CITY CHURCH & PRESBYTERY Concept - 2011-02-14
For God's Organic Laser-Telescope: The SecondComponent Part - The City Church Concept with Eldership in Gate of the City.
Question: Which is easier - to build a house from scratch - or - to remodela house? With the latter, one never knows what complications he will run into!
Paul - built 14 city churches from scratch- much easier. Today - denominations and sub-denominations - are so numerous - and each - a unit and law unto itself.
Many local churches pay lip-service to city church unity - but - in reality - the denomination usually has a controlling influence on their local churches in a city - sufficient to guide strongly in doctrine and loyalty - so that true city unity and functioning elderships in the Gate of Cities - never truly happens.
But - it does happen in the 100 million members of the home church movement in China! See the biography of Brother Yun - The Heavenly Man.
History: How I received the City Church Concept with an Eldership or Presbytery in the Gate. In 1949 I was enrolled in the Northern Baptist Theological Seminary of Chicago. Once a week Marie and I organized a street meeting, and brought some fellow students with us to preach and give our testimonies and win souls and disciple them to Jesus. Harry Conn was intrigued with these outreaches, and whenever he could, would join us, and share his vision on “missions” with us. Harry was Chief Engineer of Scully-Jones, the 2ndlargest tooling manufacturing company for “automation” in the country. He had several hundred men working under him. Through his lectures on both automation and optimation, he sold more tools for his company that all their salesmen combined.
He also introduced us to Roland Allen and his books - Missionary Methods: St. Paul's or Ours- and The Spontaneous Expansion of the Church - and the Causes which Hinder. Mr. Allen was an Anglican from England, but felt there was something sadly lacking in the world church situation. These two books set forth his solution. He tried it out first in Northern China, and then in East Africa; but not with the success he hoped for.
Then in 1963 I came across Watchman Nee's The Glorious Church. Here the author set forth his concept for the City Church - Onechurch per city, encompassing all local churches. Unfortunately, he saw only his type of church as being the city church, and ignored all others. So that didn't work either.
Then in 1989 John Dawson wrote Taking Our Cities for God - How to Break Spiritual Strongholds. He wrote this on the basis of what he observed in a western city in the Argentine. This comes closest to what I see in the New Testament. But it did not clearly point out a functioning Eldership or Presbytery in the Gate of each City Church; though there did take place unusual prayer results from the pastors in their meetings.
But on December 7, 2009, there was a break-through in prayer in Minnesota north of Minneapolis, and at the same time God revealed to me the last 5 component parts of His Organic Laser-Telescope, which He had showed me in 1967, and confirmed in 1985. He said to me - “What I have revealed to you in the past concerning My goals for the City Church and Presbytery - I am about to activate.” I shared this with the “Pilot Prayer Team” that I had inaugurated in October of that year, but later turned over to Elvin Gladney for leadership. At the close of this paper, I will list again these 7 parts, with short revised notes on each.
Sometime in the late '70's in Portland, Oregon - one of the local pastors asked - “Why can't we through our local church bring unity to the city church of Portland?” My answer was - because of your faulty concept of the Presbytery. Stopbringing outside elders into your church as a presbytery - and startencouraging and using local Senior pastors to function as a city Eldership in the gate of your city. Have outsiders come in to help in the beginning - but don'tcall them your presbytery. Your own City Elders are your City Presbytery. The outsiders are but scaffolding until the local elders of your city are enabled to function as a presbytery. Then - the scaffolding can be removed.
He said he couldn't do that - his local congregation wouldn't stand for this restructuring and time lapse. Then I told him - “Don't expect then to see city unity in your locale.”
Next - see that the restored Presbytery Concept in 1948 was severely limited. It is much morethan laying on of hands and prophecy over the 5-fold ministries. It is more than 1 Timothy 1:18 and 4:14 - “This :charge I commit to you, Timothy child, according to the prophecieswhich led the way to you, that by themyou war the good warfare: having faith and a good conscience” - and “Neglect notthe gift in you, which was given you through prophecy, with laying on of the hands of the presbytery.” This was good for Timothy, and valuable for all ministries. But it doesn't clearly spell out that the Presbytery or 5-fold Eldership in the Gate of each City, had the privilege and responsibility of commissioning and sending out all that the Holy Spirit should call. See Acts 13:1-3 - here 5 prophets and teachers from the City Church of Antioch were meeting in a NT Levitical sense of “lei-tourGIa - spiritual ministry” to the Lord! One time as they were so occupied, the Holy Spirit took over and called Barnabas and Saul out for missionary service. The 5 continued to fast and pray and worship, and when they had confirmation that this was indeed the will of God - they thencommissioned these two, and sent them forth. When they returned it was now Paul and Barnabas - and they returned as apostles. To read concerning their first missionary trip, it is easy to see the reason for these two changes.
Then the 12 apostles from the City Church of Jerusalem had the people there choose 7 from among them to serve as deacons. The apostles then commissioned these 7 to serve the entire City Church of Jerusalem in waiting on tables, and other deacon responsibilities, freeing the apostles for the ministry of the Word and prayer. There were probably 100's of churches in the home from which to choose the 7. This is another Presbytery function.
To solve doctrinal problems in Acts 15, such as occasioned by the Jerusalem Judaizers, who were disrupting the city churches raised up for Gentiles. Paul stood for a “One New Man” concept for Gentiles, who could fellowship with Messianic Jews, but did nothave to be Torah observant as did the Jews. No circumcision for Gentiles, etc. The Judaizers contended that Gentiles had to become as Jews, be circumcised etc., to become acceptable to God and them. Peter and James, the apostolic Jerusalem pastor, sided with Paul against the Judaizers. Thiswas a city Presbytery or Eldership function in a most important doctrinal matter!
In the Book of Ruth, a city Eldership or Presbytery solved an inheritance problem for Boaz and a nearer kinsman-redeemer.
These - and others - are all functions of a city Presbytery or Eldership in the Gate of each City Church. No “traveling” outside Presbytery coming into to a city church, or functioning only for onelocal church here; - causing even deeper divisions between the various local churches within that city. Such is a violationof Protocol, and is not Warfare by Honor.
Early in my new Christian life, I did a Greek word study on “church - ek-kleSIa”. It appears 114 times in God's Bible Numeric Greek NT: once in Acts 7 it refers to Israel as the church in the Wilderness through Stephen; 3 times it refers to the secular city citizens of Ephesus, Acts 19; 14 times it refers to a local church in a house such as for Aquila and Priscilla; 15 times it refers to the universal church or called out believers - Jew and Gentile - past, present and future; but- 81 timesit refers to the City Church! 14 of these references appear in Revelation 2 & 3 for the 7 churches named by Jesus. God invariably places Hisemphasis of importance on a teaching or doctrine by the number of references.
So - what is our present day emphasis? The localchurch of 14 references! And what of those 81 City Church references? Largely ignored. So - local pastors by and large take all the city church concept teaching, and try to make it allfunction in a local church context! Impossible! One Baptist church in California of some 400 to 500 members had 4 pastor; 24 deacons; 7 elders; 7 trustees; 20 committee chairmen, plus a Christian School and its officers! The original church of Jerusalem had but 7 deacons for an entireCity Church! An Eldership composed of an elder representing each of the 100's of local churches in the home.
So - there is a Remodeling Problem for the City Church for us today. Paul was fortunate in his day that he could start from scratch - nodenominations - just Jewish and Gentile believers and the Judaizing Controversy. Perhaps that was not only enough, but an equivalent!
I see by vision 70 cities in Canada functioning in this “Remodeled Concept” - each with a typical group of 8 of the 5-fold ministries sitting in the Gate of each city, and functioning as a City Presbytery or Eldership. I see 70 more US cities functioning in a parallel manner. Where Americans can't go because of the Vietnam debacle, which produced a lack of confidence in us in Third World nations; it can be hands-across-the-border - and American city churches can “hold the ropes” for Canadian City churches to go to the ends of the earth, spear-heading in evangelism and missions. Dr. David Yonggi Cho of Korea 3 times prophesied this for Canada: in 1975 in Kelowna, BC; in 1979 in Toronto; and in 1984 in Halifax.
This City Church and Presbytery concept is the “Stand” or “Pedestal” to support the other 6 component parts of God's organic Laser-Telescope - to make the functioning of His Spiritual Star Wars a Reality!
In conclusion, look at the 7 component parts of this concept: 1) God's Bible Numeric OutlinedInterlinear Transliterated Greek New Testament for Laymen as prepared by Russian Ivan Panin. 2) City Churches with a Presbyter or Eldership in the City Gates. 3) Prayer Multiplication based on the Covenantconcept as outlined by Ern Baxter. 4) The 12 Embryonic Revival Principles restored and brought together in the 1948 Visitation at North Battleford, Saskatchewan - and now to be brought to maturity as parameters of safety for the coming world Revival preceding the Return of King Jesus! 5) A return to Bible Meditation as commanded to Joshua in 1:8 by Moses - and picked up by George Whitefield and passed on to George Muller with prayer and faith. 6) Full Discipleship under the supreme control of the Holy Spirit as demonstrated by Rees Howells and H.A. Baker. 7) And lastly - a supreme, continual focus upon our Lord Jesus Christ - as set forth by Oswald Chambers in his My Utmost for His Highest. Thisis personal, passionate devotion to Jesus!
The above 7, functioning together like a Pilot Prayer Team - can be used by God to do anythingHe wants - in cities, regions, nations and the world. Thisis the endof Satan's machinations through “Antichrist”, the false prophet, wicked angels, demons, beasts, etc.
Read the last chapter of the Book of Revelation. Jesusis Victor, notsatan and evil! Rejoice, O earth, for your deliverance and salvation draws nigh! J.A.W.