One way to heaven

I haven’t been this excited since Eldridge Cleaver and Hal Lindsey spoke at Body Life service, Peninsula Bible Church in Palo Alto, California.

Today, and through to the end of the week, we are going to be putting the Catch in historical context, corresponding to how God has led us (John & Marti) from the beginning of our lives until now. This is because we believe we are on the cusp of a major shift in attention by the Holy Spirit related to the church and the world, and we want you to understand and appreciate its significance, share in our excitement, and be ready for what’s coming.

We also are excited about getting you ready for our 21-Day Challenge, which will be an in-depth study into the new covenant Christ came to establish versus the old one we all broke (and are still breaking), featuring a specific challenge each day to integrate into your life.

th-13That “Body Life” service I referred to in my opening sentence was just over 40 years ago, when God brought together a movement of His Holy Spirit through a generation of disillusioned young people who wanted to change the world through peace, justice, and love.  These were all the right things, but they were just looking in the wrong places. This is when Jesus, the Prince of Peace, the author of love, and the maker and sustainer of life, met so many of these men and women. He found them on the National Mall in DC, on the beaches of California, in the hidden corners of Colorado, and in just about every University across the country — and a spiritual revolution was born. It was later called the Jesus movement.

Not confined to America, there were similar simultaneous movements of the Spirit of God, among young people especially, in North and South America, Europe and South Africa. I just recently learned of a story involving two brothers in Cape Town, South Africa.  One of them gathered a crowd in a theater by playing Jesus music, and the other one preached the gospel. This played out nightly to large crowds for months in the late 1960s, and these humble beginnings ended up creating what is now one of the strongest evangelical churches in South Africa. Not too different from what happened in Hollywood at precisely the same time.

John and Marti were born just as the current age of the church began what many believe may be its final phase. It began with the monumental founding of the nation of Israel in 1948. This was followed by a 50-year period of personal gifting, calling, and the establishment of the authority of the believer. Leaders during this time were called by God and raised up in an independent reality, and John and Marti were no exception. Each was called by God from outside the context of the local church and began his/her ministry led only by the Holy Spirit — John in music, and Marti through leadership in the Fellowship of Christian Airline Personnel.

They received training in the ministry through the restoration of the pastoral gift that began in the 1960s — John, under Ray Stedman at Peninsula Bible Church in Palo Alto, California, and Marti, under Hal Lindsey and Bill Counts at Jesus Christ Light and Power House in Westwood, California. With Stedman, the emphasis was on what he called “The Ministry of the Saints” (biblical instructions equipping every believer for the ministry) and “The New Covenant” (the empowering of every believer for this work). Marti’s training was around Hal Lindsey’s work centered in prophetic teaching regarding the end times (The Late Great Planet Earth) and the resulting opportunity this message created for evangelism. Time to get yourself right with God.

So what’s the point? God works personally in the lives of individuals, but they also fit into the context of wide spiritual and cultural influences. What are those influences right now, and how do they affect what we do? That’s what we’re going to find out.

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6 Responses to One way to heaven

  1. sh2rose says:

    While I was a student at Whitworth University in the early 70’s, a John Ficsher came to speak at our annual spiritual emphasis week. I connected with the message and was haunted by they way my life as a Christian and the words I heard were so far apart. I spoke with others who were also affected. Then we went back to our old ways. I hungered for that challenge to continue but I didn’t know where to find it. As a minister’s daughter I know all I needed to know but was still lost. Through many wrong choices my life has been riddled with pain, agony, and depression. Jesus sought after me into my 40s and brought me to my knees to acknowledge Him as Lord of my life. The joy I find in Him is eternal and everlasting. My life turned in a new direction and I am reconnected to the longing I had in my 20’s forty years later. Did you speak at Whitworth In Spokane, Washington in 1972?

  2. Cynthia Vera says:

    I was born again somewhere in the month of Feburary 1969. I was involved in the hippie craze but the LORD led me in another direction. I mentioned this in an earlier comment. I somehow got a copy of the Body Life book written by Pastor Stedman and it changed a small group of believers. I was alone in salvation and moved into the ministry of Bible Study Fellowship leadership with the New Covenant teachings under my belt through the music that you, John put forth. I have continued in and out of different church bodies and constantly bring when I can these principals. I was a part, I saw it, it was amazing and then of course all sorts of things crept in to distort the reality of Christ in us the hope of glory. This is good news that is coming. I am now in South Texas and wonder what this will look like here. Cynthia

  3. Ralph Gaily says:

    What was Eldridge Cleaver proclaiming back in those days?

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