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Devotion to the Apostles' Doctrine:
Seven Chiseling Tools to Rightly
Dividing the Word of Truth
Ac.2:42 They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
Rev. 21:10 And he … showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, … 14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundation stones, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
The purpose of this article is to reinforce what ought to be a given among us and is assumed to be a given, but which because it has been reduced to an assumption, is no longer a reality among us. I am speaking of our fundamental commitment as prophetic believers to build our beliefs and test our revelation against the already established doctrine of the founding apostles.
Let’s work backwards from the end. I want to point out Rev. 21:14. This comes from John’s revelation of the New Jerusalem. He notes that the city has twelve “foundation stones” on which are written the names of the twelve apostles.
This should tell us something about the importance of embracing and building our belief structures in proven conformity to the teachings given us by Paul, Peter, John, James, Jude and the writer of Hebrews (if he is not Paul). Paul tells us that the church is built on the “foundation of the apostles and prophets.” The apostles he firstly means are the same ones whose names are on the foundation stones of the New Jerusalem. (Hint: no one’s name from the 20th or 21st century is on those stones.)
The reason the names of the first apostles are on New Jerusalem’s foundation stones is to show those of us throughout all generations that the framework of truth they were given to lay down remains the plumb line against which all subsequent revelation and spiritual perception is to be measured. And this means the framework of truth as they would have understood it and intended it to mean. (The word for this is “author intent” or “original intent.”)
This means it doesn’t matter what your later revelation is or how much scattered “scripture” per se you can lace together to support it. If your revelation can’t be proven to conform to the framework of truth as the first apostles understood and communicated it to their original hearers, your revelation is bunk. Your beliefs about Jesus are bunk. Your beliefs about salvation are bunk. Your beliefs about the church are bunk. Your beliefs about Israel are bunk. Your beliefs about America and the nations are bunk. Your beliefs about the end times are bunk.
You can quote the gospels. That’s good. You can observe patterns in Acts. That’s good. You can quote the Old Testament prophets. That’s good. You can quote the Torah. That’s fine too. And you can certainly quote from the apostles themselves! All that is good—the demons quote all these as well! —as satan did with Jesus on the mount of temptation.
The fact that you can quote scriptures to support your revelation says nothing about whether your belief is true. What you are revelating can only be taken as true if you can prove that what you’re quoting to support it passes the “apostolic smell test”—meaning, that you can prove that what you are believing or teaching from all these scriptures is harmonious with, complimentary to and otherwise not opposite to how the founding apostles understood it and how they accounted it from the complete fabric of their thought.
Scriptures don’t exist in a neutral vacuum of meaning and intent subject to just any new revelatory twist. All apostolic scripture has living context. It was God breathed through men of a certain frame of mind commissioned to impart eternal truth that was not going to change. It was not just an airy thing left up to every people of every generation to revelate upon apart from that founding frame of mind. Yet much of what is taught and believed today among prophetic people demonstrates no “organic connect” to the apostles’ governing mind.
Let’s be clear. The apostles did not understand everything, even as the foundation is not the entire house. They were not given “everything” there is to know about God or about the future times, as if there was nothing more the Holy Spirit would have to reveal to future generations. And Paul admitted this. “We see in part,” he said.
God has had revelation to add to His foundation in every generation to those with ears to hear it—as we all come closer and closer to the ultimate revelation of the Lord Himself. (This ministry is dedicated to adding such revelation. Even so come quickly, Lord Jesus!)
That is what it means when Peter says we are all “living stones.” God’s ongoing revelation of Christ and His creative purposes to us and through us as living stones is inexhaustible! Such immeasurable truth comprises the stonework from which the rising walls of the New Jerusalem are constructed.
But all we later living stones are still built upon a living foundation in apostolic teaching and belief that is unchangeable to the coming of the Lord. And if it is ever to be ultimately changed, it will only be the Lord Himself in His Glorified Manifest Presence who will make that change through a demonstrably immortalized sonship priesthood under the same power of witness as originally manifested at Christ’s first coming. It will not be superseded by the later cleverly re-crafted ravings of mortal era teachers, prophets and apostles from any century, myself included. (Every prophetic cult seeking to challenge or bypass the simple, plain original apostolic testimony has always failed this test.)
But Doesn’t Doctrine Divide?
Before we look at the ways the Holy Spirit has given us to prove His Mind behind our use of scripture, I want to address this concern about division due to doctrine. God knows the Body of Christ has been wrongly split in a thousand directions over the issues of doctrine due to religious spirits. It is because of this negative association of division with doctrine that the modern church has gone completely the other way to relegating the idea of doctrine itself as a negative to be downplayed in our midst.
This article is not written to fundamentalists and evangelicals, but to the people of the Spirit. So we are not here today to speak to the divisive carnal hair-splitting applications of fundamental New Testament doctrine. We are here to speak to those who reject and avoid the concept of doctrine itself in their embrace of the prophetic.
Almost anywhere you go today in “Presence”-oriented streams of believers, you will rarely hear the word doctrine spoken, and whenever it is spoken, it is usually referred to in the negative— as something associated only with Pharisaic- minded believers. This attitude is maintained in alleged support of the Lord’s desire for preserving the “unity of the faith” among us as His prophetic people in order to avoid religious division. While this attitude may indeed be sincere on the part of many who are ignorant, it is nevertheless an erroneous one with which the Lord is not pleased. Here is why:
First of all, if it is the “body” of Christ we wish to preserve, we have to first recognize that a body has a skeletal structure, and a body cannot be preserved by denying it has a skeleton. Doctrinal truth is the skeleton of the body of Christ. It is our bones. Without hard bones, there is no body and nothing to preserve.
All spiritual "body unity" presupposes definable skeletal truth around which unity is built. This is why Acts makes the point that the first believers were devoted to the apostles' teaching. The Christian faith is built upon a defined unity from a certain spiritual mind, not an undefined one. Christian unity has definition. And that definition is formed by apostolic doctrine.
That this is so is articulated by the apostles themselves. Please read through the following string of scriptures by which Paul strenuously exhorts to the importance of doctrine:
Eph. 4:14 As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming… I Tim. 4:6 In pointing out these things to the brethren, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, constantly nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound doctrine which you have been following…6:3 If anyone advocates a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, 4 he is conceited and understands nothing;…II Tim. 4: 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, 4 and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths…Tit. 1:7 For the overseer must be above reproach as God's steward, … 9 holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict. 10 For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers,… 2:1 …[S]peak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine. … 7 in all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, 8 sound in speech which is beyond reproach,… 10 … adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in every respect.
Paul is telling us that as a body we are composed at our core of a doctrinal skeleton, and that that skeleton must be maintained, preserved and defended. Otherwise we are no body at all, at least not a Christian one. The body of Christ is not an amoeba.
This is in turn why the Holy Spirit left to us the apostles' writings throughout all these generations. He expected that we too would "break bread" in fellowship around their writings, desiring that we would entertain the same fellowship of their living teaching just as if we were their first hearers, just as if they were in the same room speaking to us now (which they really are). For it was, as Jesus prayed, that through their testimony that all we later were to come to believe in His name (Jn. 17:20). And nothing He would ever reveal to those of us later would alter the mind from which they first spoke to us.
Therefore, to hold an anti-doctrinal attitude now is really to hold an anti-apostolic attitude. Anyone espousing an anti-doctrinal mindset is espousing a mindset against the apostles themselves. It is to spite our foundation. And if what you believe and prophesy is built against that mind, you are building on some other foundation than that laid by Jesus Christ.
This is actually a great irony in regard to many who promote the restoration of apostles today (a restoration with which I otherwise concur). They promote a restoration of apostles that in attitude is fundamentally anti-apostolic when it comes to submitting to the framework of mind of our founders. We have “apostles” today who are afraid of the word doctrine. Friend, you are no apostle—or at least not a true one—if you are afraid of the words “sound doctrine.”
The other reason the anti-doctrinal attitude is erroneous is that, like it or not, all revelation is doctrinal. All teaching is doctrinal even if it disowns the term. And all prophecy is doctrinally based and goes on to form doctrine in people’s minds even though they don’t recognize it as “doctrine.” All belief is doctrinal. Therefore the anti-doctrinal attitude is simply a self-deceived one.
We have all kinds of prophetic doctrine being taught today either directly or between the lines of what is being uttered and written in the name of revelation. This means that anyone ministering out of an anti-doctrinal attitude is really only ministering out of a heart of doctrinal substitution. He is replacing known doctrine with disguised doctrine.
The answer then to the problem of wrong division is not eliminating devotion to the founding apostolic doctrine given us by the Lord’s original men. It is not to say, “We just want the Presence” or “We just want the ‘living present truth’.” Because if you say that, whether you like it or not, you have just uttered a doctrine—if only of another kind, and you are forming your own defining unity around it and excluding others based on it.
So, whether due to gullible ignorance or to our own subtle belief agenda, it is time to awaken from the myth that we can have the unity of Christ in a biblical doctrinal vacuum filled only by the Presence of God and “non-doctrinal” revelation. We must rather ask, around what kind of doctrine are we finally going to define our unity?
Building the Walls of Truth
The question about the divisiveness of doctrine demonstrates our overall failure to understand what doctrine is in the kingdom of God, which everyone says they want “to build.” Doctrine is the very substance of which the walls of the kingdom are constructed, just as are its apostolic foundation stones. And we are here to build the very walls of the New Jerusalem, walls that do divide the holy within from the profane without. And unto this purpose, doctrine indeed does divide and is intended to divide.
Further, walls are hard not soft. They are made of stone, not putty. Thus it is with doctrine. And as stone cutters of doctrinal truth, we have to use chisels (which are equally hard) and recognize the right use of our chisels. We don’t stop using chisels because people misuse them. And we don’t start building with silly putty because some people don’t know how to work with stone.
We have been charged to build, and to build with stone only. And we are commissioned to build only on the apostolic foundation stones already laid before us.
- Adorning the Walls of the Apostles' Doctrine
I want to note Paul's closing phrase about "adorning" the doctrine of God. When a house is built and its skeletal structure has been completed, it is then we move to decorate its interior. We decorate its walls. We "adorn" its walls with wallpaper and nice soft drapery and appealing artwork. It is such interior design that appeals to us, that makes a house to be a home. The walls and structure are barren without this.
But all that decor and its atmosphere yet depend on the state of the walls. We all love the drapes and framed artwork. But if there are no walls, there is nothing to decorate. And if there are walls, but they are termite ridden from the inside out, then our enjoyment of the interior decoration becomes an illusion soon ready to collapse on us.
So too with the Presence of God and the "styrofoam-walled" passion driven church. We all adore the experiential passion. But the attractive interior of the Presence yet depends on the strength of the doctrinal walls it fills and adorns. Before the Presence filled the Tabernacle, there first had to be a Tabernacle to fill. The temple too had to have walls before it was filled with God's glory.
Even so, the beautiful interior of Presence-filled worship cannot substitute for maintaining the rock-solid walls of apostolic doctrine on which it must all hang, which Paul elsewhere calls the "pillar of the truth." God's Presence adorns the walls of His doctrine. Yet much of what we today "enjoy" in soft unifying "estrogen-filled" worship is ready to collapse on us because the solid doctrinal walls inside of which we worship have been eaten out and replaced by revelationism. The attitude today is, we love the drapes, don't worry about the walls. We love the soft intimacy. Don't trouble us about the hard-edged stonework necessary to support it. Yet Jesus' warning remains true. For even if the house one builds on sand is a house of prayer, it will still collapse.
The Tools of “Rightly Divided” Truth
To rightly “divide” truth as Paul says it is to rightly chisel the stonework of the New Jerusalem we have been commissioned to build upon the apostolic foundations already laid before us. Returning to our theme about how we use the scriptures, it remains imperative we know that what we believe—whether by Bible study itself or in support of present revelation—comes from a genuine hearing of the Holy Spirit behind our use, interpretation and application of the apostolic scriptures.
To prove such validity (as exemplified in the story of the Bereans), the Spirit witnesses to a spectrum of “chiseling tools” within scripture itself by which we can know that our understanding is truly from Him, that it is “rightly cut” and not rather from our own reason, biases or a false spirit. To that end, we climax this teaching with a reinforcing description of seven key chiseling tools necessary to rightly dividing the founding apostolic word of truth given us unto the Lord’s coming:
1. Spiritually applied scriptures must harmonize with and otherwise not contradict the intended meaning of the hearts and minds of those through whom the Spirit first inspired them.
Peter tells us that the words of scripture came by the Holy Spirit’s inspiring of holy men of old to write what they did (II Pt. 1:21). These words were not merely dictated to them, but in the main were written through their hearts and minds having defined intent and purpose according to the everyday usage of words and ideas. Therefore their mind (also referred to as “context”) must be honored in any future use and application of what they said.
Peter emphasizes this by forward application to Paul’s contemporaneous writings, which he recognized to be scripture, but whose intent biased people twisted to their own ends (II Pt. 3:16). Paul himself decried the twisting of his spiritual teaching to make him sound as if he were teaching the opposite to what he intended: “And why not say (as we are slanderously reported and as some claim that we say ), "Let us do evil that good may come "? Their condemnation is just” (Rom. 3:8).
This doesn’t mean the Holy Spirit can’t later expand and extrapolate further revelational meaning from these original writers. We have already said that He can and does. But if He does so, it must be presumed He still supports the apostles’ original intent (unless there is compelling evidence otherwise—something to be discussed in point 5).
We see this demonstrated in Paul’s ministry. Paul extrapolated further meanings from Old Testament scriptures beyond their original intent to reveal the spiritual truths of the New Covenant gospel—meanings which he explained to his readers. He described his manner of prophetic teaching thusly: “which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words” (I Cor. 2:13).
Paul was however careful to say that in bringing forth higher prophetic meaning, he was not destroying the original intent of what He was quoting (specifically in regard to the Law), but was actually strengthening its intent: “Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law” (Rom. 3:31).
2. Spiritually applied scripture must also harmonize with the meaning as it was and would have been intended to be understood by the original hearers.
The scriptures were not written in a cultural void, but were to specific audiences who would have understood what was written or spoken to them according to their own natural context and the every day meanings of words. The prophets wrote to Israel, Jesus spoke to the people of His day, and Paul wrote to his churches. All these audiences had a defined understanding of what was intended behind what they heard. And, notwithstanding certain exceptions to be discussed next, we must therefore understand those words the same way as if we were the original hearers.
This means, for example, that if Jesus spoke to the people of Israel in context of their Hebrew culture, and His words were later translated into Greek, we cannot appeal to classical Greek roots or usages of words to interpret what Jesus intended to say in the Hebrew context. The parsing of Greek words for their “original meaning” must not seek to prove a meaning of a word or phrase inconsistently to how it would have been received and understood by the first hearers in their original cultural context.
3. If the prophetically intended meaning of scripture words is to exceed or even override the meaning as it would have been commonly understood, the scripture itself must provide witness to that higher prophetic meaning.
This is mainly exemplified within the teachings of Jesus, but the principal can be applied by the comparing of prophetic scripture with other prophetic scripture witness (to be discussed more in point 7).
Jesus often used spiritual language that would have been taken by His cultural audience one way, but which He meant to convey a higher spiritual way. For instance, he used the word temple to refer to His body, though His hearers understood Him to mean the stone temple in Jerusalem. Similarly, He referred to Himself as “bread” and instructed the crowds to “eat my flesh and drink my blood,” which He intended spiritually, not physically, though the crowds understood Him physically and were incensed.
The point here is that the scriptures themselves reveal to us the Lord’s higher intended meaning, both of His body as the temple, and, at the Last Supper, the symbolic meaning of eating His flesh through the Passover bread. But where there is no such direct scripture witness, or no provable inter-connectable organic scriptural witness to some higher prophetic meaning of a word, no one has authority to just create one out of it. (That is called “private interpretation.”)
4. Higher prophetic meanings may not be asserted by mystically transmuting words to mean the opposite of their common meaning.
This tool is the natural extension of all three preceding points and should go without saying. But it must be said because it is a form of deceitful word manipulation to which some revelationists finally resort when all other contextual proofs fail to support their bogus applications of scripture.
Spiritual truth functions through a paradoxical mystery in which concepts producing one effect in the natural yield the opposite effect in the spiritual. This is easily seen in the New Testament teaching on the relationship between life and death. Jesus said to preserve one’s life is to lose it, and to lose it is to preserve it. To be rich in this life is to be poor in heaven, but to be poor in this life is to be rich in God. And so on. This paradox of effects between dimensions is well understood throughout Christendom.
However this does not mean that the words themselves at the heart of the paradox mean oppositely to their actual common meaning and can be redefined oppositely. The word “losing” does not mean “preserving.” The word “death” does not mean “life.” And the word “poor” does not mean “rich.” The mystery of paradoxical effect itself depends on preserving the ordinary meanings of the words at the root of comparison. If “death” were to mean “life,” then the paradox that “death yields life” means nothing. Indeed, no word means anything.
Thus the device of transmuting words to mean their opposites in the name of “higher prophetic meaning” is in reality an exercise in linguistic absurdity. This epitomizes “craftily adulterating” and “handling deceitfully” the word of God (II Cor. 4:2).
5. In the rare event that a dispensational change requires the Holy Spirit’s abrogating of His originally intended and understood application of earlier scriptures, the Spirit must supply abundant double supernatural witness at a nations-impacting level to prove that a dispensational change is now in force to back the new meaning and intent.
The one and only precedent-setting evidence in scripture of this tool is the abolishing of the Mosaic Covenant at the dispensational change to the New Covenant. This abrogation necessitated the nations-impacting miracle ministry witness of Jesus as well as the double miracle ministry witness of the apostles following it. Without this, it was impossible for the Holy Spirit to issue a directly contradictory revelation against the intent and cultural understanding of His original revelation through the Old Covenant.
(For larger discussion of this, see the article Testing the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation.)
6. Apostolic doctrine supersedes prophetic revelation in authority for interpreting and applying spiritual truth.
The scriptures demonstrate that to the New Covenant apostles, not to the Old Covenant prophets or any New Covenant prophets, is given the governmental authority to establish the meaning of any and all doctrinal truth, especially at the cosmologic and dispensational level with respect to terms and meaning of salvation. Paul especially demonstrates the authority to interpret the meanings of Old Covenant prophecies for New Covenantal purposes. We see this regarding the meaning of the restoration of Israel. As is well said, “The new is in the old concealed. The old is in the new revealed.” The New controls the meaning of the Old, not vice versa.
The upshot is that, as the commissioned ones to spread the message of the gospel and to define the terms, conditions and parameters of New Covenant salvation, Jesus and the apostles serve as the final umpires in our dispensation for interpreting the application of all Old Covenant restorational prophecies. Any other further revelational extrapolations of those prophecies must comport with theirs. Therefore, whatever prophetic interpretations the apostles narrow, no man can widen, and whatever they widen, no man can narrow.
7. Prophetically applied scripture meanings outside any direct apostolic doctrinal teaching are weighed and proven by comparative inter-scriptural witness, superseding any alleged meaning having no such witness.
Scripture is very big on the issue of witnesses for establishing truth. “In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.” God requires at least a double witness for the establishing of matters, especially spiritual truth. And He holds Himself to this standard. Jesus had at least five other witnesses to His age-changing truth (the law and the prophets, John the Baptist, the Father’s Voice from heaven and His miracles). The greater the matter to be proven, the greater and more abundant the witness required.
Now, it remains that as our age progresses toward the dawn of yet another age heralded by the return of Christ, there is still much previously unrevealed spiritual truth the Spirit wishes to reveal from scripture for our times, but to which no apostle directly speaks, though there might arguably be an apostolic hint or intimation of the possibility of such a revelation.
Where no such direct apostolic witness exists and none contrary to it, it remains for the Holy Spirit then to bear the larger revelational witness by providing the multiplicity of prophetic scripture witnesses to the newly revealed or extended older truth free from violation of the other principles. The larger the revelation, the more abundant the prophetic scriptural witness to it must be.
(It is upon this last principle that false belief systems seeking a home in scripture depend most for support. Since they don’t have direct apostolic teaching support, they must manufacture their witness from as many other “prophetic” scriptures as possible deemed to be interpretable in support of their belief. Their problem though is that they can only craft their network upon interpretations that must violate all the other principles herein described. This is because their teaching is not truly authored by the Mind of the Holy Spirit. It is not built upon the original foundation stones of the New Jerusalem.)
A true Christian teaching, whether newly revelatory or purely exegetical of existing scripture, must pass the test of all seven of these truth chiseling principles to be considered a true expression of the Mind of Christ.
How we handle the word of Life is an issue of great import to the Lord. James says let not many of us be teachers as we have the higher accountability. I write and teach from that sense of deep accountability. This ministry serves as a “spiritual chiropractic center.” My prayer is for you as the reader to have your “skeletal course” adjusted and straightened wherever necessary so that as you grow in relationship with the Lord, you may appropriate everything necessary to maintain its health and so promote the well being of the “softer” relational aspects of your faith that depend upon it.
Today, there is a high degree of bone disease and skeletal malformation in the body of Christ. People’s spiritual bones and teeth are utterly brittle because they’ve been drinking fizzy spiritual “soda pop” all their lives rather than the “calcium rich” apostolic teaching necessary to strong bones. Their vertebrae are “popped” out here and there. We are crippled in so many ways through such poor doctrinal diet, left lying around as fat amoebas consuming the kind of prophetic myths Paul warned about.
May I encourage every “Passion and Presence”-oriented reader to again begin soaking in the foundational apostolic teaching on eternal salvation from sin, on identity replacement, and on the cross that will enable your Spirit-anointed gifting toward this life to flourish in every other way it was truly meant to.
Love in the Faith,
First Love Ministry
- a ministry of Anglemar Fellowship
------ Original Message ------First responses today require me to add some additional commentary! I will add this after we hear from John.
To: "Anglemar Fellowship"
Subject: Re (Response 1): First Love Readers Circle: Devotion to the Apostles' Doctrine (Defining "Presence and Passion")
------ Original Message ------
From: "John Heasman"
RE: First Love Readers Circle: Devotion to the Apostles' Doctrine
While I totally agree with the paper Devotion to the Apostle's Doctrine, I was not aware of the expression "Passion and Presence."
So, I put it into Google and the first site (at the head of the list) was:
What is Passion and Presence?
No matter how much love or chemistry runs between you, your sex life will change over time. If you are unprepared for this, you may avoid sex or start blaming each other instead of understanding the mysterious ways life is growing you into your fuller self.
I am assuming that is NOT what you are referring to, so I'm about to dig further.
Skipping the second site listed (as it was similar to number one), I come to:
A video by John Bevere tilted Passion For His Presence https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jvRyJsrjaM , but as it is over an hour and a quarter long, I don't have the time or inclination to view it just now.
Skipping a few more listed sites, I come to Passion for Presence, Palmetto Street Church of God, Pastor Brad Lewis, http://www.pscog.org/series/passion-for-presence/
Am I getting warmer?
Not understanding what motivated you to write the paper and for the sake of my ignorance (and I suspect some others as well), could you enlighten us a little on the topic of Passion and Presence or Passion for Presence?
Thank you for your question John.
Over the last 50-100 years since the inauguration of Pentecostalism but especially since the Charismatic Movement, the larger Body of Christ (non-Catholic) has come to be compartmentalized into two separate streams, one primarily noted for its devotion to the scriptures, and the other for its devotion to the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
The former stream has been identified mainly through those believers who identify themselves as fundamentalists and evangelicals, who are further subclassed denominationally usually as baptists, presbyterians ("reformed"), Methodists / Nazarenes ("holiness"), Christian & Missionary Alliance, and similar. These are more scripture oriented believers (who also tend to deny or at least avoid the present tense ministry of the Spirit).
The latter stream has been mainly identified through those believers who identify themselves as Spirit-filled (once called Full Gospel), who, after Pentecostals (Assemblies of God), have been further subclassed more as cross-denominational generational "movements" including Latter Rain, Charismatic (Full Gospel), Word of Faith, Third Wave, Prophetic-Intercessory-Worship (now New Apostolic). These are believers whose devotion to scripture is generally very overshadowed by devotion to the immediacy of the demonstrable Presence and Power of the Holy Spirit (and who tend to be correspondingly weak in the embrace of structured doctrinal truth). (The names of late Spirit-phase churches have dropped virtually all denominational-style labels, adopting more artistic catch-all names like "The Sanctuary" or "Engaging Heaven Church" or "The Oasis.")
Within the latest phase of this Spirit stream, that is, the Prophetic-Intercessory-Worship (New Apostolic), the Worship dimension (which glues the rest of it together) has in the last 20 years become very defined by its emphasis on the experiential Presence of God interfaced with in terms of the Passion of our souls for that experience. From this has emanated the great emphasis on "Presence and Passion" or "Passion for the Presence." This dual emphasis largely arose out of the International House of Prayer (IHOP) sub-movement led by Mike Bickle beginning in 1997 which is now found around the globe.
The Presence and Passion worship substream of what is now the New Apostolic phase of the Spirit permeates and connects the intercessory and prophetic dimensions of this phase. So whether the ministry emphasis is on prophesying or on intercession, the underlying worship is dominated by the experiential romantic theme of "being in love with Jesus" or "experiencing the love of Jesus." Throughout the course of this ministry (First Love Ministry) I have written about and against the emphasizing of the experiential romantic concept of the love of God as our basis of relationship with the Lord. I coined the term "Passionism" to define this mis-emphasis (even though I whole heartedly ascribe to and promote this emphasis in superstructure of our faith). And I have labored diligently to see this "feminine" emphasis put upon its proper "masculine" foundation in the structured obedience-oriented love in the truth to which Jesus primarily exhorts us.
The Presence and Passion substream within the current New Apostolic church phase is the least acclimated to hard embrace of the skeletal apostolic doctrine I was writing about, and is thus the most susceptible to deception in the form of false prophetic compassionism, humanism and ultimately universalism--creating illicit "love affairs" and carnal "identifications" with the world's peoples together with false "envisionments" for their ultimate "destinies" based on prophetic mythologies. The elevating of the Lord's "feminine" qualities over His "masculine" characteristics (let the reader understand the meaning) is central to enabling the man of sin to find a throne in the heart of the very last days church through deceived prophetic teaching based in passionism.
I hope this explanation will help provide better context for understanding my thrust behind the article on Devotion to the Apostles' Doctrine. If anyone did not already have this understanding of my meaning, I would encourage you to re-read the article afresh with that background in mind. For there is much bogus prophetic teaching and belief about America, about Israel and about the salvation of the World itself arising under cover of this mis-placed passionistic foundation of thought.
First Love Ministry
- a ministry of Anglemar Fellowship
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Page created December 23, 2018