Are We Still on Target?
This message was delivered by Norman Grubb to The Worldwide Evangelization Crusade Conference in 1984. Norman was the General Secretary of the WEC from 1931 until 1965.
Knowing that we know. Thus prepared by the Spirit-revelation of Rom.7 to see the true facts, I can now make the faith-affirmation of this fixed, eternal exchange of the indweller, expressing His nature in and by me. And as I make my bold confession with my mouth about this exchange at my center, the Spirit, according to 1 John 5:10, bears His inner witness, and from now on I know. Faith becomes the inner substance.
The simple result is, first, the dawning realization that it is actually He living my life, (Col- 3:4), He, as me in my form. He, the thinker, willer, doer (1 Cor. 3:16 & Phil. 2.13), and I see myself as Christ in my form. And then it further dawns on me, that now I have no more condemnation of myself (Rom- 8:1), and can accept myself as well as be myself, with that permanent inner hidden consciousness, that it is really He, not I. I have re-found the true eternal duality, but now within the unity. Formerly I would try to work as we two (He and I) keeping a relationship going between us, with successes and failures. But now I take Him for granted, for it is really He who has chosen to join Himself to me (John 15:16). So I boldly live my normal life, think my thoughts, make my decisions, throw myself into my activities, with no sacred-secular differences in them: and, indifferent to variations in soul-feelings of His apparent presence or absence (Heb. 4:12). Thus I am able to take it for granted that it is now HE expressed as me. What could look like license is actually motivated, controlled liberty. What looks like irresponsibility is 100% responsibility, because I am inwardly a driven’ person. "Once caught, no escape" says it, as I named my biography!
The right uses of temptation.
Now as to temptation. We remain in our mortal bodies to be lights to our fellow humans, just as He became light to us. Thus we live in this Satan-soaked world which pours its enticements on us. Formerly we thought there was a flesh nature in us which responded; we struggled hard and were self condemned. Now however we recognize they are all pulls of Satan, and it is his right to pour his temptations on us, while we remain in his world (James 1:14). So we do not deny or oppose temptation. He the Perfect One, was fully tempted without sin, therefore, obviously there is no sin in temptation. But now, instead of denying or opposing the reality of all forms of temptation- pulls, we first of all recognize the right of Satan to tempt; but then, while we admit his freedom, we are also free to affirm ours; and we say, "Those are only pulls on my outer flesh or soul, but I am dead to them. I am now Christ in me. So I respond to those negative pulls by affirming who I really am Christ as me: I now love where I felt hate, and have courage where I feared, I turn pulls to self gratification into ministering to others. And so on. I am now more than a conqueror.
The same Spirit, who confirmed Jesus in who He was as the Father’s beloved Son at His baptism, when He came into Him in the form of a dove with the dove-nature, and who afterward worked His mighty works by Him (Luke 4:18, 21), then took Him through Calvary (Heb. 9:14), and finally raised Him from the dead, is the very Spirit of whom He told His disciples at the supper table, would come into them (John 14:14 & 16:7).
He came at Pentecost. That Spirit who caused Jesus to Say, "if you see me, you see the Father, now causes us to say "if you see me, you see Jesus"
Do we transmit this to our new brethren?
I have taken time to share this in some detail, because it is only since I have the fixed, rooted, glowing inner consciousness of who I really am, that it has become throughout these years, and now still is, my constant "drive" to "make all men see, and thus enter by the Spirit into their own inner-knowing of this total meaning of our redemption. But although I believe and certainly hope that all we Weccers inwardly know our "Christ in you" reality, I have no present evidence that this final reality of the Gospel so possesses us individually that we must get it to our peoples. But I am today boldly saying to you that this total emphasis, however it is phrased, but as a realized fact, is THE DISTINCTIVE of WEC. While we bless God for all our fellow missions and co-workers, we do have our SPECIAL DISTINCTIVE . Yet I very much question, whether it is anything like the same DISTINCTIVE it was in our founding days, which I then sought to continue in 1931, as also Alfred Ruscoe in North America, and using such training centers as Emmanuel Birkenhead and Reps Howells’ Bible College, and then our MTC under Stewarts leadership. That is why, in all seriousness, I am asking you to face this basic fact of our present-day WEC, and to enquire of yourselves, whether the Spirit has so glowingly confirmed to you who you really ARE. What does the Spirit say to all of us about our continuing the WEC ministry and full alignment with our unique DISTINCTIVENESS, and thus bringing this Distinctiveness to our national brethren in the churches? Will you take this now to your hearts during these weeks?
Our Second WEC Distinctive Achieving Faith.
This now takes me to our SECOND DISTINCTIVEACHIEVING FAITH. In this one I think we have remained largely faithful to our Pillar of Faith. Certainly on the level of the Lord supplying our funds, without appeals to man. But I also think, that when it comes to being the regular God-given basis in our worldwide ministry, for finding the mind of the Lord, and moving into transactions of achieving faith in relation to specific objectives, on the Hebrews-eleven pattern of faith, there is room for wider application among us.
Whether we recognize it or not, the rebuilding of WEC, and the birth and the great growth of CLC makes it plain, that achieving faith was our foundation laid by C. T. Studd, and made fully operative from 1931 onwards. In this, I, as did also Alfred Ruscoe, owed much to our close contacts throughout several years with Rees Howells. With him I learned that all the records of achievements by the men of God as named in the Bible, but specifically in Hebrews 11, came not just from normal prayer, but by that definite type of prayer, James called "the prayer of faith. WEC does emphasize prayer, as does the Bible, in the sense of constantly "making mention" and bringing before the Lord the various pressing needs. But here again I would say that the DISTINCTIVE of WEC, God-given, is not general praying, but the creative, reproductive faith of Heb. 11 as in verse 32 . This, thank God, is in evidence by many fine examples among us; but I am not so sure that it is an understood, accepted and practiced principle throughout our WEC, in both sending bases, fields and churches.
From "Pray-So" to "Say-So."
By this distinctive form of reproducinq faith I mean (as seen in the recorded lives of the Bible men-offaith), quite a different thing from the normal prayer-meeting or Battery, and the information sheets supplied to them. I would call it more, Say -So" rather than a "Pray-So" activity. The simple fact is that the WEC & CLC of today have been solely built and expanded on this Say-So "words of faith.
But is this our normal way of approaching, handling, and solving our needs, problems and challenges worldwide in our WEC of today? I am not sure that it is. But if not believed in, and regularly practiced on all fields as well as sending bases, by our leadership, as being truly God’s ways right through the Scripture records, it will evidently not be the essential way of faith in operation in the life of our churches. Admittedly, to operate by faith, as instanced in Heb. 11, is a definite, clearly defined onward step from the normal walk of faith of the believer, although it was meant to be available to everyone who, as the Psalmist said, moves on by the Spirit-revelation from knowing God’s acts to knowing His ways (Ps. 103). That is the very reason why I still say that it is a specialized Pillar of WEC, and needs therefore to be taught and practiced as such, beginning at our training centers, then in our sending bases, and then in the training of our church leaders, and through them to the members of His body. How I would like to see, in the newsletters and calls to prayer from our fields, sent to our Prayer Groups, specific reports of positions of faith being taken by spoken words of faith, as of things already accomplished (Mark 11:24), relating to all varieties of immediate needs and calls for expansions, and summoning folks to share in praise and faith.
How I learned the practice of Achieving Faith.
The ways the Spirit taught us to put into practice the rebuilding of WEC in 1931, after C.Ts glorification of July 16, 1931 (ways which have not changed through these past years), were these: First, the approaches to our needs and pressing situations were not simply recognizing them and bringing them to God in prayer. No. The reverse. We had learned, as "seated with Him in the heavenlies, to replace our normal first, frustrated reactions to what was confronting us, not by bringing them to Him in prayer, by "sitting" before Him like David (2 Sam. 7-18) and asking Him, "What do You mean by this situation?" (Indeed it has become a saying, that we always are asking, "What are you up-to Lord?!!).
At that moment of great crisis in 1931, there was just Pauline and I with Daisy Kingdom, since all the others who were on furlough, had left us. We found that the money on hand for that month was $8 per head for the 35 workers in the Congo! At this time Pauline and I were led to take the step at the home end, of taking no further allowances from WFC. (Admittedly, in our unbelief we thought no others would ever join us on that basis! How way-out we were! This principle has now become the standard of all our sending bases!) But the whole secret lay, and still is, in seeing that it was God who has a purpose, and actually "means” (Gen 50:20) the evil for good. So it was not just a matter of crying to Him for some deliverance, but of finding out what perfect purpose He had, which would shine light out of the dark (2 Con. 4:6). There then came to me (I have never had some mystical flashes of insight, but merely some fresh thought coming to my mind), the reminder of God’s word to C.T.,18 years before, as he set out for the heart of Africa – that famous statement he wrote back to his wife, "God has told me this ‘trip’ is not just for the Southern Sudan, but for the whole unevangelized world. To which he added, "To human reason it soundsridiculous, but faith laughs at impossibilities and cries, it shall be done. And with that, the obvious word from God came to us in our 1931 crisis. "This condition is not for your collapse as a mission, but to go forward to this ‘ridiculous’ completion.
But if so, how? was our next question. And of course, we already had the answer from C. T. faith. But then, what is faith when it moves from theory to practical application? As we four talked (a new recruit was also with us), we said, "Let us go to our authority on faith The Bible". So it occurred to me, that, as we were a little like Joshua, who had to follow his leader Moses, we would see how Joshua acted. There we read the first section of Joshua 1, with God instructing and commissioning Joshua. But, we said, "It isn’t instructions we need, it’s application, How do you do it? There the answer was in print before us (verse 10), but it was the inner revelation of the Spirit who actually then turned on a light, which has never since gone out. God’s conversation with Joshua had ceased. The next recorded statement was that of Joshua calling together the officers of his army and telling them, "Prepare you victuals, for in three days you shall pass over this Jordan", which at that time was in flood. Right there we stopped short and said: "On what authority had Joshua said ‘Within three days?" God had not said that to him. And there we saw the secret. God has put Himself and all His resources at our disposal within any given commission. So we simply state the amounts needed. It was Joshua, who as a military man, calculated three days for preparation, and afterward said, that God would open-up Jordan within those days. We gloriously saw the point. God always gives us His blank check, but we put in the amount!
And so we did. It was to be the first band of new workers of a coming, marching army to go out to the world without Christ. We named ten within that first year after the Lord took C.T. We spoke together our first word of faith, linked to our key Scripture of Mark 11:24, that what we desired, when we prayed, we also believed that we received it. We putting into practice Jesus’ word in Mark 11:22, "Have faith in God," or rather "Have the faith of God." Believe with God’s own believing, imparted to us, which means, that He calls the things that are not, as though they are (Rom. 4:17). We did that together, and once spoken, there was no going back on that spoken word not on feelings, not on helpless appearances, but on God’s own spoken Word of Scripture put into personal application.
No need to say much more, for it is the principle, and not the experienced details, that really matters to us. We will only add, that we never prayed in the sense of ‘asked’ again. We daily met, sat, thanked and often laughed together. It wasn’t just shooting at a target of faith (and I note that we often mistakenly talk of faith targets), for faith has already hit the target! We talk faith-bull’s-eyes! (Watch our language! It is a giveaway!) And as those ten were completed, with Ivor Davies (who is still called, Bwana Kumi – which means ten in Congo), so we proceeded to 15, 25, 50, 75. Thus the new fields blossomed – out with those exploits of faith. Pat Symes going to Columbia; Sam Staniford to Ivory Coast; Alec Thorne to Spanish Guinea (Equatorial Guinea); Catherine Harbord to the Nepal Border; Jock Purves to Baltistan; Wilf Morris followed by Len Moules in India; Edwy Gibbons and Leslie Brierley to Senegal; Horace Davey and Percy Cluhine to Iiheria; Bessie Rricker (Brierley) to Portuguese Guinea (Guinea Bisseau); Harold WiIliams with Heini, GermannEdey to Borneo (Kalimantan); Heini Germann then on to Sumatra and Java; Lou Fulton to Japan; Don Rowley to the Moslem World; Marlin Summers to Pakistan; Horace William, in China; Alfred Ruscoe in Canada and U.S.A. (see his book, The Lame Take the Prey"); David Batchelor in Switzerland and Germany; Arthur Davidson in Australia; Ivor Davies in New Zealand; Francis Howbotham starting the Missionary Training College in Scotland and Stewart Dinner in Tasmania; Ken Adams in the launching of the Christian Literature Crusade; Phil Booth in the Radio Worldwide; Fred Chapman and John Lewis in the Soon and Bientot ministry; Bill and Ena Pethybridge in the Youth Work. Not to mention the brave pioneer wives of many of them. About many of these faith pioneers, are brochures and booklets, sharing about their adventures’ of faith, especially in "After C.T. Studd", with the earlier stories of the WEC, and also in "The Leap of Faith" about the CLC.
Present day application. From InterCon, to local churches.
How does this now apply to our present InterCon. II? Would it not be like this? God appoints leaders to lead. I always took it to be my calling and responsibility to be free enough to get God’s word on what were to be our next steps in our worldwide calling. I then would take it to our morning sessions, which I regarded as strategy sessions. I would bring to all of them what God was putting on my mind. I took the meaning of leadership not to compel, but to win agreement, that God was saying this or that to us. So now, it may be like that in our InterCon. II.
If a proposal is of God, the Spirit surely registers it to us as a body, and it comes in such a way, that we respond from the heart, with the personal witness of the Spirit, that it is He who is saying it to us. We then, and only then, can move in as a body to speak that word of faith, which means it is "the faith of God" to us, and something already in existence in the invisible, which then will appear in the visible. But the word of faith is something openly spoken "with the mouth". It means that we then use all our public means of information to let everyone know what God has said and what is going to happen, through all of our WEC magazines and other means of publication. The word of faith is no hidden thing. The price is paid in appearing as the "fool-of-faith", until faith then is manifested as substance.
My earnest hope is, that on each field and sending-base this principle of going forward, together in our high calling may become the regular practice. Should it not really be the prime and first responsibility of a field leader to find and get God’s mind for the next stage of advance on his field, sharing what is on his mind, as he visits the workers in their centers during the year? Then at the annual conference, the main "business", which would stand out in the report would be what the leader presents to the fellow-workers as the next concrete advance for that year. When the Spirit then has witnessed this same proposal to all, and not till then, the united word of faith is spoken. All interested friends then have the announcement made to them. One of the main objectives of the area advisors is then to help stimulate and concentrate the field leaders on this as their primary leadership responsibility.
Hopefully then, the leaders of local churches will also "see" that this is the Spirit’s pattern, as shown in Heb. 11, and give, the same form of leadership to their church members, heading up in the local God given projects into which they enter by the united word of faith of the local fellowship, which they publicly make known.
In other words, the forward-moves by faith are seen as the heartbeat of the Spirit’s way of bringing His full purposes into fulfillment by His people: and this way of applied faith, operates in all details of personal daily life, as well as in church affairs. This has been God’s way, ever since those first words of faith were spoken, when creation came into being, "Let there be" "Let there be…and there was. It would be a great inspiration and means of instruction, if WEC leaders, right down to local church level could read, or have interpreted to them, Dr. Paul Cho’s book The Fourth Dimension". It is solely by these same means of the word of faith, that Brother Cho is now the pastor of the largest church in the world, in Seoul, Korea. We all could learn and catch much by the Spirit from this book, as I have done.
Every Weccer an Intercessor.
In one last word I will head up all that I have been saying under the one Biblical title of INTERCESSOR which is what all we Weccers are. By that, I don’t mean the way the use of this word has been weakened down to "intercessory prayer. I mean the full Isaiah 59:15 meaning, of those who have a specialized calling and commission from God to gain" the fulfillment of such a commission, as it was with Jesus, our Intercessor, to whom there first came the commission in 1,.59 15, 20, then the cost in 53-12, and finally the completion in Heb. 7:25. C.T. Studd was an intercessor when he wrote, on his arrival in the Congo, that the people would "hear and hear to purpose" of their Saviour and His salvation. For this very thing He laid down His life, and they did hear "to purpose. Our beloved Pat Symes, with his 50 years in Colombia, is doing the same with his Colombian co-workers in their present glorious faith outreach. So far all of us our "calling" in WEC has an equal "gaining of it. As Paul said, we share "the fellowship of His sufferings", but are also "made conformable to His death", and gain the out-resurrection of the risen harvest (Phil 3:10-11). Indeed, I am truly sorry that any of our sending bases has introduced a 65-year "retirement" age. I should like to see that word completely eliminated from our WEC vocabulary! Let Weccers be free to continue until, maybe, their fellow-workers consider a change necessary. Jessie Soles continued her full-salvation-ministry among the Congo churches until in her eighties, when the Lord then hook her to Himself. Equally at the recruiting stage of a WEC candidate, I urge in these days of married couples, even with children going to the fields, that no such couple should go unless they purpose in their heart (like Daniel l) to persist in their calling, and the children fit into the call rather than the call into the children, for a long period to fulfill an effective intercessor-ministry on their field. In other words, that Weccers respond to God’s call to WEC, and the sending bases sense the confirmation of the Spirit to that call, to remain in, and pay the John 12:24 intercession price which brings forth the "much fruit. Intercession means COMMISSION COST and COMPLETION.
Maybe this is my last word in print to all my beloved co-Weccers worldwide, after my privileged 65 years, when Pauline and I, with our loved Ma Deni (Lillian Dennis) joined C. TStudd. It is a last word with greatness of joy, that by God’s enabling, we Weccers are pursuing our privileged calling on those same old paths" laid down by the Spirit, through our human founder, and yet, at the same time applying a rub or two of polish to the sparkling steel of our drawn swards for worldwide evangelization until He comes.