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To be innovative is to take from what has been and apply it to new situations and circumstances for new outcomes and solutions, not that there is anything new under the sun as such.  Really there should be no need for innovations if everything was done the way it was meant to be done so that the present system that exists needs no improvement.  As such, innovations that are needed are not brought about for the sake of innovations, but for the sake of necessity.  If the current system of denominationalism is working, then there is no need for change.  The truth is, it is not working, for the world does not know that God has sent Jesus and neither does the world know that the Father loves the disciples of Jesus as Jesus is loved.  The world hardly believes that Jesus was sent by God, much less knows.  The world certainly does not know that those who believe in the message of the disciples are loved by the Father as He has loved Jesus.  The ignorance by the world on these two points means that Jesus has given His glory to His believers for nothing… for indeed, the believers are not in complete unity.

It is not just a matter of building the church or finishing the preaching of the Gospel or making disciples… the point is, the world still does not believe, much less know about Jesus and the love of God for His believers.  Even if Jesus was to arrive today, He has given His glory away for nothing, for that complete unity of believers has not been achieved.

It is this stark and abject failure to fulfil John 17.23 by 2000 years of denominationalism that requires innovations and forced changes to be made.  However, changes cannot be made unless the original plans are found so that what has been produced can be judged and assessed according to the original specifications as to whether what exists is what was intended.  So does what exists conform with what was intended by God?  If your answer is yes then there is no need for innovations or changes.  If your answer is no then innovations are needed.

And who is fit for such a task?  Who has the foreknowledge, hindsight and power to perform such a task?  Who on Earth was there when Jesus stood at the side of the Father as the Heavens were stretched out and the world came into existence?  Who was there when the Lamb was slain before the foundation of the Earth?  Who knows the mind and thoughts of God?  Not one of us except the Holy Spirit.  He alone is the only Person on Earth who can change what exists as the church of Jesus Christ to what was intended as the church of Jesus Christ.  He alone has the power, knowledge, wisdom, counsel and understanding.  He alone is the Witness who was with Them from the beginning.  He is not Jesus’ replacement, no, no one can replace Jesus Christ as the Saviour of the world or the Ruler for the millennium, but He is the Counsellor, the Helper, who will bring the changes to the church so that what exists can be changed to what should be.

Knowing this to be the truth, then one change, one innovation that must be made and is being made… is in the way we relate to the Holy Spirit, the way we treat Him, the way we listen to Him and for Him, and the way we ignore Him or acknowledge Him.  As it is not enough to know about Jesus, but that we must come to know Jesus… so it is not enough to know about the Holy Spirit, but we must come to know Him.  Those who are baptised with Him by Jesus must stop making what Jesus said out to be a lie when He said, “But you know Him, for He lives with you and will be [is] in you.”  The truth for so many who profess to believe in Christ is this:  “But we do not know Him even though He lives with us and is in us.”

We are like children who never got to know their father, because we are too busy complaining that He has no time for us when He is with us, and we are too busy with our plans to stop… and just watch Him and listen to Him, even to wait for Him to speak.  And we are like children who are ignorant of the demands upon a father’s life from work and worries, that we cannot fathom to realise sometimes the father is silent because he is tired from a day’s work of providing for us.  So when the Holy Spirit does not speak to us when we want Him to or where we want Him to, we say He is not with us.  When the Holy Spirit does not move when we appoint the time for Him to move, we say He is ignoring us, or worse still, He has left.  And so like children whose father was too busy providing for them and ran after other children’s fathers and wished their father was different, we left the Holy Spirit and went after spirits that are anything but holy.

So within a hundred years, instead of displaying wisdom, knowledge and understanding, the church began to display its foolishness, ignorance and intolerance.  Instead of loving enemies, we killed them.  Instead of blessing them, we cursed them.  Instead of praying for them, we prayed against them.  Instead of letting the Holy Spirit reveal Jesus, we let men reveal Jesus with their theologies and speculations.  Instead of displaying miraculous power, we began to display military power, intellectual power, financial power and political power… and so on and so on.  Instead of grace, the church of history showed ungrace.  Instead of glory, it was clothed in shame.  Everything that is the Holy Spirit, we became the opposite.  We became foolish, ignorant, intolerant, powerless, with no fear of God and offering no counsel.  Instead of truth, we offered lies dressed in religious garments.  Instead of life, there was only death.  Instead of holiness, there was an embracement of all sorts of other gods and practices.  Instead of revelation, there was ignorance.  Instead of grace, there was condemnation.  Instead of glory, there was shame.

From Acts 15 the ‘church’ presumed to speak on behalf of the Holy Spirit, saying, It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements.”

The innovation that is needed from the church that seeks to become what it was intended to be by the Father and Son is this:  It must be a fellowship of believers and disciples who can recognize the voice of the Holy Spirit so they can listen to Him, and not just listen to Him, but be a collection of people who want to come to know Him as much as they want to come to know God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent.

As such, anyone who is not prepared to listen to Jesus will not be one and ones who will be prepared to listen to the Holy Spirit either.  Anyone who fails to see the truth that the Holy Spirit has placed in the four Gospels that even the twelve and eleven had a tendency not to listen and obey Jesus will never really want to get to know the Holy Spirit.  Such persons would be more concerned about defending the reputation of the ‘pillars’ of the church rather than see the truth.  The symptom of not listening to Jesus is the sign that you will not care to wait for and listen to the Holy Spirit.

If you will not listen to the Master you can see, you will not listen to the One you cannot see.  It is simple human behaviour.  A student who does not obey the teacher who is in his class will never obey the teacher who is but a voice over the loud speaker.

As such, those who can recognize the voice of the Holy Spirit can only come from those who are listening to Jesus… for the Holy Spirit will only remind us of the words of Jesus and teach us the words of Jesus first as He guides us into all truth… even the truth that the twelve had a habit of not listening to Jesus.  How do you know if someone listens to Jesus?  Simple, they know what Jesus said and what was not said by Jesus in the Scriptures.  They would not presume to use something said by Paul or Peter as something Jesus said, or worse still, something that Eliphaz said as something from Jesus.  And if they have really listened, then they would practise, and if they have really practised, they would be able to testify to the failures and successes of their practice.  And finally, the Holy Spirit would confirm their obedience to listen, their diligence to practise and their humility to admit to failure by giving them the power to do what Jesus has been doing and even greater things than that.

The proof that an individual is ready to listen to the Holy Spirit to come to know Him lays in his readiness to listen to Jesus and willingness to come to know Him, and not just know Him, but to lay down his life for Jesus.  They are those who have paid the price of discipleship, the price of being made a disciple and the price of making others disciples.  If you had no father or mother who loved you, then you did not give up anything to be a disciple.  If you had no brothers or sisters or children who loved you, then you gave up nothing to be a disciple.  If you had no fields or house, then you gave up nothing to be a disciple.  Only those who gave up what they held dear to be disciples have paid the price of discipleship.  Selling a book or preaching to an audience you cannot see or know carries not the cost of making disciples.  Jesus made His disciples by personal tutoring and forbearance.  You have not paid the cost of making disciples until you have them turn away from you because the teaching got hard, nor have you paid the price of making a disciple till you have poured your spirit, heart and soul, even your glory into him.

And what is this… pouring your glory into a disciple?  It is this, that you are dependant on your disciples to bring you glory rather than yourself.  Jesus is glorified and the Father has glorified Him, but on Earth before the world, Jesus was dependant on His disciples to bring Him the glory so that their reputation was His reputation, their fame was His fame, their deeds His deeds.  So what sort of glory has the denominational church brought Jesus?

And what is the proof that the cost has been paid by a disciple?  A reward waiting for him in Heaven, in the hereafter?  No, for now this is eternal life, and if that eternal life is present now, then the hundredfold of father, mother, brothers, sisters, children, houses and fields are now manifested as well, for Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for Me and the Gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (…and with them, persecutions)…”  Not only is the hundredfold evident, but more evident are the persecutions, real persecutions, even to the loss of life itself.  Now those who have received do not need to believe that they will receive… that is the difference and that is the proof.

The individual who is ready to listen to the Holy Spirit to come to know Him already knows he has received the hundredfold in the Father he has in Heaven, if not in his father on Earth as well.  He already knows he has received the hundredfold in his sisters and brothers in Christ, if not in his earthly brothers and sisters as well.  He already knows that which he has now is already a hundred times more than what he would have had if he were not in Christ.  There is no looking back to his past life with longing, there are no what ifs when he considers how different things would be if he were not in Christ.  For he knows, not believes, that things would be a hundredfold worse in all areas had he not repented and came into Jesus.  There are no ifs (which sounds like Eve) in the lives of those who are ready to listen to the Holy Spirit to come to know Him.  They are not like Adam who would listen to Eve in his life and forget what God had appointed him for.

A church, an ecclesia (Greek), a body of Christ that is made up of individuals, all who have listened to Jesus enough to know Jesus and who have spent enough time letting the Holy Spirit remind them of what Jesus has said and teaching them what Jesus has said to recognize the voice of the Holy Spirit is the innovation that is needed now… to reveal what should have been to what is so that what is can repent and become what should have been.

No one person knows what the church should have been and should be except the Holy Spirit, and such a church cannot be made up of people who do not listen to Jesus for it is then not a church that listens to the Holy Spirit.  And a church that cannot recognize the voice of the Holy Spirit will not know who is talking and so cannot even be changed to be what it should be.

So, what will such a church boast of?  That it can recognize the voice of the Holy Spirit?  No, for such boasting goes against what love is, for love is never proud and does not boast.  Rather, such a church, such a collection of men and women who seek to hear the Holy Spirit to come to know Him will be ever concerned that they cannot hear the Holy Spirit as well as they should.  Their practice to hear and recognize the voice of the Holy Spirit that they may know Him and see Him will be filled with the testimonies of their failures and their need to repent.  For truly, the Holy Spirit who is:

  • The Spirit of Wisdom will give them the wisdom to repent;
  • The Spirit of Knowledge will give them the knowledge to know their weaknesses so that in their weakness, Jesus’ grace is sufficient for them;
  • The Spirit of Understanding will give them the understanding that failures are as much a sign of diligent practice as successes are;
  • The Spirit of Counsel will advise them to never give up;
  • The Spirit of Power will give them the power of signs and wonders to strengthen them;
  • The Spirit of the Fear of the Lord will give them the courage to fear no one else;
  • The Spirit of Truth will help them to see what is truth;
  • The Spirit of Life will give them the time to come to know God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent;
  • The Spirit of Holiness will give them the absolute zeal to be set apart only for Jesus and His Father;
  • The Spirit of Revelation will give them the hindsight, insight and foresight to see what should have been, what is and what will be;
  • The Spirit of Grace will give them the love God has for His enemies;
  • The Spirit of Glory will give them the humility to do it all for the glory and honour of the One who sent them, not for reward but for the enjoyment of the Father.

Hence, the innovations that are necessary must come from those who see the need for innovations because of the truth and not for vain imaginations.

Amen Holy Spirit.

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