NEW RELEASE: A Letter to a “Church Planter”

The following is a NEW RELEASE post by Jay Ferris. It is taken from a letter he wrote to a popular “church planter.” In it, Jay takes issue with the mindset that God’s church can be planted by organizational methods. Instead, Jay lays out an argument that the way God does life is altogether different, and more in line with natural principles. 

This letter will probably appeal to a limited audience, but do pass it on if you know someone who might be interested in reading it.

InLove – Pamela 

Dear ________, 

Thank you for the book you recently sent; I enjoyed it very much. It was good to see so many fragments of light in one volume. I have several observations which struck me:

First, people who see everything through a “ministry” lens. This expresses a truth which I saw some years back, that professional clergy are often this way. When they see people, they see ministry instead of relationship. Or in other words, they see people as something to do, instead of someone to love.

And the next is somewhat related: the so-called necessity of church planters. I think based on personal experience, that there is another, less dependent-on-man, (if more laborious) approach to have instead. Once we see the church, not as something for us to do, but as a miraculous new creation of God — we realize that the old (physical) creation is a flannel board revealing to us truths about how God structures and nurtures life. That is what we are after, and what Jesus came to bring us, is it not? 

However, if the question is, “how does God structure and nurture new life?”, we have to look more closely at creation. He begins with one man, one woman, and puts the rest in order by reproduction. Surely an accomplished church planter would understand this much. That is, God begins with a family, and He “puts the solitary in these families,” (Psalm 68:6). He does not put them into brotherhoods. Brotherhoods are not designed for reproduction — families are. As long as reproduction is still required, the basic unit will be the family or “household.” When reproduction is no longer required, then we will all be brothers. Is that where God’s church is at? No more spiritual reproduction? I hope not!

As I see it, the identification of a group of believers as brothers is more a statement of faith than a present reality. For the present there is an authoritative dimension on the horizontal, that is not contained in our identification as brothers.

Again, the old creation reveals, (for anyone who will stop being religious long enough to take a look) that healthy parents raise children up in a healthy way. For example, they do not raise children to sit in pews and watch the parents do everything. Instead they teach their children how to take over the business of living, and if possible, go “farther up the mountain” than they have gone. We are not talking a long-distance kind of relationship here as to “authority,” but something that swims in the muck and mire of everyday relationship.

Don’t get me wrong, I would love to have you in my living room as well as in my life, but if I can learn this lesson from the old creation, it is not as critically important to have (name withheld), “church planter,” in my household of faith.

Finally, another thing that I have come to see from Matthew 24:23-27, is that I do not need an “out-of-town christ.” Rather I need a revelation of the Christ who is in the midst of the believers where I live, including the weakest members, (one of whom may turn out to be myself). An out-of-town christ invariably divides the local body of believers. The sectarian and institutional, (I know, redundant) mindset is constantly using out-of-town christs to buttress their strongholds. It’s good for business. Out-of-town christs reinforce the institutional retardation of the saints so necessary for the financial support of interminable preachers. 

Enough said, lest I shoot myself in the foot.

For all of this, let me say once again, that I have the utmost appreciation for you and your insight concerning the church, and the centrality of Christ.

Yours in Him,

Jay

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Proclaim Liberty to the World!

This is a word about the liberty wherewith Christ has set us free.  This is the liberty to do whatever our hearts desire, because, Jesus is in us both to will and to do His good pleasure!  The catch is that this liberty is only in the Spirit, 2 Corinthians 3:17.

This is the liberty, which for over two thousand years has been trampled under foot of men. Instead of Jesus in the midst of even two or three, men have put themselves and their agendas in the midst.  This is a control issue.  Historically the gatherings of what has been calling itself “church” have been controlled by either men/“leadership” in the midst, or liturgy.  In either case, the liberty that rightly belongs to the saints has been replaced by the doing of external authority.  This is the authority that Jesus is presently bent on destroying, 1 Corinthians 15:24-26.  The authority of the Kingdom of God is an internal authority, an authority that sets us free, and one that will never pass away, for, as the Messiah proclaims: “He must reign for ever and ever!”

That said, it is past time that we refocus our purpose in the earth. Our purpose is the demonstration of the love of God – the first fruit of the Spirit. If we haven’t got that part right, we need to just stay home until we receive power from on high.  This is the power of the Holy Spirit – don’t leave home without IT!

By Jay Ferris, originally posted Dec. 12, 2011

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Fathers and Fatherhoods


Jesus has said, “Call no man father.” Some time later the Apostle Paul bowed his knee to the “… Father from whom every fatherhood in heaven and on earth derives it’s name.” Apparently there are some legitimate fatherhoods, both in heaven and on earth. If we cannot call them fathers, then what are we to make of them?

First of all we need to note that they derive their names from one Father, even The Heavenly Father. They are hoods of the Heavenly Father. They are not fathers, but they are hoods.

A father in the first instance is a seed planter. Fathers plant their own seeds. Fatherhoods may or may not plant the Seed of another Father, even the Seed of Christ. Beyond being seed planters, fathers are first of all validators. They provide or confirm validation that is if they are functional. They also provide discipline, guidance, love, wisdom, and a host of other supplies for the living of a fruitful life.

Where planting there own seed is concerned, all that ends at the border of the kingdom of God. In the kingdom of God we are to call no man father, because here we have only one Father, and it is the DNA of this one Father that we now have in Christ. All other fathers have been done away for us in Him. It is in Him that our new identity derives!

That said, there are those who are fatherhoods to us, and they function as fatherly ambassadors – authoritative  messengers of God the Father. They serve in their hoodcapacity at God’s pleasure, and for the duration of our need. They are ours forever including how much they ever meant to us.

Finally, when Paul wrote of his relationship with Timothy, “But ye know the proof of him, that, as a son with the father, he hath served with me in the gospel,“ (Philippians 2:22 KJV) he was well aware that the authentic original was/is God the Father, and His Son Jesus. Paul and Timothy were the hooded proof of that first begotten Father Son relationship. They were the confirming witness!

Love!

By Jay Ferris, originally posted on May 12, 2012


 

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In Remembrance of Jay Ferris – His Last Post

Last words hold weight. And even more when they are from the heart of God, dictated in weakness, and from a sick bed that will be the means of bringing a man home. The following post by Jay Ferris was the last cogent message offered to his blog readers before his death 7 years ago on this day, June 13th. It summarizes an answer to a question posed to him: “If you could give the people of God one last message or warning, what would it be?” May the importance of the words below sink in – while there’s still time.   – Pamela


lion-heart

A growing awareness of spiritual deafness has made it clear to me that there are two subjects of utmost importance that I need to return to in these last days. They are things totally unacceptable to the Kingdom of God, and that is the merchandising of love and the devaluation of women.

First is the issue of merchants in the Kingdom.  This is the definition of the name “Canaanite”, which is the number one targeted tribe when entering the promised land that Moses was instructed to wipe out in entirety.

If that is not clear enough, consider the last verse of Zechariah, “in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts”.

And if that isn’t clear enough, just look at Jesus in His Father’s house, and what He thought about merchants in the Kingdom.  He got pretty exercised about that kind of agenda and that kind of occupancy.

The second point of foremost importance in these last days is gender. Paul goes after this issue of flesh in Galatians. “There is no longer jew nor gentile, slave nor free, male nor female.” 

In short, in the Kingdom of God there are none of these things.

When thinking back over my blog, I found that I  identified these issues early on, including this repost titled “Canaanites” from January 19th, 2012:

Canaanites

This is by way of the continuation of my last blog post. My impression is that The Lord is indeed willing.  Over the years, I have discovered, (the hard way) why The Lord commanded that the children of God wipe out the Canaanites when they went in to possess the Promised Land. In those days the land was a geographical place. In our days, the Land is a Spiritual place. The Canaanite problem remains the same, however, and that is what I would like to touch on here.

Canaanite means “merchant.” Merchants are still with us today. Prostitutes are also merchants. Prostitutes do for money, what ought to be only done for love or in love. That’s the difference between the two women of the Book of Revelation. One woman is described in Revelation Chapter 17, and 18, and the other woman is described in Chapter 21.

That’s the situation as the end of the age approaches, but in the beginning of time we get to see what and how God is, and what he is after – what He is hoping for. This has to do with relational intimacy. In the first instance the intimacy of the Godhead before the World began. He made us male and female in that image, even before the woman was removed from the first Adam. Male and female is all about relationship – intimate relationship. This is not about sexual plumbing. It is about pure, uncluttered or uncomplicated relationship.

It is here, I have come to see that Romans 8:14-25 has it’s origins.

So here is the deal as I have come to understand it: The Creator in creating is hoping for an expanded intimacy in the Godhead, one that includes us. But for that intimacy to be compatible with the Godhead, it needs to be born of the same DNA as the only begotten Son of God. The availability of this seed had to wait for the crucifixion and resurrection of God’s Son, John 12 – “Except a kernel of wheat…”

He is described as “born of a woman,” and we are also born of a woman, Isaiah 54:1, and according to Galatians. For this purpose a woman was needed, and so the “female” was removed from the first Adam, and called “woman,” having been taken out of the man.  In the fullness of time, again Galatians, God was intimate with this woman, and The Word became flesh and dwelt for a while among us.

As Long as the Son remained in the flesh there was only one SEED, again Galatians. That SEED was multiplied by death and resurrection and made available in and by the Spirit on the day of Pentecost and after.

Jesus prayed that all who shared Him and in Him would be one, John 17:21. As I understand it we were and are to be one in his love, free of any other agenda. It is right here that religious merchants do their terrible work. Like Satan, it is rooted in the “I will ascend” mentality, that got Lucifer kicked out of heaven.  It is this agenda, not so hidden as it turns out, once we know what to look for, that is the reason for the last verse of Zechariah.

There is no room for hidden agenda on the “clear as glass,” street of GOLD in the New Jerusalem. If you understand this, and communicate it by word and lifestyle you will be rejected by the merchants because you are a threat to their business.

In the meantime, their professed desire for relationship, which is increasingly becoming a buzz word, and fueling the latest cutting edge religious dog and pony shows, makes it more difficult to discern the real thing. Relationships that come from God are the real thing. Relationships that merchants seek are rooted in a “let’s make a deal” mentality or agenda. The mercantile mentality does relationships in order to gain access to center stage, and the preeminence and financial support, which goes with it. They tend to like lectures rather than relationships, because it’s hard to take up an offering for a conversation.

In short, religious merchants strike right at the heart of what God, The Creator is hoping for!

Love!

P.S. Somebody had to say it!

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Silence of Kings and Lambs

Lamb with Crown and Flag
Have you noticed, that kings tend to be way too loud, even kings by any other name?

It can only be that we are supposed to have a part in what it takes to shut them down and make them understand:

“See, my servant will act wisely; he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted. Just as there were many who were appalled at you, (my people) his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man and his form marred beyond human likeness—so will he sprinkle many nations, and kings will shut their mouths because of Him. For what they were not told, they will see, and what they have not heard, they will understand.” – Isaiah 52:13-15

This is the power of the revelation of the cross. This is how we know what love is, and this is how The King of Kings establishes His kingdom in, but not of the earth. The subjects of His kingdom are supposed to be part of the ongoing revelation of this love that silences earthly kings, ie. the ones who commit adultery with Babylon the Great.

Lambs need to be much quieter than what has been calling itself “church.”

“They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.” Revelation 12:11

“Word of their testimony” is not lambs talking, but rather the word of how they are for, and with each other.

God Help us!!

Love!

By Jay Ferris, originally posted May, 2012


 

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NEW RELEASE: When Life Begets….Paperwork?

The following is a letter by Jay Ferris. It is in response to someone asking about a “membership agreement” for his house church. Whether you agree or don’t agree with Jay’s response, hopefully it will provide challenging food for thought for anyone who may be have this same question, or will be, about their own gathering.


QuestionIs it ever necessary to have an agreement within a single house church, for people wanting to join?

J.F.: Probably not. I know it wasn’t necessary to get my children to sign one in the old creation use of my house. Seems like that might be worth thinking about for the new creation use of my house as well. What I have found is that there is a tendency of the living room itself to become Lord of relationship, even with our saying or putting anything in writing. People get in a place or a room together, Jesus shows up and we just assume that we belong to each other.  That’s the problem with appearances. The Matthew 22 wedding guest probably thought that he belonged just because he was in the room in time for the “wedding feast.” The next thing you know, he’s out on his ear. Talk about “whip lash.” The building isn’t Lord; the property deed isn’t Lord; the 501k isn’t Lord; the living room isn’t Lord; the “group” isn’t Lord; human covenant isn’t Lord; what we did, and who was there last week isn’t Lord; the names we choose to call ourselves, they aren’t Lord. I could go on, but I learned that it’s faster and easier just to say that “Jesus is Lord!”

Question: If not, why not?

J.F.: In practice, even where 2 or 3 come together in His Name, these people are likely to be in relationships that transcend that gathering. These other relationships aren’t present, or recognized yet, and so it is very easy for those who see after the flesh to think that those who are in the gathering are “it.”  When in fact some of those who are there might even be thrown out when the King shows up. No amount of paper work is going to be able to fix that. God has no regard for our paper work. True worship is agreeing with God about our gatherings, and our relationships. God has no use for the work of our hands. He doesn’t need it. It only causes trouble. It is misleading! Don’t go there! Jesus only asks us to “Love one another.” He prayed and died for that to happen. That’s the first, last, and middle thing for us to do. Not with the pre-cross kind of love, however. That kind goes away when iniquity abounds. (I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the mystery of iniquity is already at work, and been at work for some time now. You can tell by the lovelessness of those who claim to love Jesus. How about, “let’s choose love,” and leave the driving to Jesus. He is the only One who knows where we are going, and how to negotiate all the obstacles and turns.)

QUESTION: And if so, when there are multiple house churches in relationship to each other, should there be a common statement between them? 

J.F.: Kind of like a neighborhood association? Those are really good if you want to keep undesirables out who ruin property values. You know, the kind of people that Jesus gathered around Himself.

QUESTION: In these statements, people would know what is expected of them and what they can expect from others.

J.F.: Now there’s a “covenant” for you. Wouldn’t you think God would have thought of that. Oh …wait, He already did. Sorry, it’s obsolete, and already fading away. Some things really do die hard!

QUESTION:That way, they can decide if the Lord wants them to be involved with that network or not.

J.F.: Nice! :-/ Kind of puts “human decision and husband’s will” back in the picture. Yeah, that’ll work…. Not!

Snake oil has been out on the market for a long time now, even from the beginning. Even, “God knows in the day you eat/drink you will really be somebody…” Help us Lord!

There is another way. It’s a better way! It turns out to be Jesus! “He is the way, the truth and the life…” No need for a foot note here, just eyes to see, and hearing that understands.

Yours in Christ,

Jay

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