Picture of Pastors Jim and Marie Watt
Pastors Jim and Marie Watt

Two Are Better Than One

Zebulun: The City Church

One. Zebulun: His Tribal Significance. Now prophetically Jacob by the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh) places the younger ahead of the older, and the sons of the wife ahead of the concubines. Only the wisdom of God, which to us is often inscrutable, can explain such things. God hides His wisdom in this – but it is the glory of kings (and we are a kingdom of priests) to search such things out.

Zebulun’s birth (the younger son) appears in Genesis 30, and his name means “dwelling.” In a corporate sense God looks for a dwelling place for Himself. He does not dwell in houses and buildings made by the hands of man – but in human hearts. There He seeks a dwelling place!

This is consistent with His dealings with Israel in a corporate manner – first in their families, -- then their cities, clans, tribes and nation. The importance of corporate entities is placed above the individual. Jacob prophesied (Genesis 49) that Zebulun thru his tribe would dwell by the sea. He traded his older brother Issachar’s goods thru many nations by his ships at sea. It was a good team.

His stone was the carbuncle – the "Baraketh" in Hebrew, the only green flashing stone. He was like a lighthouse to warn ships afar of a rocky coast – and ships nearby thru the lower lights a-burning. By the gifts of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:8-11) this tribe had lights of evangelism to bring many a weary ship and sailor to safe harbor.

Moses (Deuteronomy 33) pointed out the rejoicing of the soul-winner in Zebulun.

No animal is assigned to Zebulun, but when you read the book of Esther, and see how Mordecai reversed the edict of Haman, and sent swift dromedaries of the desert to all 127 provinces of Ahasuerus with good news – you can’t help but see in Zebulun this wonderful animal.

Two. The Identifying Nation. God dwells in families, peoples and nations. He is a familial God.     China has thru the years been a familial, patriarchal example. Scattered Jews thru persecution brought some of this to this ancient land because of their scattering thru persecution. An ancient Chinese coin depicts 8 souls in a boat! Significant? Much more on this line awaits the curious researcher.

Household and Clan salvation are keynotes in the interest of our God. Even today households, cities, clans and regions of China have the touch of God upon them thru millions coming to Him – even in the midst of (or – because of?) great persecution.

We in America tend to look at the microcosm and miss God’s viewpoint on the macrocosm. We make much of the local church. God sees the city church. Prove it, you say!

Well, the word “ekklesia” (church) appears 114 times in the Greek New Testament. Once, it applies to Israel as the Church in the wilderness, Acts 7. 3 times it refers to a secular Greek City meeting in Ephesus which is called an ekklesia.

14 times it refers to a local church in a home, such as Aquila and Priscilla or Philemon.

15 times it pinpoints believers of all ages, Jew or Gentile, living or in heaven.

But – 81 times it refers to the believers of the city church, including all local churches in that city. 14 of these 81 references appear in Revelation 2 and 3 alone!

New Testament references to the church are then primarily city – not local. But Local Churches in a city tend to make everything they read in the City New Testament church – fit into the local church. This can lead to spiritual dyspepsia or much worse! One local church I had part in had 7 elders, 4 pastors, 7 trustees, 24 deacons, and 20 committee heads and members! Can you imagine what happened?

The church of Jerusalem had but 7 deacons for the entire City Church of perhaps 300 to 1000 local churches in the home.

The plurality of eldership was in the beginning not local, but city. When the Halakhic Messianic Jewish Sanhedrin met in Jerusalem in Acts 15 to consider the challenge of the City Church of Antioch thru its emissaries of Paul and Barnabas, each elder represented a local church in the home. Plurality was city, not local. And what unity and wisdom they had! What a solution came forth!

Now of course when we move out of the house and home into a local church of some 400 to 5000, adaptations must take place. But we should remember the original pattern. Preserve the unity of the city church, and let each senior pastor represent his local church in the city dimension.

When a local church reaches 700,000 members such as one in Seoul, S. Korea, and other local congregations reach 200,000 – it becomes very difficult to perceive the city church concept of the New Testament. That means we have the opportunity in North America to demonstrate the City Church and Presbytery Concept in a viable practical format that may be much more difficult in S. Korea.

Under the tribe Naphtali we will consider the key restoration principle of the 1948 Revival – the City Presbytery.

Three. Helpful Books highlighting this concept. H. A. Baker in his “Visions beyond the Veil” brought out a high motivation for soul winning in line with Zebulun. Numbers of his other books are out of print, but some are listed on Amazon     Mr. Baker was a Presbyterian missionary in Tibet, who transferred his work to orphans in S. W. China, and then further west still among poor tribal people. When Communism forced the missionaries out, he ended up in Taiwan with a very fruitful ministry.

Watchman Nee in “His Glorious Church” spells out the logic for the City Church. It is not a perfect grasp, but is most helpful. In that book he also points out the helpful contrast between “logos” (320x) and “Rhema” (70x) in the Greek New Testament – 4 ½ to one! The word of revelation and of the Spirit is indeed important – but the Plumbline of the written word – the Logos, must measure it. Many individuals, churches and revivals have made spiritual shipwreck because of failure to walk in these parameters.     “The Normal Church Life” by the same author is also most helpful.

Reuven Doron’s “One New Man” is of use at this point for those seeking to understand the City Church Concept and how to heal the rift between Jews (both believers and non-believers) and the Church.

Four. Household and Clan salvation in the light of Embryonic Patriarchal and City Church Concepts. In 1944 thru a gift of “Herald of His Coming” I read an article on “Household Salvation” by J. A. Macmillan that has continued to bless me even to this day. In 1953 my wife and I were pastoring a Baptist Church in Chicago. One of our members from Georgia had married an unbeliever from Texas. She continually begged me to pray for him, as she feared he was on his way to hell. She was most assuredly correct in her analysis!

To get her off my back, I asked God for help.     A tract entitled, “How I Learned to Pray for the Lost” fell into my hands. It concerned a missionary from England who had gone to China. She was concerned for her 40 or more loved ones in her household who were not saved. In answer to prayer, God gave her 3 verses, and then a fourth.

Mark 10:20-27 – God can even save a rich man!

1 Timothy 4:10 – God has provided salvation in Christ for all, especially believers.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 – In answer to prayer, God can even change the mind-set of unbelieving relatives, and bring their thoughts in captivity to Christ. And 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 – We can rebuke the darkness of satan over the minds of our unsaved loved ones, and Light from God will shine into their hearts! Marie and I shared these verses with Pearl the following Monday, and in one year thru visions of heaven and hell, her husband was in the Kingdom of God just before he died.

We believe – are convinced – that it is God’s will to save by households. When one member of a household comes into God’s Kingdom, he or she has the right to claim every other member. Finney warns that this will not be easy, but is certainly possible.

See Genesis 6 and Hebrews 11. Noah built an ark to the saving of his household (all 8 souls).

Genesis 18. Look at Abraham. God knew that he would bring his entire household (including servants and families numbering at least 1000) into his faith.

Exodus 12 – A lamb for a household.

Judges 2 and 6. Rahab the harlot – believed God for her father, her mother, her brothers and sisters and all her nieces and nephews. All were saved, and by marriage she became a direct ancestress of our Lord Jesus.

Joshua 24. Joshua proclaimed to Israel – As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!

See Cornelius, Acts 10 and 11. The angel of God had him send for Peter who would bring words for his household to be saved. He invited his close friends also! All were saved and received the “doreA,” God’s artesian well!

Then there is Lydia – Acts 16:11-15. She and her household received Paul’s message.

Acts 16:31. The Philippian jailer and his household were all saved, baptized and no doubt filled with the Spirit between midnight and morning! (And there are other examples also.)

We have received testimonials of over 3000 that have come into the Kingdom because of this Embryonic Revival Principle. C. H. Spurgeon and Jonathan Edwards have tremendous testimonies of God’s faithfulness to this truth.

But in 1982 Jack Hayford brought a message to the First Baptist Church of Arcata, California concerning CLAN salvation. God had spoken to his father in 1969 from Exodus 28. “Take Judah’s name off the red sardius stone on Aaron’s Breastplate of Judgment,” He said, “and replace it with your Clan name Hayford; and take Issachar’s name off the beautiful yellow topaz and replace it with your wife’s maiden name Smith. Then you and your wife twice a day pray for your two clans – then I God will make an effective witness to every Hayford and Smith on the face of the earth. Those of open heart I will bring into My Kingdom!”

His wife agreed to God’s challenge. Within 6 months 4 Hayfords and 2 Smiths they had not previously known, had been supernaturally born into the Kingdom!

Jack Hayford’s father went to his coronation in 1979, and his widow continued this prayer. In 1982 she happened to share with her son Jack what his father had initiated. It so impressed Pastor Jack that he did a Biblical search on this subject, and concluded that it was entirely Scriptural. Now when he is invited to speak only once, unless the subject is suggested, or the Holy Spirit leads otherwise, he speaks on CLAN salvation.

He shared this the first Wednesday of August 1982 with us. Instead of our regular 13, 600 were present. The next morning Marie and I started to pray for our Clans: the Watts and the Gaudets (French Canadian). I am of Scottish descent, and felt badly about the 10 unused Breastplate stones, so I added the clan names of our paternal and maternal grandparents, and the clan names of the spouses of our 3 children, and the spouses of our brothers and sisters. I soon had to add 6 more stones to the Breastplate of Judgment!

But God! In answer to this prayer, within 16 months God gave Marie the family tree of her maternal grandmother (Lacerte) back 6 generations in Manitoba – and in another 16 months gave her the family tree of her maternal grandfather (Chartrand) for 6 generations.

Marie’s mother had told her 9 children they had no living relatives – now thru a double miracle they found they were related to one half of French Manitoba! Even Louis Riel, (who was falsely executed because of political expediency), was in this.

But it doesn’t end there! Marie’s father from a first marriage had left a little 5-month-old son in St. Tite, Quebec when his first wife died, and was unable to retrieve him. Marie’s mother wrote again and again to try and find and get this little boy. Then in 1996 Marie with a younger brother, to take advantage of “frequent flyer miles,” went back to Quebec and Nova Scotia to try and track down this lost half brother.

After 2 weeks she returned seemingly unsuccessful. But a letter awaited her. A lady from St. Tite had promised to find that brother. In her letter she said, “Marie, we have found your brother Girard Gaudet who lives in Acton Vale, Quebec. Here’s his address and here’s his phone number. He is expecting your call!” Marie gathered herself together, and next day phoned Gerard. At his request she sent documents and pictures: birth certificates, marriage certificates, etc. There was no doubt – the lost brother was found!

He did not know he had any living relatives. Now that summer he came to Port Alberni, B.C. and met 147 Gaudet relatives at their regular 5 year reunion!

But there is more – the lady who tracked him down talked with him, and they discovered that their grandfathers were brothers! So on his mother’s side he has over 300 Pronovost relatives.

Girard himself told this story in a French Canadian church in Hull, Quebec, and as a Roman Catholic believer said – “It’s a miracle! Only God could have enabled them to find me!”

Gi rard will be 80 this year, is in excellent health, has 5 children and 8 grandchildren, and is thanking God for Household and Clan Salvation! We hear testimonies of hundreds whom God has found because of the challenge of Clan Salvation. How many more tens of thousands are already in Glory we know nothing of?

Three weeks after Jack Hayford challenged our church, I read in the San Francisco Chronicle that 500 members of the Chinese “Hu” Clan celebrated their annual clan get together. But it mentioned that on Mainland China 60 million of the Clan “Hu” could be found!

“O God,” I prayed, “please lead me to a Hu, so I can tell him of Clan Salvation and get him praying for his 60 million clan members.”

A few years later I was preaching in a church in Vancouver, B.C. along this line. At the close of the service a beautiful Chinese lady came to me and said, “My name is Monica Hu, and this morning I started to pray for my 60 million clan members!”

Where will this all end? Who will hear this challenge with the ears of faith? Who will take it like Mr. Hayford Senior and his wife, and like Jacob of old, not let God go until every Household member is saved, and every Clam Member receives an effective witness, and those of open heart come into God’s Kingdom?

Conclusion: Remember Zebulun! And his soul-winning zeal! Like him use the gifts of the Spirit. Seek to walk corporately in the concept of the City Church! Let the “Watch of the Lord” by Mahesh and Bonnie Chavda undergird in prayer this worthy goal! Relate this truth in harmony and balance with all 12 tribes and Embryonic Truths. Let the Tribes be as Gates to bring you into the fullness of the City of God!

Jim Watt