In 1999 I went to a conference in Brunswick Georgia with a group we were associated with called FCMI. Jen and I had been serving as youth leaders and associate pastors at my home church. We were always seeking revival and were hungry for a move of God. This night would change our ministry forever. There was this man from Redding California coming that was experiencing some sort of revival take place so we were "all in". We had never heard of this man before this night but hunger for "His" presence enticed for the 4 hour trip to the service.
I remember as he was introduced to stage "Welcome Bill Johnson" I never saw what was going to happen to my Charismatic/Pentecostal heritage from that day forward. I remember him speaking and although I was not understanding the whole context of the message (because of my different religious training perspective) something was burning in my Spirit. Often during the service, Bill would turn around and face the stage wall and say "That was good Bill". Most of us knew what we were hearing was revelatory but were not grasping this new view. In the early years if someone asked about the Bill Johnson conference you would say it was awesome. They would ask what he said and most peoples response was "I don't know but it was good".
Back to my original story. At the end of the service, we went forward for prayer (touch from God). Now Jen was "great with child", that's how Bill tells the story, and cute as a button I must add. Bill walks up to us and asks if we had met before because we looked familiar. We had never met before but were hungry for whatever God wanted to do. We had been a part of Brownsville Revival in Pensacola, The Laughing Revival with Rodney Howard Browne, Toronto Blessing and even had experienced a major move at our own church where thousands were saved and delivered. So Bill lays hands on us and we are immediately rocked by the presence of God. Now I was rocked back to the ground and Jen being "great with child" was rocked forward and Sarah who was the child in the womb was caught by Bill in this forward falling encounter. Which way would a woman "great with child" fall? Forward apparently. We would have Bill at our church for nearly 10 years afterward and would see many miracles and this progressive somewhat slow change would take place in our theology (which for the most part only worked on paper).
So what would take place over the next ten years was this change of perspective of the gospel. The lens by what we view revelation gives us a grid to see and grasp. I remember putting on "beer goggles" in school and seeing from a drunk man's perspective in a sober view. You can't tell a drunk his perspective is distorted therefore we have so many drunk drivers on the street. I come to the conclusion that you can't teach a religious man new revelation without first changing his perspective. Bethel has penned four truths that I now refer to as the Foundational Pillars of Our Perspective. If any of these pillars are distorted in our perspective we cannot operate in the revelational truth being taught. It's like a blind dog in a meat factory. I smell it and know that it is good but I can't see it. Once I embrace these truths, my eyes are open and I can partake of the meat on the bone. So here is an overview of the four pillars. We will dive deeper spiritually into the next four blogs scripturally.
Pillar number one is "God is Good". His very nature is good. He is a good, good Father. If you had an amazing father, like me, He is even more amazing. Religion tends to project the nature of judgment, sickness, and punishment on God. Our theology begins to be formed by the "perspective" of our experiences rather than the nature of Christ. Jesus said if you have seen me you have seen the Father. Jesus never gave sickness and disease so that He could reveal His mercy and grace. That is like me physically hurting my child just to reveal my mercy. I would be arrested and rightly so to do this to my children. So repeat this very deep theology after me. "God is good and the devil is bad". Period.
Pillar number two is "There is nothing impossible with our God". As a Charismatic/Pentecostal pastor, I would say I believed this but not enough to move into life practice. So revelation is not revelation without being able to manifest in experience. You can have knowledge that you believe in healing or the impossible, but until it is practically manifest in our lives it’s just knowledge. There are not impossible situations, only impossible people. Our lack of faith and experience is not the revelation of the character of God. Jesus is the revelation of the character of God. As you read through the synoptic gospels this revelation is that nothing is impossible with God.
Pillar number three " We believe in the finished work of the cross". This contains more truth than we can even start to express in this paragraph. The cross and resurrection was the climax and shift of the gospel where we are empowered by the "grace" of God. Two key words in that sentence are empowered and grace. They go together like peanut butter and jelly. Grace empowers salvation. Grace empowers healing. Grace even empowers discipleship. Christ’s work on the cross was more than a historical event in time but was the manifestation of God bringing change to the cosmos altogether. I was crucified with Christ. I was buried with Christ. I was raised with Christ. I am empowered in salvation, healing and to be a disciple by what He did for me. I am a new man, a new creation.
Pillar number four is "Every believer is significant to the Kingdom of God". While not all are called into the 5 fold ministry, all are created and equipped by God for Kingdom significance. When God thought of you, it was not as an insignificant piece of work. He looked at you as His greatest masterpiece created with beauty and significance. You are not a mistake, but one of the greatest masterpieces of God.
As we embrace these truths in our lives, we will begin to hear differently and see differently. Now when I hear Bill or Kris speak I feed off of their words with understanding and revelations. Maybe you were raised in a religious environment that did not build a kingdom perspective. This may be why you do not see miracles and you live with a doom and gloom perspective. Take off your religious beer goggles and change the way you think about the kingdom. We can't afford for another generation of Christianity to live with a mindset contrary to the mind of God. Who can know the mind of God? YOU.