Zerubbabel Ministries–The Torch We Carry
Zerubbabel is a faith-based ministry, founded by former secretary of the Worldwide Evangelization Crusade, Norman Grubb, and commissioned to share the Total Truth with the whole world. What do we mean by faith-based? Who is our founder? And what exactly are we commissioned to do? This article will answer these questions and hopefully give you a better understanding of the purpose and history of this magazine.
C.T. Studd, the founder of the Worldwide Evangelization Crusade (WEC) died in 1931. His son-in-law, Norman Grubb, took over the mission. Without its founder the mission was in shambles. There was little money available for the thirty five workers on the field. It seemed obvious they should call it quits. Norman, his wife (C.T.’s daughter), and two others who made up the home base, asked themselves “What commission did your founder have, which has passed on to you?” (Once Caught, No Escape, by Norman Grubb). They knew the answer was to evangelize the world, but faced with the present conditions they wondered “How can we? How did the men of the Bible do the impossible?” Their answer: “By faith.” God led them to the Bible to examine Joshua, a fellow pioneer who had, like them, just lost his leader. Joshua knew what God was calling him to do (really what God was going to do through Joshua) and he stepped out in faith. What caught their attention was that Joshua fleshed out the details of achieving God’s ends without specific instructions from God: “Joshua knew because he was at God’s general disposal to do His will, He puts Himself at our disposal to fill in the details” (Once Caught, No Escape). This is the faith principle upon which the WEC was rebuilt.
These lessons in operating by faith were further tested and refined throughout Norman’s later years and were the subject of his teaching, writing and sharing as he traveled the U.S. These God-given revelations became what he referred to as the Total Truth—the full revelation of Galatians 2:20 and related scriptures that there never was an independent self; that we were once Satan operated; that now as born-again believers we are Christ-operated, He living His life by me. One of his last commissions was to share this Total Truth with whomever would listen. But how? Here’s how his lessons from Joshua were applied again. He fleshed out a word of faith that one million people would be reached with the Total Truth. He spoke this word among some of his closest friends and commissioned these friends to start a new faith-based ministry that would pick up the torch he had been carrying. Norman suggested this new ministry be named after Zerubbabel, pointing to Zechariah 4:6: “This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of Hosts.” Part of his vision for Zerubbabel was a magazine devoted to sharing these truths. His charge:
“I commission you to make sure you keep the magazine exclusively for the presentation of our unique and total truth in its different forms, and allow nothing less than that to be published. It doesn’t matter how plain or simple it looks, the point is it is the living word based on the scriptures. That is God’s commission entrusted to you…Keep at it! Now my thrill is that God has called us to being as an army in action. A rising and enlarging army, and totally bold both in our knowing of the truth we share, our biblical basis to it, and our ability to present it to others. All of us doing that in our different ways.” (Excerpted from a letter written by Norman Grubb in January 1987).
So this is our commission at Zerubbabel, given to us by our founder Norman Grubb. The Intercessor is one of the tools he envisioned to reach his one million people with the Total Truth and we continue to carry this torch. (Of course, the internet is a tool that we are grateful to have that Norman knew nothing of in his day of typewritten letters!) We follow the lessons Norman learned from Joshua: we see other means and methods to fulfill our commission and take it for granted that this is God working through us to achieve His ends, filling in the details just like Joshua.
Let’s take a closer look at Joshua’s story and what exactly he did. In Joshua 1, Moses has died and his assistant, Joshua, is commissioned by God to lead the people over the Jordan and into the promised land. God tells Joshua that “every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, just as I promised to Moses…No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them” (Joshua 1:3, 5-6). There is no mention of how this will happen, but Joshua trusted God’s word and commanded: “Prepare your provisions, for within three days you are to pass over this Jordan to go in to take possession of the land that the Lord your God is giving you to possess” (Joshua 1:10). Where did he get three days? This was the part that caught the attention of Norman: “Who gave him the authority to say that? Then we saw that when we are at God’s general disposal to do His will, He puts Himself at our disposal to fill in the details. So it was Joshua who fixed on the three day’s limit and God came through with the opening of the Jordan at the time fixed by Joshua” (Once Caught, No Escape).
This method of operating is so different to the “normal” way of operating a mission. Typically, you look at what funds you have and do what work you can with them. However, this was looking to see what God was about, what He wanted to achieve, and launching out in faith to fill in the details of how, taking for granted the resources needed would be there. Not waiting for the supply before acting, but acting now and taking for granted the supply would come. As Norman likes to say “Need is the evidence of supply” (The Law of Faith).
In the rebuilding of the WEC this is exactly what that little band of pioneers did. They needed more workers for the field and the money to support them. They decided on a number of workers and the amount of money. They fixed a deadline, the first anniversary of C.T.’s glorification, and trusted in God alone to call those missionaries and to send the money specifically for them. They claimed Mark 11:24: “Whatsoever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them and ye shall have them.” When they met again, someone started to remind God about the workers and asked Him to send them. The Spirit corrected them and told them not to ask for what they had already been given. So instead of asking they began thanking. Another test came when Norman realized he should let the field know to start preparing for the new missionaries. He did not want to look like a fool should they not come and so he considered not telling them. Thankfully, he recognized it as an attack from the devil and immediately mailed a letter to them.
The riveting details of how the missionaries and the money came are written about in After C.T. Studd, by Norman Grubb, but suffice to say they did come and within ten days of the date they set. In Norman’s words “the thrill of this was not so much the completion of the ten as the confirmation that we were on the main line of the Bible principles of faith” (Once Caught, No Escape).
Norman applied these lessons to countless situations, on a ministry-level and personal level throughout his life and he has written about them in his books. Some quotes that illustrate these lessons are: “faith declares a thing done before it is done”; (The Spontaneous You); “Faith is action” (The Law of Faith).
At Zerubbabel it is our privilege and commission to share these lessons in our magazine, books and on our web site (www.zerubbabel.org) and to operate by faith in the day to day running of the ministry. We do not look at our funds and ask what shall we do with this? We look at what God is calling us to do and trust God has already provided for it. We thank Him.
Our Board of Trustees at Zerubbabel have recently faced some very challenging circumstances. It wasn’t immediately clear what God was doing in the circumstances, but we trusted that the larger aim had not changed: to continue the commission of our founder, Norman Grubb, to share the Total Truth. As we continued in faith, taking the practical steps to address the challenges at hand, God’s purposes became clearer. We now have several new goals we would like to achieve that we believe fit into this commission. We know there will be expense involved but that does not cause us to put the brakes on or continually ask God to provide the funds. God says: “…before they call I will answer” (Is. 65:24); God has the answer already in place (in the Spirit dimension) and we are just waiting to see the visible evidence (in the physical dimension). We proceed with our goals and trust God will have the answers and funds in place as they are needed. Thank you Lord!
From Joshua, those WEC rebuilders found what Norman describes as “the key to the practice of Scriptural faith—that where we are in the calling of God, as we are at His disposal, so He is at ours; we can ask what we will and believe that we receive what we have asked” (Once Caught, No Escape). And this is how we operate at Zerubbabel, with Norman’s example as our blueprint.
So this is who we are and why we are here. Any time you pick up this magazine or visit our web site, you are a part of God’s commission being fulfilled. Our founder Norman Grubb showed us the Biblical, Joshua-inspired way to operate by faith and run a faith-based ministry. Our commission is to share the Total Truth of our union with Christ (explained throughout this magazine) and to reach one million people with it using whatever methods God inspires us to use—taking it for granted that God will back us up!