... but sanctify in your hearts Christ as Lord: being ready always to give answer to every man that asketh you a reason concerning the hope that is in you, yet with meekness and fear. - 1 Pet 3:15
Paul & Janet Galligan.
Dear brethren in the nations, we are late in getting April's newsletter to you. Our ongoing experience here in Australia and in the Toowoomba base is one of full engagement in the gospel, and in the fellowship of the brethren. Janet and myself believed the Lord did not want us to travel this year internationally, but to be home based to more fully establish a functioning school of Tyrannus in Toowoomba. This is based on the experience of Paul in Acts 19. The Scripture says that Paul, "departed from them [the synagogue, and those who were speaking evil of the Way] and withdrew the disciples, reasoning daily in the school of Tyrannus. And this continued for two years, so that all who dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks" v.9-10. Paul was "reasoning and persuading concerning the things of the kingdom of God" v.8.
The result of Paul's concentrated ministry in making disciples and training ministers, was that a whole province of Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus. Paul himself did not leave the city. Therefore we deduce that it was the disciples, including such men as Timothy, who were going out from the training school, preaching and teaching, reporting back in, receiving further training, going back out.
It has been in our hearts for many years to establish such a discipleship and training centre so that disciples could be raised up through training and sent out to minister the word. To some extent this has been happening. In the month of April 2014, there were six teams out in the nations from our ministry base of Shiloh in Toowoomba. One of those teams was in South America [for many months], another team went into India for three weeks, another team now functions from Finland [Simo and Janne have been trained at Shiloh Australia], ministering in Russia and Estonia and soon to go into Albania. There is Deborah in Malawi, a full-time missionary from Shiloh, and at that time two teams were travelling far and wide in Australia ministering the gospel in many towns and cities, publically and from house to house. The previous month another team visited Uganda and Kenya for three weeks. These ones who are sent out are confident to teach and preach the word of God, and wherever the word is received the brethren are encouraged, edified and changed. We are inspired by the testimony of the disciples who had grown up under the apostles in Jerusalem. When persecution came and they had to leave Jerusalem, "those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word" (Acts 8:4). The goal of making disciples is to raise workers to be sent out.
Meanwhile we continue in home base with intensive classes and training sessions with the disciples who have gathered with us since the January training school, 2014. Through doing this work of intensive discipleship and training, we have been refreshed in our commitment to the Great commission, and we have come to a closer understanding of the conduct of discipleship.
God has given us three words that summarise the commitment of a disciple and provide a discipline in which disciples grow. There has been a clarification and a growing commitment to the goal of discipleship, which is to reach all nations with the gospel.
The three words are:
1) Commitment. to Jesus Christ. Once we come to faith in Jesus Christ there must be a commitment to follow Him. Our commitment to Jesus Christ through believing in Him is the only basis for becoming a disciple. Once we have come to the commitment of faith in Jesus Christ, we then must obey the call. "'Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men.' They immediately left their nets and followed Him" Matt.4:19-20.
Having made a commitment we need to remain faithful to that commitment, being taught and then trained and then sent out. We are blessed to have a number of disciples who have purposely joined us in Toowoomba to be discipled and trained so that they can become ministers of the word.
2) Submission. Everybody in the body of Christ is to be in submission. A disciple, biblically speaking, submits to the teacher [rabbi]. Such submission is firstly totally unto God, but then it is through faith in God to the one(s) that God has placed us with to be discipled.
Further, the submission is to one another in the body - no one has an exclusive 'special' relationship, but we all submit into the body, fully respecting and appreciating each other (Eph.5:21; 1 Pet.5:5). In fact everyone of us has a special relationship with Jesus because He is such a personal God, but His goal for us cannot be reached without being a functioning member of His body
However, through the restoration of the spirit and power of Elijah, God has graced us with fathers and mothers in the body, and true father/son relationships develop. This provides a true family environment and each disciple is able to know that they are received, loved, approved and appreciated for who they are and honoured for their commitment to serve Jesus Christ.
Being in submission means:
Being in submission means that we are willing to yield and lay down our will, our own agendas, our own plans and priorities so that we are free to do the will of God, unencumbered.
3) Accountability. There are some amazing testimonies of accountability in the Scripture including: the way the Tabernacle was built (book of Exodus); the instructions Jesus gave to the disciples to take the colt for His purpose (Lu.19:28-35); and the disciples returning in Luke 10:17.
Accountability means reporting back. We are accountable for our time, for our behaviour, for our faithfulness. It means being willing to do as we are asked. Including going on practical outreaches and assignments.
Commitment, submission and accountability are all voluntary. "Your people shall be volunteers in the day of Your power" Ps.110:3a.
To the degree that we walk in the light of these words, the Holy Spirit leading and guiding us, is the degree to which we will be fruitful in doing the work of the ministry. The fruit of true discipleship is workers being sent out into the harvest. Workers are sent! Disciples are sent to do the work.
We want to encourage you wherever you are, to consider afresh, 'Are you doing what Jesus said to do: "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations" Matt.28:19a. We are able to help you with the work of discipleship by supplying teaching materials. If you are a ministry leader you can do a discipleship course in apostolic doctrine via email.
We have an opportunity to be the generation that ushers in the King of Glory! In reading Psalm 24 recently and meditating upon the Word, God has impressed on my heart that He is calling us to be a holy, Spirit-filled, pure hearted generation that is steadfastly seeking the face of God.
Psalm 24 begins by saying that "the earth is the LORD's [the Eternal God's], and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein". Everything and everyone belongs to God! This is the starting point. We are going into a world in which God owns all of it.
David by the Spirit then asks the question, "Who may ascend the hill of the LORD? Or who may stand in His holy place?" v.3. This is the question. The hill of the LORD is Zion (Psalm 2:6), the place of the King. This is also the holy place, the place of His glory. What a place to ascend to. This is the "upward call of God in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 3:14) that we are to be pressing towards. We are to live and move and have our being in the hill of Zion, the Holiest place. We are to ascend by revelation, experience the glory, and live from this place "seated with Christ in the heavenly places" (Eph.2:6).
In order to ascend and find ourselves in this place of authority and glory we must have:
Clean hands - Hands speak of our works. We are not to be living from the flesh and doing dead works. We are to "repent from dead works" Heb.6:1 and "do the first works" Rev.2:5, "continuing steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine, fellowship, the breaking of bread and prayers" Acts 2:42. Clean hands means we are walking out of the new creation man "created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them" Eph.2:10. The Word of God says that the blood of Jesus is to cleanse "your conscience from dead works to serve the Living God" Heb.9:14.
Pure heart - A pure heart is what is needed for us to see God! "Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God" Matt.5:8. Our hearts are "purified by faith" Acts 15:10. As we believe, having true "faith toward God" Heb.6:1 our hearts become consumed with God and He becomes all we see. We endure by "seeing Him who is invisible" Heb.11:27.
Not lifting up our souls to an idol - We are to have no idols. An idol is an image that we worship. An idol is something that we set up physically or in our hearts that has pre-eminence in our life and determines the decisions we make. "Those who make them [idols] are like them; so is everyone who trusts in them" Psalm 115:8. If we trust in something that is not God we will become like what we trust. If we worship God through seeing the "face of Jesus Christ" 2 Cor.4:6 we will be "conformed to the image of His Son" Rom.8:29.
As we behold the glory of God "we are transformed into the same image from glory to glory" 2 Cor.3:18. Idols affect our souls. They pull on our hearts strings. All our affections are to be placed into Jesus if we are to live in the realm of His glory. We are to rid ourselves and our houses of anything that takes attention away from the Living and true God. We are to have the heart of the Thessalonians who "turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God and to wait for His Son from heaven" 1 Thess.1:9-10.
Not swearing deceitfully - We are to be people of our word. We are to be committed and serious about our confessions. We are not to say something that we do not believe. We are to live out of the spirit of faith. "And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, 'I believed and therefore I spoke,' we also believe and therefore speak" 2 Cor.4:13. We speak what we believe and are committed to what we speak. What is your confession? Do you confess what you feel or what you believe? We are to be stable. "But let your 'Yes' be 'Yes', and your 'No', 'No'. For whatever is more than these is from the evil one" Matt.5:37.
The people who live like this receive "blessing from the LORD and righteousness from the God of our salvation" Ps.24:5. The blessing we receive is the blessing that came to Jacob as this is "Jacob, the generation of those who seek Him, who seek Your face" Ps.24:6. What was the blessing that came to Jacob? It was the blessing of a transformed life. It was the blessing of becoming Israel, a prince with God. It was the blessing of seeing the face of God and being changed into His likeness.
The generation of Jacob are the ones who say, "Lift up your heads, O you gates! And be lifted up, you everlasting doors! And the King of Glory shall come in" Ps.24:7. This is the generation that walks in the glory of the King of Glory! This is the generation that sees the face of God in the face of Jesus Christ, the King. This is the generation that will bring in the King of Glory. These are the sons who have been brought to glory (Heb.2:10), the sons who bring all creation out of bondage into the "glorious liberty of the children of God" Rom.8:19-21. This is the generation that will see the Coming of the Lord and experience the fullness of His glorious resurrection power!