Christ's Body Assembled in the New Day
by Gary Amirault
(Transcribed from the video, "Christ's Body Assembled in the New Day")
"Father, I pray that the words in this message find a place in the minds and the hearts of those you are calling to be a part of this expression of Your Body. Give them ears to hear and a heart to obey. In Jesus' name, amen.
Hi. My name is Gary Amirault. I'm the founder of Tentmaker Ministries. I'm going to pour out my heart to you and talk to you about what I think is probably the most important thing in my life. It's been the most important thing in my life and my heart for the last 20 years. That's about when I got saved, almost two decades ago. It doesn't seem that long; it seems like just yesterday, but it's been over 18 years since I've known Jesus, who redeemed me, who ransomed me, who captured my heart on Valentine's Day.
My conversion experience was one of the Pauline kind. I was on the road to Damascus ready to kill some Christians and God said, "That's enough." He created a win/win situation on Valentine's Day: he won my heart and turned me from an enemy to a lover. I went from a real hater - full of hate, full of anger, full of resentment, full of bitterness - and he removed that in a day. He removed alcoholism in a day from a prayer - one prayer on Valentine's Day totally changed my life.
The first three days of my conversion I was in perfect love. I mean perfect love. I believe if Satan had come and asked me to find one person on this earth to hate - Hitler, Charles Manson, Stalin, someone like that - I couldn't have done it. In those three days it was impossible for me to hate; I couldn't have done it. At the end of those three days, that feeling of love went away. I was still in euphoria for the next three or four days; for about seven days I was really flying. I mean, I was high.
At the end of those seven days, that intensity of love almost returned to normal. I thought I had done something terrible. I thought that I had grieved the Holy Spirit, or quenched the Holy Spirit, or committed some cardinal sin or something. From that day forward, I was on a search, a hunger, to get back that dimension of living in that expression of love that I had in those first three days. I tried to explain to a lot of pastors and Christians what went on in those first three days and the intensity of it and most people couldn't relate. But that hunger for that expression has never left me. As a matter of fact, in recent days it's grown because I believe the Lord is showing me a dimension of that love of the first three days, that in the days ahead I'm going to experience something even more powerful than that.
The first few months of my conversion, there were so many miracles, so many powerful supernatural things that happened in my life that I believe I could have written Acts 29 and it would have flowed just like the other 28 chapters of Acts. It was full of tremendous miracles, awesome revelation and incredible understanding. It was wonderful. But it left.
I was apparently and almost immediately gifted with some kind of evangelistic gifting. All I could do was talk about Jesus wherever I went. I would lose business accounts because if we were discussing something, within five minutes the subject would change to Jesus. I didn't know how to shut that flow off and to this day I still can't. If we talk, it won't be long before the subject is Jesus Christ. There were days (I don't know how long it lasted) but when I mentioned the name Jesus, it just automatically welled up tears. Just the mention of his name brought tears to my eyes and joy.
Like I said, that love went away. And then I was on a chase. I was on a quest to find this thing again. Before long, various different churches wanted me as a part of their fellowship. Like I said, I was very evangelistic. They like those kind of people, because people like me bring other sheep in. Before I knew it, I found myself attending sometimes up to seven different churches in one week. I might be at a Baptist bible study on Wednesday, a Quaker prayer meeting on Thursday, a Catholic Charismatic healing service on Friday, a messianic Jewish service on Saturday, a Pentecostal church on Sunday. For the next five or six years, I would literally go through very close to 400 churches. You name the denomination, I was probably in it. I was in the Catholic, the orthodox, all the different various Reformation-type churches, Presbyterian, Calvin, the Wesleyan-type churches, Holiness, Pentecostal, Church of God, Church of God in Christ, even some of the quasi-Christian like Mormon. I couldn't get enough of trying to find this love expression in a people, in a group of people that also said that they loved Jesus Christ. I was looking for what I experienced in those first three days in some group, somewhere.
It wasn't too long before I found myself pretty much in the Charismatic kind of expression, because my heart was hungry for love, it was hungry for worship, it was hungry for joy, it was hungry for peace. All of the fruits of the spirit were just so full and so rich in those first few days I was looking for in a people, in a corporate expression.
I didn't find it. What I did find was a lot of denominational doctrines, a lot of traditions that varied from one denomination to the other. It wasn't long before I had to wrestle between once saved versus you could lose your salvation. I had to wrestle with whether tongues were from God or whether tongues were from Satan. I had to wrestle with whether to be baptized in the name of Jesus, or in the name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, or whether sprinkling was the right way or whether immersion was the right way. I had to wrestle with whether the worship day was on Saturday or whether it was on Sunday.
I struggled for the first three or four years with so many denominational differences that most Christians can't imagine because they are usually pretty much raised in a particular church and they don't deviate; or maybe there may be one dramatic time in their life when they are a Baptist and maybe all of a sudden get filled with the Spirit and then they become a Charismatic. Most Christians do not go through church after church after church of various different types like I did. I went through about 400 different churches.
Did you know that in the world there are over 30,000 different denominations of Christianity? Thirty thousand of them! And they all have different traditions, different rituals, different articles of faith, different creeds, different church governments. And while in the ecumenical realm and in terms of publicity for the world they try to maintain a semblance of unity, believe me, when you go into each of them they're violently different and they will not have very much to do with each other, apart from PR. But the various different denominations of Christianity are very different from each other.
After about five or six years of going to all these different churches and trying to find this expression, this reality, that I experienced at my conversion, I came to the place where I just became disgusted with what was going on in my life, and disgusted with the churches that I was in. To be honest with you, we were just a bunch of hypocrites, a bunch of self-righteous hypocrites pretending to be something that we weren't and pretending to have something that we didn't. I knew that what I was hungry for, I had lost it. I didn't have it. And the more I participated in traditional churches, the more frustrated I became, the more self-righteous I became, the more frustrated I became, until I finally got to the place that I finally cried out to God and said, "I've had it. I quit. I was better off as an atheist than what I'm going through right now." I was driving down I-70 in my car, and one day I just said, "God, that's it. Just kill me right now. Send a lightning bolt down. Just strike me dead and take me out of here. I know I'm going to heaven; I don't want to play this game anymore. I'm tired of being a hypocrite. I'm tired of being a Pharisee in the midst of a bunch of other Pharisees, including the leadership."
It was on that day when I said, "I've had it. I quit. Heal me" that God sovereignly put a set of booklets in my life that made me take a look at some teachings that I had swallowed in all the different denominations I had been in. These booklets basically said that what I was swallowing was not only wrong, it was poison. The reason why I was so frustrated, and the reason why I had become self-righteous, hypocritical, feeling like a Pharisee, was because I had swallowed a bunch of doctrines of demons and traditions of men and I had mixed law and grace and didn't know it. I had been swallowing leaven and didn't even know it. I had fallen in that same path that Paul warned in Galatians: "O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you . having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?" - that is, by the law.
I didn't realize that most of the denominations that I was in had fallen from grace. Grace was just a word. What we were really under was thousands of different don'ts and dos, and traditions and rituals that had nothing to do with the word of God. It had everything to do with traditions. I didn't see it; I didn't recognize it.
About that same time, I went to Phoenix , Arizona . There was a convention there, a group of great TV evangelists and healing ministers: Reinhard Bonnke, Benny Hinn, the Jacobs Power Team - the who's who in the TV personalities that were specialists in evangelism. I wanted to go there because in my heart not only was there this intense desire for this incredible love but there was a desire to share that love and to reach the world with the gospel. I thought that by going to that convention maybe I would learn something or maybe some of their anointing would come off on me.
I didn't have a lot of money at that time, so what I did was design a bunch of evangelistic kind of t-shirts that I was going to sell at the convention to pay my way there and back. So I designed these t-shirts, got into my little Ford Festiva, and drove to Phoenix , Arizona to go to this huge convention. There were thousands of people there. I went there and set up my booth and very quickly I was hustling my t-shirts. I sold them two for the price of one just to get them sold so that I could go into the convention and watch these people perform.
At that convention was Benny Hinn, who was blowing on people and knocking them down. There was the Jacobs Power Team, and they were taking pieces of steel and bending them and taking huge bricks and breaking them. There was Reinhard Bonnke, who showed a video of a crusade that he had in Africa . The camera panned thousands and thousands of black faces and when he shouted the word "hallelujah", hundreds of people fell, apparently - or the camera made it look like - from the power of his yelling out the word "hallelujah".
I saw all this stuff, and all of a sudden it was as if the Holy Spirit took the roof off that huge convention centre. He raised me up and let me see this whole thing from a totally different point of view. What I saw was a circus and I was a sideshow. I was one of the product salesmen. I saw a carnival. I saw a Broadway act. This thing wasn't real; it was showbiz. And I was a part of it.
I was devastated. Utterly devastated. If you don't have an evangelistic heart you may not appreciate it. It was my drive to become one of these people, and then God shows me, "This is not me; this is vaudeville". I was just totally undone. I left that convention center exhausted. When I go traveling I don't sleep very well, and it was a three-to-four-day convention. I was tired. I left that town, and drove for a couple of hours. When I tried to find a motel, there were no rooms. Apparently there was a convention in that region and the motels were all filled. I drove and I drove and every place I went there was no place for me to stay. I finally just said, "God, I'm just going to drive until I can't drive anymore. If you want me to drive through the night, you're gonna have to give me some strength and some power, because I don't have it." And he did. He sent his Holy Spirit to me and I had that strength to continue on up through the Colorado mountains.
As I reached Denver , Colorado , and was going to head east on I-70, at that point the sun started coming up. The Holy Spirit spoke to me and he said, "Son, today you're going to see the first sunrise. Today you're going to see a sunrise like you've never seen before." And the Holy Spirit began to show me a sunrise from a spiritual point of view. I can't get into all that he showed me because it would just be too long, but I'll leave you with one thought. As I saw the sun coming up, before the sun actually broke the horizon I could see everything. I saw perfectly from the reflected light bouncing off the atmosphere and coming into the car. I had perfect vision. But when that son broke the horizon and the rays came directly at me, something different happened. At that point it became hot in the car. I had heat. I had life, if you can hear what I'm saying. There is this dimension of actually seeing, having revelation, having understanding, but not having the warmth, not having the fire, not having life. And that is what had been happening to me in those five or six years. I had been swallowing doctrine after doctrine, and teaching after teaching. I was listening to cassette tapes by the hundreds. I was reading the latest book that came into the Christian bookstore. I was getting a lot of light, knowledge, but it wasn't life. It wasn't fire. It wasn't something that could sustain me.
When I got back from that convention center, I was a mess. I was completely undone. I had no idea what was going to happen to my life from then on. I had sold my business. I had left Maryland where we lived and had a beautiful house. I had given it all up to follow Jesus and to win souls. We moved to Hermann, Missouri and somewhere along the way I figured that God was going to send me to the poor, send me to Africa, and evangelize and bring people into the Charismatic movement, because I felt that that was really where things were happening. The worship there was much freer and a better quality of worship, in terms of all the different denominations and all the different movements. In terms of having greater freedom to worship freely, in which some semblance of the Holy Spirit is allowed to move, the Charismatic movement at that time was where it was at.
What I saw in Phoenix , and when I began studying some of the doctrines that were a part of Charismatic expression that were unscriptural, I felt like God shut me completely down. I was stuck in Hermann. I didn't have a church and didn't have a ministry in terms of being in the Body of Christ. I had nothing. And that's exactly where God wanted me. He wanted to bring me to absolutely nothing. I didn't know through those five or six years that I had basically been poisoned. I know that's hard for some of you to understand, but from my point of view and from what I've seen, what I was swallowing in those five or six years of going to church after church after church after church was not grace, was not truth - it was a mixture of some truth and a whole lot of leaven. And that leaven was killing me and I didn't know it.
What I began to do at that time, since I had nothing else to do, was study and listen to God. I spent hours and hours and hours studying church history - lexicons, concordances. I learnt a little bit of Greek, a little bit of Hebrew. I read books on manners and customs in the Jewish days. I wanted to find out what had happened in those five or six years. Why was I happier as an atheist than I was six years down the road as a Christian? One would think that as you matured in the Body of Christ that you would become more spiritual, that your joy would increase, that your love would increase. And yet just the opposite was happening.
I started studying church history and I saw the New Testament in a completely different way. The scriptures talked about this great falling away, which the Charismatic realm taught was a period that we were now in, where there was this great falling away, the Antichrist was right upon us and very shortly the church would be raptured out of here. As I began to study the scriptures more carefully, I found that the apostles didn't say that the great falling away was going to be 2,000 years down the road - they said that the great falling away was happening in their day. John said it was the last hour. He said that there were many antichrists in his day. Paul said that there were many false apostles and false prophets that were drawing disciples after themselves in his day. Paul said at the end of his life that all had forsaken him. So you see, if you take a look at the time passages, you'll find that the context for this great falling away was then , in their generation. What had happened in a very short period of time was that the church had fallen away from the pure gospel of Paul. He said, "If any man preach another gospel other than mine, let him be accursed". And Paul's gospel of pure grace was very quickly destroyed by the Judaisers, by the Gnostics and by other forces.
By the time of 300 AD, Constantine married the church to the Roman system. So now we had a church system that was military, that was based on the Roman law. And we had an abomination. The Jesus that says "love your neighbor" - all of a sudden the church was killing its neighbor and killing anyone that disagreed with it. Within no time at all we entered into the Dark Ages, around 500AD. The Roman Catholic church just plunged the western world into utter darkness and total ignorance. It got so bad that they banned people reading the Bible. They mixed tradition and put the same value on tradition as the Bible. Hundreds and hundreds of pagan traditions and rituals were incorporated into the church and by the time we came to the Reformation, the church was in absolute utter darkness. God began to raise up a handful of people that began to pull people toward a little bit of light. He raised up Martin Luther, who preached that we live by faith and not by traditions, rituals, laws and customs. He raised up John Wesley, who emphasized works and evangelism. He raised up various different people, and each person that was raised up gave the world a little bit more light. But what ended up happening was that instead of moving on and growing, each person drew after disciples after themselves. And so we had the Lutheran church, we had the Calvinist church (the Presbyterians and Reformed), we had the Wesleyan churches, we had the Anglican churches. We had denomination after denomination after denomination that followed the teaching of a man. And they camped around the teachings of that man instead of growing, going on and removing more of the traditions of man and doctrines of demons that the Catholic church had incorporated into itself.
As we left the Reformation, over each generation a little bit more light was added. Wesley added some more light. Then we went into the Holiness movement and a little more light came in. Then the Pentecostal movement at the turn of the 20 th century - Azusa Street - where the gifts of the Holy Spirit began to come forth. Then we had the Charismatic expression and an emphasis on worship and healing came forth. Most recently we have had things like the reformation movement and the kingdom movement, with an emphasis on biblical government with the apostle and prophet restored.
So with each generation, more and more light came in. But then denominations would form around the teaching and around the people that taught it. They would sit around that pole and move no further. But the Holy Spirit will not sit in one camp. In the Old Testament, Israel was in the wilderness and when the cloud or the pillar of fire moved, if you didn't move with it you were dead. And that's what has happened in the church for 30,000 different denominations, and each of them have got hundreds of thousands or millions of people that are camping around the teachings of a dead man instead of moving on.
What I eventually came to understand was that the Holy Spirit won't let you camp anyplace. If you camp in any of those expressions you will die. Yes there's life there; yes there's understanding there; yes there's teaching there. But there's no fire. There's no life. On the horizon, right upon us, is going to be an expression that I hope and pray will not turn into a camp. In that corporate expression, there will not be a mixture of law and grace. It will be pure grace. There will not be Judeo-Christian ethics; that's an abomination. The Mosaic Law and the New Covenant cannot and should not be mixed. I have not been in a single denomination so far of the 400 different churches that have not in some measure mixed law and grace. In this new day, in this new expression, it'll be pure grace, and the law that we will abide by will be the law of the spirit of the life in Christ Jesus. Not the Mosaic Law, not the American law, not the Catholic canon law. It'll be the law of the spirit of the life in Christ Jesus.
In this new expression, there will not be this division between priesthood and laity. Every denomination that I was in created this structure of the platform ministry - the pastor and the sheep, regimented and seated in pews looking at an entertainment platform. The days of God visiting this kind of worship expression by his Holy Spirit are over. God is not going to touch and bless or honor that kind of expression anymore. In this new expression, there will be no division between priesthood and laity. All people will be the priesthood and they will manifest that priesthood. They will not just be token priests by word only. There will be a corporate priesthood in which the least and the greatest in terms of corporate expression and manifesting the power of God will all come together. I'll explain more about what I mean by that in a little while.
The woman in this new expression is going to be raised up to be equal with the man. In all of the expressions in the past, the woman has been a second-class citizen - there were certain things that she could do, but there were many positions of authority that she was not allowed to take, many things that she was not allowed to speak. In this new day, in this new expression, that is going to be over. The curse that the woman has been under is going to be broken, and women are going to be in leadership and speak things by the Spirit and have authority that will be just as strong as any man. I'm really looking forward to that. My wife will say a little bit more about that later.
The image of God, his nature, his character, is going to greatly expand in this new expression. God is going to appear much more just than he has appeared in past expressions. He is going to manifest a much greater love, much greater power. His wisdom is going to astound everybody. In this new expression, the very image, the very nature, the very character of God are going to be glorified and exalted, far greater than he has in any other movement before, including the Charismatic and Pentecostal movements.
Congregations are going to be smaller. They're going to be family-centered. They're going to be home-centered. They're going to be relationship-centered. You're no longer going to get away with going into a place and sitting in a pew and the relationship you have is looking at the back of your neighbor's head and watching some people at a distance perform on a stage and then running away, leaving a few coins in the gold plate and feel content that you did your religious duty. In this new expression, that is gone. It will be relationship. People will look at each other face to face in small groups of 20, 30, 40, 50, 100. They're going to get to know each other and they're going to become accountable to each other.
In this new expression there's going to be a name change. The word 'church' is going to go into disfavor. Words like assembly, congregation, fellowship - these kinds of words are going to be used to describe these fellowships that I'm talking about. The reason why the word 'church' is going to go into disfavor is because the scholarship will let people know where that word 'church' comes from. It does not come from the Greek work ecclesia, as you've probably been taught in Sunday school or at a seminary. The word 'church' is a direct descendent etymologically of the Greek word 'kirke'. In Anglo Saxon it's the word 'Circe'; she was a character of Greek mythology who was the daughter of the sun god, who was banished to the island of Aeaea . She had the power to turn men into animals - and if you look at church history for the last 2000 years, as many intellects and people who don't want anything to do with church but who have studied church history will vouch for you, the church has indeed turned many men and women into animals. When you look at the Inquisition, the pogroms, the Crusades, European history, the Salem witch trials, you discover that the history of the church has not been a very pretty one.
In this new expression, giving is going to change. It's going to be freewill. People are going to really gladly give and not say with their mouth that they're giving with joy when if they're honest with themselves they really are not; they're giving because they've been extorted to give. The tithe is going to disappear, because good material is going to expose the fact that the tithe, 10% of income, doesn't exist in the Bible from cover to cover. From Genesis to Revelation, the idea of 10% of your income being given to a pastor isn't found in the Bible. For those of you interested in that, please see The Tithe is Illegal on this site.
Where the funds of the Body of Christ go are going to dramatically change. In the past, 90% of the income has gone into bricks and mortar and steeples and stained glass and padded pews and carpets and parking lots - and, oh yes, lots of salaries. That's going to change. The 90% to administrative costs and 10% to the poor and outreach is going to be flip-flopped and 80% of the funds that come in are going to go into outreach and into helping the poor, and 20% or something like that will go into administrative costs and salaries. There's nothing wrong with salaried people; the Bible talks about giving elders double honor. That word "honor" has to do with salaries. There's nothing wrong with paid people if they're evangelizing and planting churches and those kinds of things. But the 90/10 is going to flip-flop to 80/20.
The emphasis is going to be smaller. It's not going to be building-oriented, it's going to be living stone-oriented. This expression is going to realize that the true ecclesia is when we come together one living stone on another, 15 or 20 living stones coming together to exalt the name of Jesus - that is the ecclesia, that is the 'called-out ones', those who are called-out by the Holy Spirit to come together to worship and pray and intercede for mankind; that is indeed the real ecclesia and what we really should be all about. We're going to become more about that than buildings and retreats and campsites and all of those kinds of things that require billions of dollars. In the 1970s the American church had over a trillion dollars worth of stocks and bonds and real estate. At that time, the American church could have eliminated poverty in the entire world just by the interest on the mortgage of its properties. That was in 1970. Today - God knows what it could do.
The Bible thumper, the pulpit, the preacher - he's going to disappear. He's not going to be able to get away with using three or four worship songs (or in the Charismatic expression 30 or 40 minutes of nice worship) to pump the people up so that he can do his half-hour or hour sermon. That's going. And instead of that half-hour or hour of sermon, the Body is going to come together, the Holy Spirit is going to sit on the entire congregation and that word will come from the least. It'll come out of the Body; it will not come out of someone behind a pulpit. I'll talk about that more in a little while.
In order for this to come about (and I firmly believe that it's right at the door, that it's right upon us) the people who right now are reading this and their heart is saying, "Yes, this sounds right. Yes, this is what I'm hungry for" - they're going to have to come to more of a place of doing business with the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, and to allow him to strip us of a lot of traditions of men and doctrines of demons that we've swallowed in the Charismatic and Pentecostal expression, in the Reformation expression, in the social works expression, in the Catholic orthodox expression. We've swallowed tons of a mixture of law and grace, which has produced a pharisaisism in us, which has produced self-righteousness in us and which has utterly blinded us. That's where I came to 12 years ago when God destroyed me. He showed me that I had swallowed enough leaven for the last five or six years to become blind, a Pharisee, and not even know it. You know the last person that knows that they're a Pharisee is a Pharisee? In those movements where they feel that they have the greatest freedom of the Holy Spirit, they are in the most danger of being Pharisees and not even knowing it. I was generally most of the time in cutting-edge Charismatic churches where there was a freedom - or there appeared to be a freedom - in true worship. But there wasn't a total freedom. The Holy Spirit was just allowed to move just enough to make the environment right for the preacher to do his thing. The Holy Spirit was not free to manifest himself in fire and to totally take over the congregation and consume it completely.
I was in a church about 12 years ago down in Springfield , Missouri . I really had a tremendous respect for the teaching that came from that church. The Lord used the person who headed that church to restore something that had fallen away in the early part of church history and it affected the entire world. I went there to learn, and in the middle of one of the services there was a really nice worship time.
All of a sudden I had this sense that the glory cloud of God was going to come and sweep the congregation. I was standing; I wasn't sure whether to sit down because I knew that I was not going to be able to stand with what I sensed coming from the back of that room. I had read about some of these powerful expressions where the Holy Spirit just swept in an entire congregation and people were on the floor for hours unable to get up. I thought that this was going to be something that I was about to experience. Just before I felt like we were all going to be swept into this thing, one of the elders got up, went to the podium, grabbed the microphone and said, "Hurry up, everybody. The Holy Spirit is here. If you want a healing or a miracle, hurry up, come up, you're going to get it. Just hurry up." And as he's saying that and offering up this strange fire, if you hear what I'm saying, the Holy Spirit retreated and nothing happened.
That is what happens in a lot of Charismatic churches. The Holy Spirit is used. A little bit of fire is allowed to come in - but he can't swallow in the congregation. The leadership cuts it short. And I've seen this again and again and again in Charismatic expressions.
This thing is going to focus on what I call the Four W's: the Work of God, the Will of God, the Word of God and the Way of God. We're not going to produce in this new expression religious works, building a man's kingdom, building a huge church of 30,000 people with one man at the head of it and the whole expression is his kingdom. That's not what this thing is all about. The work that's going to come forth from these little expressions will be the works of the Holy Spirit prepared from the foundation of the world that we should walk in.
The will that will come from these little expressions will not be man's will or some man's vision; it will be the will of God. In almost every church that I have been in, I don't know a single pastor that I have run into in a traditional Pentecostal, Charismatic, Reformed, born-again fundamentalist church that can tell me what the Bible says plainly what the will of God is.
This expression will be all about the way of God, that street of gold in the book of Revelation. It will become a reality and we will become a holy people. We will not be trapped in legalism or by licentiousness. We will walk a straight walk, a golden walk.
In these little expressions, the very Word of God is going to come out of the least. The very Word of God is going to come out of the corporate expression, not a pastor behind a pulpit, not a worship leader. It will come from the entire congregation. In recent days the Lord has given me some pictures, visions of what I see is going to happen in this new expression, in this new day. I saw a piano one time. A piano has got 88 keys and a good one will have keys that are perfectly balanced, perfectly weighted. When people in this expression will come together to worship the Father in spirit and in truth and to produce life, living words, the worship is going to prepare the Body to come to rest. The purpose of the worship, of the singing (whether it's from a guitar or a group of musicians or whether it comes from a CD) is to bring the congregation to the place of emptying itself from sin, emptying itself from the cares of this world and the ruts of this world and bringing the soul to rest, bringing the entire corporate membership to the peace that passes all understanding. That's what the worship and music is all about. So we come to the place of getting rid of our yuk, emptying ourselves out, making room for the Holy Spirit to come in. And then we come to the place where there is that peace that passes all understanding and we wait on the Lord. So here we have this perfectly weighted piano. We're no longer interested in paying attention to the things of this world. We are in perfect rest and we are weighted and waiting on God. And then the Holy Spirit and the power and glory of the Holy Spirit comes upon that congregation and plays a song, a new song, through the entire corporate Body.
Picture the whole Body as a piano: the Holy Spirit taps one person on the shoulder or on the head and out comes an utterance, a prophetic word. Someone else has a word of knowledge, someone else has a miracle, someone else has a hymn, someone else has a psalm, someone else has an exhortation, someone else just has a hug, someone else feels that a particular person has a need and freely gives. So here we have a piano that is played by the Holy Spirit. That's one idea that the Holy Spirit has shown me of what this new expression is going to look like.
I was in a corporate worship service one time. I was there early; it was a convention-type thing and there was a band warming up. There was a handful of people there and they were participating with this song that they were practicing and I joined them. All of a sudden I was caught up into that third heaven place that Paul talked about and I saw a nose. As I looked at that nose I couldn't decide whether it was my nose or God's nose, but it was this nose in this place that I was caught up to. All of a sudden this nose breathed in and I could smell the worship and the praise that was being offered by the saints. It had a beautiful fragrance. Again, I couldn't tell whether it was God's nose or my nose or whether our noses became one, but in that dimension I could smell the praise of God's saints. It has a sweet aroma. In the days ahead we are going to corporately come together in praise and worship and we're going to offer up incense and we are going to smell the praise. Our senses are going to go bonkers. We're going to see with our nose and smell with our ears and things are going to go a little bit upside down. We're going to experience things that in the natural make absolutely no sense at all.
Recently I was in a worship service where again I was caught up and I saw a little vision. Everyone was worshipping and all of a sudden I closed my eyes and I saw myself as a little piece of incense. We were offering up the worship; the fire was going from the body and all of a sudden I began to float up and just circle and move in this vapor, this smoke that went up and ascended up to heaven. And I saw myself ascending up to God. I looked up and I saw a huge bank of clouds, very thick clouds. A hole opened up in this bank of clouds and the sun was above it. I was offered up and went into that hole in the bank of clouds and was caught up into the sun of righteousness. It was a beautiful picture; it was a wonderful experience.
In the days ahead, we are going to offer an incense, a worship and a praise that is truly pleasing to God the Father. He's going to catch it up and he's going to respond to it in ways that the Body of Christ has not seen since the day of Pentecost.
Another way that he expressed this to me is that when we come together corporately in these small groups exalting the name of Jesus Christ and coming under His headship, I saw each of us as finely-ground wheat flour. And when we came together corporately we each offered up our flour and it came into one big pile. The Holy Spirit added a little water, a little salt, a little oil, and he kneaded it and put it all together as we were offering incense in worship and intercession and prayer. And then he took it and put that one loaf into a fire and it rose.
So in this particular expression, again, we offer up what we have; we get rid of the chaff and all that kind of stuff. We come in humility (which is what the fine flour represents); we're broken, we're fine, we're small. We put it all together, we offer it up corporately, the Holy Spirit comes in and does his work and puts us in the fire, and then all of a sudden there's a sweet fragrance in the house and there is bread in the house.
Bread in the Bible represents the will of God. The will of God then is in the house. Jesus prayed, "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." When we do this thing lawfully and right, the will of God will come into our midst and the very power, all the sustenance, all the provision in heaven, will be at our disposal when we come together as one bread. And then when that sweet fragrance of fresh bread is in the air, then Jesus will come in. He said "Where there are two or three gathered in my name, there I am in the midst". Jesus will come in and He'll break the one loaf. He'll break us apart. He may break me apart and give me a prophetic utterance to give to someone else. And that other person may have a word of knowledge for someone else. Jesus breaks us up and we feed each other. That's another expression of what I'm seeing.
Another picture that symbolizes where we're going in this new expression is New Jerusalem in the book of Revelation. The first verse in the book of Revelation says, "These things signify things that must shortly take place" (emphasis mine). Most Christians really read the book of Revelation completely the wrong way. The book of Revelation is the unveiling of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ has a body. If you want to see what Jesus Christ and His Body will look like in panoramic, gigantic big-picture forms, you look at the book of Revelation. If you're looking for the antichrist and credit cards and helicopters and things like that, you will not find the truth of what the book of Revelation is all about.
New Jerusalem is a city that was as much there in the first century as it is today; there's just going to be more people that are going to access that city in the days ahead. The Bible at the beginning says that the symbols like the beast and the women and all of these things are symbols that you need to interpret and understand. What is New Jerusalem? It is us . It's us! And it's us one day manifested here in this earth in an incredible way. It'll be a city - what does a city have? A city has provision, a city has protection. Everything that a city has in the natural, New Jerusalem is going to represent and be in this earth in the spirit. It has gigantic walls of salvation, 1,200 or so miles high. It's made up of living stones. Guess who those living stones are, saints? They're you and me. There's a street of gold in that city. I was talking about the word and the will and the works and the way of God - well, there's a way of righteousness, a holy straight way. And we Christians are going to represent and be that way. When righteous judgments are in the earth, when God's knowledge is in the earth, the earth will learn righteousness. And we are going to express his righteousness in the days ahead like it hasn't been in a long time.
In that city is the tree of life, with fruit in its seasons. Every month there's fruit. Love, joy, peace, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness - fruit of the Holy Spirit. The leaves of that tree are for the healing of the nations. A natural tree's glory is the leaves. I could go into leaves and tell you all kinds of things about natural leaves and how we are going to be those leaves. We're going to have the glory of God on us and we're going to give life even as natural trees give life to this earth. You know where oxygen comes from that keeps the atmosphere going? Leaves.
The light in that city is God himself. When we come together in this thing that I'm talking about, lawfully, under the New Covenant, under the law of the spirit of the life in Christ Jesus, the very glory of God, the very light of God, the very wisdom of God, the very revelation of all spiritual things will be in his Church . I don't want to use that word. It'll be in his body, will be in his assembly, will be in his congregation, will be in his fellowship. Everything in that book is going to manifest in that New Jerusalem, is going to manifest in us.
The church today, those people that call themselves Christians - two billion people out of six billion in the earth - they're typified, I believe, in the mosaic tabernacle. There are thousands of things that you can learn from it, but I just want to bring out a couple of points. Around the tabernacle is a tent, a fence, made out of linen. Around that tent are the twelve tribes of Israel - a lot of people. That Israel , outside of the fence, represents the two billion people on the face of this earth today that call themselves Christians. They're outside of that place around the tabernacle in which priests operate. But they are not priests; only priests can get into that fenced-in area. There are hundreds of millions of Christians who are not born from above who are Christians because their family has been Christian - Catholic or Lutheran, for example - for generation after generation. They're Christians because it's the right thing to do (you're in Spain , and so you're Catholic because everyone's a Catholic). There are hundreds of millions of Christians who are a part of Israel who are Christians, but they don't have a priesthood, they don't have the anointing, they're not born from above, they don't have the spirit. They just have the name. Those that are born from above and beyond call them nominal Christians.
When you enter the linen fence, the first pieces of furniture you come to are the burnt altar and behind that the laver of water. That represents being born from above. That represents being put to death on the cross. We were buried with Him, we were crucified with Him and we will be resurrected with Him. That first altar represents being born from above, old things passing away, all things becoming new. The laver represents being washed in the Word. In that realm there are a lot of denominations, bible church things, parachurch bible study groups and so on and so forth. The first altar, the burnt altar, represents people who focus again and again and again on 'you must be born again'. Baptists love being around that altar. And various different bible study group love being around that laver. Those two pieces of furniture encompass a large part of what we today call evangelical fundamentalist Christians.
Moving a little bit further, to get into the Holy Place you have to go through a door and another curtain. In that realm there are three pieces of furniture: the altar of incense, the table of showbread and the menorah. Each of these three pieces of furniture represent what certain other denominations specialize in and do that are quite different from those that focus around the two pieces of furniture in the outer court. In the Holy Place realm are what we call today the Pentecostals and the Charismatics. In the Holy Place is the altar of incense, which represents worship and praise. If you notice, the Pentecostals and Charismatics love to worship, love to praise God, love to raise their hands, love to shout hallelujah and even love to dance. That altar typifies that kind of expression.
In the Holy Place we also have the menorah; it's the only source of light in the Holy Place . If you look at Pentecostals and Charismatics, they understand things differently than those on the outside. On the outside, they understand the Bible literally. They love word-for-word translations. They read the Bible through their natural understanding. In the outer court you have a natural sun; you have to get into the tent in order to have a different source of light. When you get into that tent, all of a sudden you have the light from the menorah. That light comes from olive oil, but it has to be produced by man and has to be trimmed by man. This represents the fact that the light, the understanding, the revelation in that realm is a mixture of man and God. In that realm, people are more comfortable with words of knowledge, they're more comfortable with dreams and visions. They don't have a problem with saying, "Brother, I have a word for you." In the outer court, that would never fly.
Also in the Holy Place is the table of showbread, which represents the will of God and strength. If you notice that people in that Holy Place realm are much more zealous. They're much more determined to become holy. They're a notch up from those people that are in the outer court in terms of a desire to be holy and to be like God.
So in that Holy Place realm we're talking of Pentecostals and Charismatics. But that's not the end of the story. There's another room, and that's the Most Holy Place . And that's what I'm talking about. My hunger for this corporate expression that I've been sharing has to do with moving from the Holy Place realm into the Most Holy Place realm. In this realm there's only one piece of furniture, and that's the ark of the covenant. The seat on that is the love seat of God, it's the mercy seat. In the Holy Place there's pure love, pure mercy, pure grace. In the Most Holy Place we have this mercy seat, a covering if you will. And under that covering, in a box all closed up for nobody to see, are the tablets of stone on which the Ten Commandments were written; they're hidden away. In that box is Aaron's rod, which produced life while it was yet dead. And in that box is a jar of what looks like white coriander seed. It was the leftover manna from Israel when they were in the wilderness.
What do we have here? We have a rod that produces life, we have two stone tablets (in the Old Testament testicles were called stones) and we have this white coriander seed. Get the picture: what we have here is a masculine male expression of producing life. That's what we have. In that room is the very presence of God, who is life. In that very room we have the very light of God. We have perfect revelation, perfect understanding. Three components, three different sources of light, three different dimensions of understanding and three different structures of law. In that Most Holy Place , when you get there and you're going to sit somewhere, you're going to sit on pure mercy, absolute pure gold, between two cherubim. And inbetween there is the very fire of God. The Bible says "our God is an all-consuming fire". If you want to be a part of this expression that I'm talking about, if you're afraid of fire, if you've got a bunch of hellfire doctrine inside you and you're fearful of God - you're not going there. Perfect love casts out all fear.
On the day of Pentecost two thousand years ago, 120 people came together in a place. Some people say it was the upper room, some people say it was in the courtyard of the temple. I won't debate with the scholars as to where it was. They came together in one mind and in one accord and they waited on the Lord. They obeyed the living Word of Jesus Christ. In the fullness of time, tongues of fire descended on their heads, glory descended on their heads, life descended upon their heads and gave them utterances and they became 120 silver trumpets and went out into the streets of Jerusalem and declared the wonderful works of God. They didn't boast in themselves, they didn't boast in their works; the only boast that they had was in the work, the will, and the ways of God. And what happened? Three thousand souls were added to Christ's Body in the one day. (It's not an accident that 3,000 came into the Body; the number 3,000 symbolizes something, but I won't get into that). But if you notice on another Pentecost another law was given, the law of Moses. On that day, when the Ten Commandments were given, 3,000 people died. But when the law of the spirit of the life in Christ Jesus was given, and when the ushering in of a new Israel, a new creation man, came into birth under the new covenant, 3,000 people were added to Christ's Body. What do we call that? That's power evangelism! What is really is is life.
Jesus, when he walked this earth, didn't get married and he couldn't experience the joy of bringing a child into this earth. I'm a father of a daughter and a son and I can say that perhaps that greatest joy that two people who are in love with each other and who come together and conceive and bring a life into this earth, there's nothing more joyful than that, than to reproduce and to bring another human being into this earth. Jesus denied Himself of that joy on this side of the grave, that He might have a fullness of joy. He said that he endured the cross for the joy that was set before Him. He knew what was going to happen when He was resurrected, because He knew that through His resurrection a new creation man was going to come forth from that other side and He would bring many sons to glory through what He did at the cross. And he would build a new creation man, of which He was the head. And that Body, that new creation person, has been taking dead in their sins and trespasses souls and sinners in Adam, the old Adam, and bringing them into this new creation man.
Eighteen years ago, Gary Amirault, an atheist, a God hater, was captured, was redeemed, was ransomed by the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. I was added to that Body. I was added as a living stone to that city, New Jerusalem, whose maker is God. There's coming a day in this corporate expression, these small groups, in which we will come together under the headship of Jesus Christ and we will be perfectly aligned. We will be in one mind and we will be of one accord. And we will put off the sins of this world, we will put off the cares of this world. We'll put off our job concerns and our marital concerns and all the yuk and whatever; and we'll come together and we'll wait on our Husband. The Church, or the Body of Christ, or the assemblies - it's a feminine word; God did that on purpose - we will come under the headship of Jesus Christ. And in our worship we will express mad love towards him. A dynamic is going to come forth from that corporate worship and waiting on God, that when God comes upon us by the power of his Holy Spirit, in the fullness of this joy that Jesus wants to express in this earth, we are going to offer up such a worship and such a praise that people will come out of the streets in our communities and be drawn to what we are doing and ask us, "What must I do to be saved? What is going on here? I have to be a part of it." That's the kind of evangelism that I long for and that I think that I'm going to see in the days ahead - a reverse evangelism. We're going to be so caught up and so in love with Jesus that when we express our love and our worship to him in praise and worship, the creation itself is going to say, "What is going on in that house? I have to be a part of it". And we are going to set creation free in that kind of a manner, the manifestation of the sons of God. We're going to come together in such a joyful, worshipful, prayerful, praiseful state that the dead in creation will wake up and say, "What is going on in that place? I want a piece of it." The Super Bowl, the entertainment games, Hollywood, Broadway - all of these things that the world lusts after and chases after, all tarnished and dead - when we do this thing lawfully and right, we're gonna turn their heads. Assemblies are going to be a joyful place to be. It's going to be what is happening in the world: corporate expressions of the Body of Christ.
Like I said before, when we do this, when the Holy Spirit descends upon us and we are truly of one mind and one accord, and he has our attention and we're not diverted by our sins, or traditions of men or doctrines of demons, but are 100% devoted to his attention, the Body of Christ is going to manifest life in that expression we see in the Bible: one has a hymn, one has a song, one has a miracle, one has an intercession. The least in the Body is going to participate and when the Holy Spirit plays us as one piano, he's going to hit every key. It is not going to be one note, pastor, and then maybe another note, worship leader, and then maybe another note, evangelist. In this expression, that is unlawful. That will be not accepted and the Holy Spirit will not validate that expression in the days ahead. What he's going to validate is a corporate, many-membered manifestation where the least is a priest.
David's tabernacle is another expression of that. The reason why we're called Tentmaker Ministries, by the way, is not because we're named after Paul and his ministry of tentmaking. Paul is one of my favorite apostles, but that's not why we're called Tentmaker Ministries. The Lord gave us the name Tentmaker after David's tabernacle. David's tabernacle on Mount Zion had the ark of the covenant, which represents the presence of God, on top of Mount Zion with the flaps open where everybody could see it. King David represented the triple anointing - priesthood, king and prophet, he had it all. King David was a worshiper of God. He had no problem taking his kingly garments - taking his glory - off and dancing before the ark through the streets in front of everyone. There are millions and millions of Christians who would be embarrassed; they would be like Michal, his wife. They just can't let if all hang out; they just can't do it.
So David's tabernacle is a type of what I'm talking about here. David's tabernacle is a tent. And guess what? We're tents. We're habitations for the Lord. Tents are moving things; they're not permanent things. This body moves. We're a habitation of God. And so David's tabernacle with God's presence in it represents this day Christ in you, the hope of glory. But this expression that we're coming into is going to be greater than the symbol that David represented. David's tabernacle was on Mount Zion in Jerusalem , but the Bible clearly tells us that there is a greater Mount Zion , which is Mount Hermon, to the north of Israel , where I believe Jesus was transfigured. Mount Hermon represents a lot of things, and I cant get into it all. One of the things it represents is that all the water that Israel has comes from Mount Hermon; the river Jordan comes from there. But the greatest amount of water that keeps Israel alive, even to this day, is the dew that comes from Mount Hermon at night. The winds blow this dew and it waters the grasses and keeps it fresh. Dew in the Bible represents teaching. So Tentmaker Ministries' publication is called Dew from Mount Hermon . So those words - tabernacle of David, tentmaker and dew from Mount Hermon, the greater Mount Zion - these are words that symbolize what Tentmaker is all about. It is about equipping the saints, to bring them to the fullness of the measure of the stature of Christ. We want to offer in the days ahead to those who are bearing witness to what I'm saying right now. If your heart right now is saying, "This guy is saying something that is right. I don't understand it all, but my heart hungers for this thing like his heart is hungering for it." If that's you, write us, email us, visit our website. We'd like to give you some literature, we'd like to provide leadership for you to begin to help you bring a manifestation of what I'm talking about into your community. Tentmaker Ministries is about bringing saints to maturity, which involves life; it involves the ability to reproduce. The Most Holy Place is where that love seat is, where that mercy seat is. It's where the life of God is. It's where we can corporately come together in spirit and truth and worship the Father, which is what Mount Hermon represents. Mount Hermon is the highest mountain in that region; it's the only one that's snow-covered. It's 10,000 feet higher, five times higher than Mount Zion in Jerusalem . We're entering into that day when God is moving from physical Israel to Damascus . That's where Paul went when he went to crucify people because that's where the Church moved when there were all kinds of problems in Israel . People don't know, but the Church moved north, it moved to Damascus . Mount Hermon is what represents what we're about to enter into today. And it represents God the Father being restored to his rightful place in the whole scheme of things. In the last 2,000 years Jesus Christ has been the focus, the Lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world - and rightfully so. But Jesus came to this earth to subdue all the enemies of God the Father. One of the enemies of God the Father is in the Church itself. If you take a look at the Roman Catholic church, for example, God the Father has taken a bad rap. They've exalted Mary and made her the Mother of God, and have people praying to her because God the Father is too mean and too judgmental and too nasty and too quick to flick you into eternity in hell or whatever. Don't go to him! Go to Mary; she'll soften him up. That's the kind of thing that the Church has done. The Protestant expression is just a little bit behind the Roman Catholic expression in this. But in the days ahead, God the Father is going to be restored to his rightful position. Jesus within His Body is going to bring proper teaching and we're going to understand that God the Father was in Christ on the cross reconciling the world to himself, that there is no difference between the Son and the Father, even though through our tradition and our teaching in the past it seems to be that Jesus was the one who was able to lay down His life for His enemies, but God the Father couldn't. In the days ahead, in this new expression, that's going to be corrected. God the Father is going to take his rightful and lawful and glorious place in his Body of Christ. And there'll be some radical new changes that most of the older expressions will not be able to handle - the Charismatic, Pentecostal, Restoration, Holiness, Catholic, Reformation expressions of religious life will not be able to handle this new wine. God is going to have to raise up new wineskins. They're going to be smaller, more numerous, but they're going to be filled with so much more love, so much more grace, so much more mercy, so much more righteousness, so much more holiness than has ever been expressed in local worships. Like I said before, if what I'm saying is hitting the spot with you, get in touch with us. I told you that my wife would say something about the woman being exalted and taking a rightful place side-by-side in leadership in the Body of Christ in the days ahead. Let her share with you what she has captured and seen by the Spirit, and what I bear witness to. And I think that those of you, the half of the Body of Christ that is female, I think you're going to rejoice and I think you're going to say it's about time! But the woman in these expressions that I'm talking about is going to come forth in a glory that she hasn't had in the Church in this old structure in a long, long time. Here she is."
"Father, please give me the words to express your heart to your people.
It's really important that the Body of Christ come to maturity and walk in the fullness that God intended for us. A lot of law-type churches limit the role of women. My husband felt like it was an important thing to add to this testimony of what God wants to do with his people.
Women are half of the Body, and if you eliminate what they can do and try to place Christ for them and tell them they can only do this much and not this, then you're cutting out half of Christ's Body. We're all part of the whole Bride. It's really important to understand that if the Spirit of God lives in a being, be it a child, woman or man, that Spirit of God should be ruling in the thoughts and actions and deeds of that person and in the prayers of that person. And it doesn't matter what their gender is, for in Christ there is no male or female, no Greek, no Jew. Your religious background doesn't matter, your race doesn't matter, and your gender doesn't matter. And so it's really important to allow and to encourage each member of the Body to seek Christ and seek the will of God. And if you're doing that, then you're going to know what the Body's purpose at that moment is, and if it's to bring healing to somebody, a person will have something that will soften a heart, and another person, be it male or female, will have a word that will just bring correction or direction to a person. And it's really important that you not worry about whether that person happens to be in a female body.
It's important for the man to submit to the Christ in him and it's important for the woman to submit to the Christ in her. Because Christ is our head. And our soul is like the woman and she needs to be quiet. Being a Jew in the background of my earlier years before I knew that Christ was the Messiah, before I was awakened, I understand from relatives why the law was legalistic that women couldn't speak. But we need to understand today that was under the law and the law today brings death. But back then, just so you understand, the scripture was literal then, because if a woman sitting on one side of a veil or a room, and the men on the other side, which it was under the law for the Jews, for the woman to say, "Hey, Harry, that's the rabbi saying?" - that would be rude and it would disrupt. She was not to talk; she was to ask him at home. For us to bring that today and put that on a woman and say she's not to talk - like I said, that's cutting out the Body of Christ, because the woman needs to learn to be submitted to Christ as much as the man does. And we have many men that are not submitted and that's the soul, that's the woman, that's the side that needs to be quiet in any person that wants to be led by the spirit of the living God. That's the main thing I wanted to say about the role of women; it's no different than the role of men - it's to submit to the lordship of Jesus Christ."
"We're both very excited about the days ahead. We believe that we're entering into a new day in which we feel that the Body of Christ is going to manifest more love, more mercy, more compassion and more wisdom than it has in the past. The reason why is that I believe that the curse of the woman that she has carried for thousands of years is going to come off and she is going to be standing by the side of the man and we're going to enter into this new day together. We're going to express love like we've never expressed before. We're going to express righteous judgment. We're going to express power. And this world will be drawn to it.
We will not build huge gigantic cathedrals; we will build living human beings. We will raise them up and we will mature them and we will raise up many-membered assemblies all around the world - not made of sticks and stone and steeples and stained glass. The real Body of Christ, living, corporate expression, is going to manifest in ways that we couldn't possibly dream. Like I said before, most of the old expressions will not receive this new day. God is going to have to raise up new structures in order to handle the fullness of all that God wants to express. We hope that you will call or write or visit our website and find out a little bit about what this is all about. We hope that you will join us in this new glorious day in which Jesus is truly going to be Lord over His Body. Thank you very much."