to earth as it is in heaven.
HOLY SPIRIT STRUCTURE AND GATHERINGS
The Sunday church services are not the center of the things of God on earth. The family homes and life are the true center of Spirit activity. Families coming together and business activities are the first order of spiritual connection and maturing in the kingdom of God. Community or city gatherings are assemblies of worship and apostolic ministry are major occasions.
Imagine the scenario of no more Sunday morning weekly church gatherings with the people divided into many different congregations. Instead, think about home gatherings of families worshiping and praising God and ministering according to the real needs and conditions of the group. With each person bringing their part and gifting to the group under the headship of Christ Jesus.
Now imagine city-wide or community praise and worship gatherings of many home groups with “visiting sent ones” or apostolic leaders speaking the word of God all under the headship and in the name of Jesus. These gatherings would be held from time to time as Spirit God leads, but not normally weekly.
Also, as the Spirit leads, they may be held as a series of special meetings several nights in a row. Warehouses, storefronts, stadiums, and other rented or donated facilities can be used for these gatherings. Or on some occasions, they could be held outside in the open air.
This is not an organization but a pattern and, of course, there are many variations as the Holy Spirit leads. Probably the most central structure to this is businesses and homes.
Okay, this is from the vision or dreaming process, but it will check out with God and is a start to losing our old mindsets.
Where is the starting point?
- Getting the vision from God,
- Getting excited about the vision,
- Praying the vision back to God,
- Preaching the vision everywhere you preach,
- Sharing the vision with individuals,
- Write the vision and publish it,
- Move with the vision when the opportunity presents itself,
Where are the resources for all this?
The people and the money are locked up in church buildings, operating expenses, and leadership salaries.
Many true believers can catch the vision and see the work of God becoming a real spiritual work led by the Holy Spirit with many men and women arising from the pews and fulfilling the call on their lives in the groups. Some men and women will be financially blessed of God to become major supporters.
The mature believers can lead the immature in the groups into intimate relationships with Jesus as their Lord and Head of the ekklesia. Many are now sitting in pews in traditional churches not realizing that they are powerful assets to be released to the Body of Christ.
The facilities already exist in homes for the group meetings and businesses or rented halls and stadiums for the citywide or community gatherings of the groups.
Pray – Hear – Obey
Ask God for his vision to be made clear and pray for the vision He gives you. Listen and move in obedience to the next step He reveals to you. Wait upon Him, and watch for the next step to open before you.
As the declining economic conditions erode the lifestyles and available funds of families, all these things will move in the direction of the vision of God for spiritual organisms of believers to bring in and train the harvest of souls in the gospel of the kingdom.
Keep on pursuing love. It never fails.
And His kingdom never ends!