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.
That “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.