Out of One, Into Another

A New Post By Jay Ferris!

out jump2What I am seeing of late is a choice between two kinds of “time-shares,” two places to rest, two places to live, even a choice between two kingdoms.  How can we leave the one without entering the other?  Getting out of “Babylon”, it seems, is a call to every one of us, but where are we to go if we are given no alternative?  Does “the gospel” consign us to some kind of mental holding pattern until Jesus comes back? Why should people living in darkness want a piece of that action?

We need to live in the Spirit’s alternative to Babylon and we need to live there now.  My experience tells me that this is well within reach of the faith once delivered to the saints, and still available even in our own day.  What we are presently calling “church” isn’t fooling anyone, except perhaps ourselves.

The way things are now, people haven’t the faintest idea of what the Bible is really offering us in Christ.  People living in darkness need very badly to know that there is another place to live, another place to rest.  If I understand it right, believers were to be a demonstration in that darkness.  Instead we say, “Oh well, maybe next time?” – NOT!

What Jesus offers us is bad for business, any business:

To what then shall I compare the men of this generation, and what are they like?  They are like children who sit in the market place. . . Luke 7:30-32

We sit in a market place with an eye to doing business. We have business on our mind.  It is this “what’s in it for me that I can buy” mentality that stands in opposition to our ability to enter the Kingdom of God.  It is a change of mental location that we need in order to come out of Babylon and enter another place.

The book of Revelation is a strange kind of letter. It tends to scramble our sense of “past” “present” and “future.”  A “beast” is revealed there who will burn Babylon in the future, Revelation 17:16.

The book of Revelation also reveals another place to live.  This other place is called “The New Jerusalem,” Revelation 21:2.  The problem is that what’s calling itself “church” has been so locked into futureness that we have missed the burning that is going on in the present.  This burning is the result of a fire Jesus kindled at the cross. This is to say, we don’t have to wait until the eleventh hour to get out of the burning tower.  The fact is, the fire Jesus set at the cross has already gutted the building.

One way of indicating where the gospel takes us, as contrasted with where we have been, is to summarize the contrast between two economic “systems.”  One system finds its expression in a market place, a place where people go to buy and sell.  The rock bottom object of the market place is a redistribution of the necessities of life.  The economy of God does this by the blood of Christ.  This is the transaction of the cross, where we exchange our garbage for His love.

Love!

Posted in J.Ferris: Reposts with Notes | 3 Comments

Untangled and Poured Out

cork
NEW – drawn from a response by Jay Ferris to a question from a reader.

I was thinking about that portion of the desire in the heart of all of us for intimacy. It is kept inside like the pressure in a bottle of Champagne. Suddenly we find ourselves in circumstances where we feel safe to share with others at a deep level. That’s like releasing the wire that holds the cork in the bottle. With the release of the cork comes the celebration of intimacy.

A reader asked: “What is the key point that makes the cork pop?”

I would have to say, “the key point” is that these things are spiritually discerned. Only the Grace of God has the ability to disentangle the wire on the cork. This wire is the bondage of how we used to be, even the bondage of systematic religion.

Take Paul, for instance. The “popping of His cork” began with his being knocked down on the way to Damascus. The intimacy that day was with The Lord Himself. Then he had a few conversations with others, probably not so intimate, and then into the Arabian wilderness for “Surpassing” intimacy with The Lord Himself once again. It is clear from Paul’s testimony that the fruit of that intimacy was the untangling of Paul from all that he used to be – all that religious wiring. There was a major change from the religious bondage that used to be Paul. Paul was changed from Christ killer to lover.

There was much that Paul got in Arabia that he could get only from the Lord, and not from men, even the best of them in their then understanding of the “oneness” that Jesus prayed and died for.

As for us, we now have the help of Paul’s maturing in the lord, according to his own words, and those of Luke. So that we already have an intelligible clue that there is more to intimacy than how things are in the old creation. There is a Unity of The Spirit that, beyond His gift of Himself to us, is perhaps the greatest gift we have, as well as our most convincing testimony, not only to our own hearts, but to the hearts of one another, and by the looks of it, to the world.

This is not about being in the same place and time in the flesh, but being in the same place and eternity in the Spirit. :-) This is about a people who are beginning to get to know each other “even as also they are known,” and in this present age.

Love!

For more reading, see “The Champagne of Intimacy.

Posted in J.Ferris: Intimacy, J.Ferris: New Releases, J.Ferris: Reposts with Notes | 7 Comments

Looking for Love in All The Wrong Places

Whether you are single or married, I would encourage you to take just 30 minutes today to listen to this audio on 1 Cor. 7.  Jay Ferris wasn’t able to make it for the 2011 Searching Together conference, so he delivered his message in a barn. :)   When I first heard it, it became for me a deeply strengthening hinge-pin in my own thinking concerning marriage.  Someday I hope to share a written transcript of the message as well, but for now just the audio is available below.  It will play automatically when you click the link, or, you can open it in iTunes.

I listened to the first 5 minutes this morning and it drew me in.  I’m off to listen to the rest!  Would love to hear your thoughts on it, if you get a chance to listen too.
.
  1 Corinthians 7 (2011 Searching Together Conference) (Mp3, 18 MB, 30 min)
Download to Computer (Right Click and choose ‘Save link as’, or ‘Save target as’)
Play in iTunes or Default Player (Click and choose player)
Listen Here:



.
Posted in J.Ferris: Reposts with Notes | 2 Comments

High Risk Investment with High Returns in Relationships

New writing by Jay Ferris:

talentDuring a walk in the woods with friends once in 1999, the following understanding of “the parable of the talents” came to light for me from one of them, in context of relationships. (Matthew 25:14-30)

Looking at the one slave who buried his talent, we must understand that the application to the Kingdom of God has little or nothing to do with financial investment, putting money in a bank, or even burying it in the ground.  The Lord is speaking about “high risk” investment, however, as contrasted with the relative safety of money in the bank.

In the Kingdom of God, the currency of God is love, and the investment is in relationships.  Jesus is the investor.  He staked everything on relationships, first of all His relationship with His Father, and then with His Father as the backer, He invested everything in us who believe.  He is after a return on this investment in relationships, and lots of them.  Jesus’ Father is looking for fellowship.  When the Greeks wanted to meet Jesus, He went away and left the job to us, John 20:20-26.

By His death, He made a deposit into our lives, and the Holy Spirit continues to bring us even more of Him.  Jesus is looking for a return on that investment.  Jesus knows what it is to risk rejection, and be rejected, Isaiah 53:3.  He expects us to take the same risk, and invest ourselves in others.

For the slave who had very little experience with the Lord, there were two problems: one a problem of perception, and the other, a very real fear, Matt. 25:24-25.

If we have no sense that the Lord has sown anything of substance into our lives; if we know little or nothing of Him, we have a very false impression.  We don’t see ourselves as having enough to take a chance on reaching out to others.  The downside risk is that of rejection – rejection now, and rejection on the day when we must all give account.

The Lord has promised us a return on our investment, in this present age as well as the next.

One hundred times as much as what we are willing to invest, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers (Luke’s account reads, ‘parents’) and children… Mark 10:29-30

How are you doing with
the investment of your life?

From “Are You Worried Yet? Where is Money Taking Us” by Jay Ferris.

Posted in J.Ferris: Reposts with Notes, J.Ferris: The Parable of Gold, Jay Ferris Writings | 11 Comments

The Best for Last (Audio Gem #6)

Somewhere Jay Ferris mentions the movie, “The Passion of Christ” by Mel Gibson, saying that as noble an attempt as it was to accurately portray the horrors of crucifixion, that it was unfortunately stamped with a love that was for friends. What did he mean?  In this last “Audio Clip” (saving the best for last!), Jay shares what he said was his greatest, most life-changing revelation concerning the love of Christ on which all other revelations were based – especially concerning ‘unshakeable’ relationships.  As simple as it may seem, very few act like they have received this specific revelation of Christ.  O Lord, open our eyes!

Click here to listen to the audio:


Written Version:

“….. Something came to me in a patent office in Dusseldorf Germany in 1987 when I was in a place of deep groaning because of some relational difficulties client wise, and family wise.  It was at a time when my understanding was that, laying His life down for His friends was part of the gospel of Christ.  Now from a personal point of view, one of the things that I was struggling with was that I found that my expectations were my greatest enemy and I found when they weren’t lived up to, I became part of the problem.  It was an expectational kind of confrontation that my wife and I were going to be walking into in about ten days.

So I was sitting there in this patent office, linguistically ignorant, so I wasn’t paying much attention to what was going on there because it was all in German.  Then the sky opened up and the Lord touched me this way.  I had a burst of scripture from 1 John, “Prefect love casts out fear” cycling just below my level of consciousness.  When I became aware of it, my awareness took the form of, “Oh that’s interesting, love casts out fear.”  I was rebuked immediately in my inner man, and the Lord said, “No, love creates fear. Perfect love casts out fear.”  And then the sky opened up again and I reached for paper and was writing as fast as I could.

The long and short of it was, He showed me that Romans 5 is an elaboration of what Jesus said.  What Jesus said, He said before he died.  But John told us later on, “This is how we know what love is. Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.” That’s the demonstration of the New Commandment basis on love. And so in Romans, Paul says, “Scarcely for a good man or for a righteous man would anyone die, but for a good man or in effect for a friend, someone might possibly dare to die.”  In a patent parlance that’s the “state of the art.”  That was the best that had been known, and that’s what Jesus had stated before He went to the cross – the state of the art.  Greater love than that?  No one ever saw anything greater than that before. But then he goes on to say, “But while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us,” and if that’s not already enough, a little bit farther down he says, “If while we were God’s enemies we were reconciled to Him by the death of His Son, how much more shall we be saved by His life?”

I was then overwhelmed that He died for me on my worst day! He died for me while I was His enemy!  I had never seen that before because I was working with the other kind of love.  And every time I needed saving this side of conversion, the first kind of love wasn’t doing me any good because I didn’t feel like His friend!  And so I said, “Lord, how is that possible?”  He said, “Well, the day I said I love you I nailed my expectations to the tree. And if you’re going to love like I love, you’re going to have to nail your expectations to the tree.” I think that goes to all of these things that we carry with us: gender-wise, and racially, and economically, by which we decide whether to love somebody or not.  He’s nailed it all to the tree.

Posted in J.Ferris: Reposts with Notes | 1 Comment

Structured According To Life

[Note from Pam:] I have been waiting for some insight into what to share next on Jay’s blog, and it almost seemed by accident that I ran across the following portion that he had written inside one of his books (which is available for free download here).  It seems timely on more than one level, and I hope you find it resonates to your spirit as well.

rsz_zigotes“Three years into the original writing of this manuscript, the Lord seemed to be resisting its completion. My impression was that He was saying that the way of life suggested was too theoretical when compared to the reality in which I was then living. It was as though He was saying that I needed to find out experientially whether these things were so. The last four years of its completion were spent in an intense search. I had been “… looking for a city whose builder and maker is God…” About the only clue as to its identity is that it is a “city with foundations,” Heb.11:10.

The body of Christ on earth, as distinguished from this one already perfected in heaven, has been fractured organizationally by the work of man’s hands. The unbelief of the believers has kept it from being manifested here on earth, and has made it difficult to see the heavenly Jerusalem. I was not able to see it until I was brought to the end of my carnal resources. By God’s grace, and the faithfulness of those He has brought into my life, I have finally managed to be still enough to catch a glimpse of it.

The body of Christ has been broken because we have tried to organize ourselves according to human understanding. Human understanding is the enemy of God. Our heavenly Father wants to put us together according to the life of His Son.  Flesh and blood cannot accomplish that; only the Father can. He wants to put us together in such a way that the gates of hell cannot prevail against us.

As we must know who Jesus Christ is supernaturally, so we must discover supernaturally who we are in Him. I have begun to discover who I am in relationship to others supernaturally. It is “joy unspeakable and full of glory…” 1 Pet.1:8.  It is not of works, not even of relational works, “lest any man should boast,” Eph 2:9. I have been saved, and continue to be saved by grace! I am being placed in the body by grace! I am a man under authority by grace!

The Lord will build His house, and this New Jerusalem looks like a new creation. Like the old one, it is structured according to life.  But unlike the old one, it is built on better blood, better promises, and is never going to pass away.

The Lord has put me in a family. Whether or not you are a member of an “institutional church,” the Lord wants to put you in a family. That is where the Lord commanded the blessing.¹ All that old creation families ever promised, the Lord wants to give you a hundredfold in this present age in His new creation.² Without necessarily moving into the same house, the Lord wants His people in any given place relating to each other as though living under a common roof.  Whatever it is that is at work in our hearts that keeps the body of Christ from being reconciled is false religion. It is idolatry.”

“I BESEECH you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”  Romans 12:1-2

¹ Psalms 133:1-3  /  ² Mark 10:29-31

Posted in J.Ferris: Reposts with Notes | 7 Comments

NEW RELEASE: “What Does The Church Look Like?” Interview

.
Jay Ferris was once asked what the church in Charlotte, N.C. looked like.  Jay’s answer was,

‘The church is everyone in this city who knows who are theirs in Him, and all the rest is show business.”

And yet the show goes on. “Institutional, House, Emerging, Simple, Organic”…the attempt to be something and call ourselves something to a dying world is incessant.

In October of 2012 Jay was interviewed by a religious organization via email on the subject of “house churches”.  I am not sure the interview was ever published.

Fasten your seat belts :-)  Here is the interview in its entirety, discovered and released here for the first time….

“What Does The Church Look Like?”

On Oct 10, 2012, the “Rev” _______ wrote:

>  In getting ready to do the report I realized that I needed the following.  I noticed your site lovinglikegod.com has some background on you. But it lacks the following information:

> what is your involvement in house churches?

Carleen and I opened our home in 1974, before we had heard anything about “house churches.” I had been reading my KJV Bible, which had no notes or chains of references. It was before I was affiliated with any “church.” I already sensed that a joinable “church” was not what God calls Church. We opened our home without calling it anything, but simply had the expectation that Jesus would keep His promise that where ever two or three gather He would show up in the midst, and make of it what He will. So we were not a Bible study, not a commitment group, not a support group, not a outreach of a “church” group. Just people gathering in a house, and taking the liberty to share the Lord’s supper in that setting, and without any ambition to start a “church.” That was our understanding with the surrounding clergy in the five towns of the Connecticut Shoreline.

> 2) what do you know about house churches and how they operate today?

Today those that are organized the most, tend to act mostly as multi-level marketing scams.

> 3) what do you think about how NT churches operated in bible days- how do they differ from the church today?

I believe that the house churches of today are “church” wannabes. They tend to have a liturgy of one sort of another, trying to do in living rooms what clearly doesn’t work in special buildings. In the beginning, houses where simply where people lived, and as such were comfort zones for the people of a new creation, at a time when they were not very welcome by the old creation, especially the Jewish old creation.

> 4) explain how the offices of the 5 fold ministry operate in house churches today- how did they operate in the NT?

We see them included among the eldership at Antioch, before the affirmation of the apostolic call in /Saul/Paul. Today I think our understanding of these personifications of ministry are much too wooden. Paul, for instance operated at many levels of five-fold gifting. He Taught, Pastored, Prophesied, Evangelized, and Apostled.  There is a dimension of fathering in all of these ministries. Fathering or parenting is the most profound connection of all.

> 5) how does the house church operate in connection with finances? how did it operate in NT times?

This is a very touchy subject where house church practice is concerned. I have tried to do this in a number of ways, and the best where I am concerned is that those who come be sensitive and aware of the needs of others that the Lord has connected them to.  And beyond that, the needs of those around us. I am very much with Paul’s position when he wrote, “after all, the children don’t lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children.” I don’t think Paul was particularly impressed with the rather heavy-handed way that the Jerusalem leadership handled the matter of giving and ministry finance.

> 6) how does it operate with meetings and such- do they differ from house church to house church or is it the same in your experience?

The church that meets from house to house is best understood as living units of a new creation. Like the old creation the practice is different from house to house, and it works best if we don’t try to tell our neighbors how to raise their children.

> 7) how do you establish a house church and do you have experience establishing house church?

By the leading of the Spirit, you simply open your heart and your home to whomsoever will, and let ‘super nature’ take its course.

> 8) how does it relate to kids and youth in house churches today, during the service?

That’s a very loaded question, because it assumes like I said a few questions back, that what has been going on in special buildings, “services” has been transferred to living rooms. That’s not how it was in the beginning, and that is not how it should be now.

> 9) what advantages do house churches have over regular denominational churches?

They are a place to live and relate rather than getting lectured to, by men who haven’t the first clue as to what spiritual relationships are all about.

> disadvantages?

House church is bad for religious business, if they are done right.

> what is the difference you felt from going to a house church in your relationship with God, compared to going to a denominational church or church with a building?

In a house, if it’s done as a matter of new creation life, we can have conversation with one another rather than serving as an audience for male ego gratification.

>End of Interview.

“God put everything He had into His Son, including us, and it’s way past time that we did the same thing. This involves knowing who He has given us in His Son, and investing everything we have in them. When we do that, our Heavenly Father will have the church that His Son Prayed and died for.”  – Jay Ferris

.

Posted in J.Ferris: Church, J.Ferris: New Releases, Jay Ferris Writings | 4 Comments