A testimony of the hope I have
in Christ Jesus
This is a testimony of the hope
that I have in Christ Jesus. Sometimes, it may be hard to understand
the experience of another person. If some of my experiences seem
strange, search the Scriptures to see whether these things are true.
Pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit. On the other hand, you
may have had very similar experiences.
I can’t remember the day that I
started believing in Jesus. My mother taught me at a very young age.
I do remember a phonograph record
I had . This was sometime after age five. The record had the
Lord’s prayer on one side and the 23rd Psalm on the other side. I
can remember laying in bed and listening to the record. I can recall
a beautiful, comforting presence that would come and be with me as I listened.
I can remember the deep peace I felt and the presence that I came to know
Now, looking back, I recognize this
presence. He is the anointing, the anointed one, the Christ.
This was and is the same Holy Spirit who visited the disciples in the upper
room on Pentecost.
When I was in my late teens, our
pastor gave a wonderful sermon about being filled with the Spirit.
He used plenty of Scripture. That sermon opened my eyes to the living
experience that is possible with Jesus. Later that week, thoughts
of the Holy Spirit and being filled with the Spirit occupied my mind.
I could tell you exactly where I
was driving my car when it happened. I was driving along and my whole
life changed. It was as though my spirit was suddenly released from
terrible bondage, although I hadn’t realized that it had been in bondage
until I felt what that freedom was like. I stand in awe of this experience.
It is ongoing. My spirit was suddenly sort of dancing and rejoicing
and jumping around with the Holy Spirit—I’m trying to describe something
for which there are no suitable words.
Up to that moment, the Bible had
seemed relatively boring and hard to understand. From that day forward,
the Book became easy to understand and exciting. Topics like prophesying,
speaking in tongues, apostles, and prophets seemed to be so real and possible,
although I had not previously heard of such things in the here and now.
When I asked my pastor about these things, I was told that those things
were for the "apostolic age." I was also quoted the verse, "As for
prophesy, it shall cease." Even though I was told that these things
were occurring nowhere, I felt in my heart that they must be happening
Since that time, I have made many
mistakes. I learned that if I sought God, I got God. If I sought
spiritual experience, I got something, but not necessarily God. There
are other spirits who are very glad to make themselves available.
But, as Jesus said, our Father knows how to give the Holy Spirit to those
who ask for it. I learned to stay away from Eastern meditation techniques.
I learned to just seek God and pray earnestly. I also learned a lesson
about the danger of following an independent man of God. I believe
that this man was a man of God, but when he declared his independence,
there was no one to correct him or to balance his ministry. I suffered
for this, but my family suffered much more than I did. Praise the
Lord who heals me. Praise the Lord for a wife who stood by me in
all my error.
Now, I fellowship in a local Church
where every member is a ministry and the service flow in the Spirit as
it is written in 1 Corinthians 12-14 and Ephesians 4 and Romans 12.
Rather than entertainment, we seek to be led by the Spirit and to edify
the body of Christ. The gifts of the Spirit operate in the Church
both in and out of the service. This Church functions according to
the biblical order for the government of the Church. That government
functions on three levels, in the home, on the local level and on the universal
I’m an elder/bishop, in a sense,
in my own home, with my wife a deacon or minister. My office in my
home provides for, protects, and acts as a priest for my wife. When
my children were home, it did the same for them. My wife governs
the home with me, meeting me at my weakness and giving balance to my ministry.
Our local Church is under the government
of elders and deacons. There is no chief elder other than the Lord,
Jesus Christ. The elders submit themselves to each other, so there
is no lack of government or disorder. The deacons are spiritual offices
who function under direction from the elders.
The elders submit to the traveling,
universal elders and deacons who function much as the apostles did in the
first century Church. they set (ordain) local elders and deacons.
There is not chief among them other than our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Each of the brethren is under the government of the body of apostles.
The brethren have been set into their offices by God in a miraculous way
during the outpouring of the Holy Spirit that began in 1948 in North Battleford,
SASK, Canada and continues today. As new traveling ministries are
added, they are indicated by the Holy Spirit and set in by the laying on
of hands of the presbytery. It is a very humble life, just as the
first century apostles found the execution of their office to be.
When revelation of the interpretation
of any Scripture is given, it is because God had revealed it to all the
brethren just as in Acts 15. This revelation is then committed to
local elders who teach no other doctrine in the local Church. This
government has provided tremendous stability, but also leaves the door
open for God to unveil more and more of His Word. Theological wrangling
is wonderfully absent.
Often, under the anointed ministries
of those whom God has set, I have received songs. I have tried to
be faithful in putting these songs into a format so that they can be used
by the universal Church.
Gifts of the Spirit and ministries
are imparted to every member through prophecy and the laying on of hands
of the presbytery. God gives some gifts to each member, but not all
to any one, because He is making us interdependent. He is building
a holy temple. As we all with open face behold the glory of the Lord
as in a mirror, we are changed into the same image from glory to glory—the
Spirit of the Lord does this. The traveling ministries—apostles,
prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers—equip the saints for the ministry
by imparting gifts, providing government, setting elders, receiving doctrine,
and many other ways of equipping the saints.
The saints, with this equipment,
minister. Speaking the truth in love, the Church is being built into
a holy temple resting firmly on the foundation of apostles and prophets
with Jesus Christ being the chief corner stone. Before us we see
the day when we will all come in the unity of the faith and of the knowledge
of the son of God, unto a totally complete man, unto the measure of the
stature of the fullness of Christ. We look forward to the adoption,
to wit, the redemption of our bodies. We look for the manifestation
of the sons of God.
I believe that the Bible does not encourage speculative rationalization, reasoning based on unfounded assumptions and presuppositions and leveraged logic that try to expand knowledge beyond the revelation in the Word.