Christianity’s Lost Chord
The Definition of Ourselves as Both Disciples and Apostles
of our Churchwide Commission
by Norman Grubb
(This is Norman Grubb’s vision of our world-wide commission to bring the truth of who we are to the whole church. We are privileged to print it.)
As Disciples (learners) we have come by the Spirit and Word to be coknowers of what we boldly call our Total Truth, and spontaneous Be-ers of who we now are. As Apostles we now are captive and obsessed, through our Pentecostal confirmation, by our coknowing, with giving our lives as DCDs (Don’t Care a Damn – about anything but Jesus Christ, as C.T. Studd so boldly proclaimed). We are commissioned ones to “MAKE ALL MEN SEE” who they are by grace through faith, as walking Christs when we had been walking Satans, and never were the Lucifer-delusion and deceit of being self-acting and self-operating selves.
Our simple definition of who we are is:
FORMERLY SATAN-I, NOW THROUGH CALVARY CHRIST-I, AND NEVER THE DELUSION OF BEING JUST I-I!
The Lord Jesus was first Saviour delivering us from our false self-for-self nature under Satan’s ownership, and establishing us as co-sons with Him The Son and with the Father, being conformed to His image, and thus destined co-heirs and co- managers of His Universe, expressing His Self-forothers nature.
Then as Founder of His worldwide Body in Spirit-union with our Head, we have our Missionary Commission to preach His world- saving gospel to every creature. Thus disciples become apostles.
Through the centuries the members of His body have fulfilled a great number of
commissions in getting His Word, now written in the Scriptures and with its multiple variety of definitions in detail and application, to the whole world, and are still in the process of completing this. His means of doing this has been multiple church-fellowships, as members of His One body with His one truth, the local churches being both centres of worship and edifying, and in their missionary outreach. Many emphasize varieties of interpretation of the One Truth in detailed definition, though the true ones, (for there have been many false imitations and interpretations) are always in conformity to His revealed word centring on HIM Himself, crucified, risen, ascended, coming, and operating by the same power of the Spirit which raised Him from the dead, and now filling and operating the members of His new-creation body since Pentecost.
This body in its ten thousand varieties, each in their local situations, has its God-anointed pastors and teachers, and supervising elders, as outlined by Paul in his epistles. And all at their foundations “members one of another.” Yet there are also many false imitators which have arisen, claiming to be part of His body. Conformity to His revealed Word and the members being born and anointed of the Spirit, is the true safe basis for knowing true bodymembership, yet allowing for much varied details of lesser interpretation.
Some of these interpreters through the centuries have been specially concerned and involved in following through with what the writers of the epistles define as nearest to body life in the early church. Paul, Peter, John and James have all concentrated on this, perhaps particularly to many of us Paul and John. E. H. Broadbent’s book The Pilgrim Church is the best documented book on this first century Christianity, tracing those who through the years, concentrated on the ultimate life conformed to Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount and standards in the Epistles, though usually under great suspicions, persecution and excommunication by the majority of churches.
We ourselves are among those who have sought for the ultimate as it has appeared ultimate in the Scriptures, and taking into account many others through the centuries who have been ardent seekers, and in their own terms, finders of what seems total to them. What we have then ‘found’ and tested, best as we can with the Scriptures and interchanges of viewpoints from fellowmembers of the One Body, we boldly put in print and in every opportunity of sharings. We give the name of INTERCESSOR to our magazine by which we seek to disseminate our precious “total.” (But by the name “Intercessor” we really mean what the Scriptures present to us as the whole process of being an intercessor, aligned to our Great Intercessor now “passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God,” and in those processes of intercession, which go far beyond a normal interpretation of merely intensified prayer. We mean the life’s highest fulfilment in Commission, Cost and Completion -that of Jesus’ word in John 12:24, “If it dies, it brings forth much fruit.”)
We give our basic meaning to what we daringly call our TOTAL TRUTH – for our generation – in Paul’s basic Romans 6-8 revelation that we humans were wonderfully created, but only to be containers and vital expressors by all our human faculties of the Trinity, Father, Son and Spirit, personally reexpressing Himself (Themselves) in His basic Self-for-others nature by us; as Paul put it, “Whereunto I labour, striving according to His working which worketh in me mightily.” We the vessels, branches, servants, body-members, reproducing Him in all His grace and salvation purposes. We recognize that that has first meant getting our wonderful human selves into focus, and to do that, we humans had to start by being poisoned by that false Lucifer deceit of being independent self-operators, just as he himself thinks he, and thus our whole fallen humanity of which we all are a part, have falsely operated on a false basis of self-reliance and self-activity. The full ‘gospel’ of Paul’s revelation in his epistles is the lying falsity of that selfreliance, till when at last it has collapsed as our deceived way of life, we are conditioned to find our TOTAL, in being beautiful God-expressors in His Self-forothers nature in place of that false invaded Satan in his self-for-self nature.
We at last learn (as “disciples”) that this was our Saviour’s full purpose by His death and resurrection, to rid us, as we move in by declared faith as in Galatians 2:20, of that deception by that spirit of error that we are just ourselves. That wrong spirit is replaced by the Spirit of Truth, and we begin a spontaneous way of normal living, as inwardly expressors of Christ in place of Satan, and we have moved from the necessary first trauma of Romans 7 to the liberation, as well as warfare of faith, in Romans 8. The nitty gritty of this TOTAL TRUTH is that first “appearance” of us losing ourselves as though nonbeing, whereas in fact, we only wholly find ourselves as conscious expressors and operators of HIM, and we find normal living “paradises in place of hell,” as one said!
But it is on this raw spot of the true self only being the expressor of the deity self, first the false one, and then through Calvary and faith, the True one, do we truly FIND OURSELVES AND BE OURSELVES, and then with all the “Intercessor” outcomes of being operated by our Saviour, and whatever is our part in carrying through that saving work. All our literature is wholly concentrated on this revealed truth, both in our “Intercessor Magazine” and books and booklets offered in these pages.
So, just as Paul, under the leadership of the Spirit, founded local church fellowships with sufficiency of local leadership and organization, so we accept this conscious COMMISSION to take to the whole church in the whole world this FULLNESS of what was purposed by Jesus as Saviour and brought into action by Paul and the early apostles, as we interpret that fullness as briefly described in this article, and much more fully in our magazine and literature.
To further implement this as our sphere of calling (merely as bodymembers of the Body of Christ), some of us have given ourselves full-time to the upbuilding of our commission, and its spread and establishment reaching right through the church of Christ.
Some dozen of us have already responded to God’s call to give ourselves full-time to this calling, giving up our previous secular employment to do so, and on that basis, Jesus gave of material supply in Matthew 6:33. We welcome a continued increase in our numbers of “full-timers.”
We now have purchased sixty acres in the Blue Ridge Mountain area of Boone, North Carolina and the plans already drawn for a fellowship centre, to which at present we give the name Zerubbabel (the Jewish leader who spoke the word of faith in Zech. 4: 6-10). We have since purchased a motel (Alpen Acres) in Blowing Rock, North Carolina, to serve our present needs as a fellowship and teaching centre. We expect to see God calling many others into this full-time ministry, at present largely in North America and Britain, but expanding worldwide, and many coming for visits and shorter periods, and so learning with us what Paul called
“the way of God more perfectly.”Meanwhile, some of us are spreading
out in visits and to groups and in local weekend fellowships, finding others who are becomming “co- knowers” of our “total” with all the release it brings, and then those who pass through the “little children” to the “young men” and finally, “fathers” stage of I John 2:12-14. They in turn, will be “obsessed,” as we are, with what “obsessed” Paul – “to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God.” Thus our numbers are already rapidly increasing, and we expect to see mounting numbers, who either locally in their own sphere, and in other practical cooperating ways, join us in our world commission. We do not see ourselves forming specific “groups,” still less anything like church-fellowships, but rather as continued disseminators through the whole body of Christ of what the Spirit and Word has now made so plain to us as the ACTUAL REALITY of all precious humans, who have come to this one destined EXCHANGE gloriously available to us all, from being Satan and sin expressors by the false inworking of that false spirit, to being Christexpressors by His fixed indwelling in us as us, and thus then that inevitable consequence of this Spirit of love to the whole world pouring Himself out by us, as Jesus said, in John 7:37-38.
We do not plan further organizational developments, but we work as a fellowship, meeting quarterly where possible and certainly annually for our staff examination of what God is telling us as our next steps of outreach, for we have faith for a million co-knowers, till that day when the prophet said “All shall know him from the least to the greatest;” and at such gatherings, we seek the consensus of the Spirit in our next stages of world witness.
So this is a suggested outline of what at the beginning we named a “DEFINITION” of our special, but clearly outlined commission in our day as the
rightful fact and priviledge of the whole body of Christ.
More Articles from The Intercessor, Vol 10 No 2
- Questions & Answers
- To All Believers…It’s As Simple As This
- Editor’s Note
- Excerpt from The Intercession of Rees Howells
- No Grey For God
- The Nature of Faith
- Moments with Meryl
- A Look at a Book
- Word of Faith
- Just Say the Word
- A Life with a Purpose
- Reflections on the Twelve Steps
- The Mailbox
- Words to Live By
- Christianity’s Lost Chord