Sunday, 8 January 2017


The LORD JESUS' CHURCH (NOT men's) was never meant to be a place where His people come to simply sit and listen. Instead, Paul describes it as a body wherein each member's participation and engagement is crucial to bring about the the overall function the body was designed and purposed for. The body needs each member to be healthy and also to fulfil its OWN purpose (i.e what a hand/foot can do as opposed to what an ear and eye can do) and its purpose related to what the BODY's sum of its overall parts was intended to produce (i.e if a foot and hand work in conjunction/cooperation with each other, they can perform tasks not possible with what each can do on its own). The article below by Stephen L. Bening (he wrote it for his own prophetic fellowship group) describes this biblical truth with amazing clarity and context. It's not a long read. I highly recommend it! I don't believe that the church in its current form is necessarily entirely unbiblical--there are elements which are definitely biblical and definitely fruitful. However, overall, the current forms of church seem to be working much more against the entire engagement of the people of God than for it, and this is a very big problem that needs tackling. It's my opinion that we can do a lot to help this, especially by making sure we as individuals are fruitful for the Lord Jesus in our own lives, ministries, and services for Him. However, it's also my suspicion that it will take (like Stephen describes below) the Lord dismantling/taking down what now exists in order to remake/reform it (i.e Ecclesiastes 'a time to build up and a time to destroy' in order to remake):
…2A time to give birth and a time to die; A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted. 3A time to kill and a time to heal; A time to tear down and a time to build up.
-Eccl 3:3
The article below is one of, if not the best thing I've ever read to summarise what the most biblical form of church looks like. Well worth the read! 
'I touched upon the concept of the function of the believer in my last article, and it is a very simple image and thought process to engage in: that God created each of His believers to have a river of living water flowing through them. Now think about it: every river must have an outflow! You simply cannot have a continual supply of fresh water running into a place and it has nowhere to go. It must find a way out, or the water will stop flowing into it, the river will turn into a reservoir. The reservoir will turn into a dank swamp if no water ever goes over the dam. 
We have considered in years past that before Jesus left this Earth, His own disciples were jockeying among themselves: arguing which of them was the greatest. Jesus put them in their proper place at that time. Then, some few years after Jesus' ascension, James was seated upon the throne of the church of Jerusalem. We know this to be true because his burial box was found, several years back, inscribed with that notation. Jesus had made it quite clear that His disciples were not to rule over or Lord over any one, but that did not slow the apostles down from doing just that with the half brother of Jesus, right there in Jerusalem. Then, several years later, John makes note in his third epistle of one Diotrephes, who desired the preeminence and would not even receive visiting ministers, even controlling others to the extent of casting people out of the church on his own single authority in violation of every precept Paul ever laid down regarding excommunication. And that merely covers the first century. 
The predominant theme of the 19 centuries that followed the first century is one of a single man, put on a pedestal. He is expected to be God's man, part of a "priesthood" for Christians that Jesus never authorized. This single man does, on the apparent average, about 90% of the preaching. The other 10% is usually filled by ministers who are also single senior pastors who are traveling a repetitive circuit. With some variation depending upon place and denomination, down through time, this has described "pastoral function". There have been some brief moments where the charismatic gifts flourished, but even these are usually found to be functioning among the family of the senior pastor or among his approved inner circle of supporters. In short, everything you have been taught as a church member is that you are not EXPECTED to do anything in church unless someone in the pastor's office asks you to do something. Then, you may volunteer to teach Sunday school, or take part in the landscaping committee, or perhaps be on a church trustee council that pays the bills of the church and perhaps may be charged with hiring another priest if the present occupant of the pulpit is found to have gone AWOL. I have found it to be true, especially in the sixty short years of my lifetime, that most especially and more so every year, you are expected to part with your money. Laws have even been developed that require Christians to give specified amounts that Jesus never burdened His church with and Paul never mentioned as having anything to due with the practice of Church. In short, nothing you have participated in has really encouraged you to function or has trained you in how to function. Everything about your on the job training has discouraged you from finding any outflow for your very own, personal river of living water. Nothing has led you to believe that God requires you to do anything more than sit with mouth shut, listen and tithe. That is how you have understood "Church". However, God requires "Assembly" and "Assembly" requires so much more than "Church". Assembly requires you to do many things: you are required to function. In fact, the true Godly "Assembly" cannot survive without the function of every member of the body of Christ. Can your hand survive without your fingers? How will your mouth do without your brain? You have learned church in a "doomed to fail" system. Jesus Christ will destroy it himself. You had best depart from it and learn how to function as soon as possible. We at Watchmen Prophets Assembly are dedicated to promoting the maximum and efficient function of every member of the body of Christ. 
This is not the case simply because I say so. Paul did not found or establish even one single church that was invested with only one solitary pastor or elder, yet that is what we find today. Paul always appointed a plurality of elders: more than one. Furthermore, there are specific signs that Jesus said would follow a Godly Assembly. These are the same signs that follow THOSE WHO BELIEVE, for they follow even more powerfully in a Godly Assembly. They are found in the sixteenth chapter of Mark. The signs are not said by Jesus to follow THE PASTOR. They are said to follow THOSE WHO BELIEVE. Are those signs following you? Those signs are important. John Baptist questioned the Godly identity of Jesus; was He the one they were to expect? Jesus answered the question by referring to the signs and the miracles that He had done. SIGNS ARE IMPORTANT! Are these signs following you? They are supposed to. They follow me. They follow my wife. They are supposed to follow this assembly. People are supposed to be healed when this assembly prays. Demons are supposed to flee. You are supposed to have more prayer authority when you are part of a Godly assembly, but when that Godly assembly fails to function, you are on your own, with only the authority in God that you possess. That is what it means to be a partaker and you are a partaker of a Godly Assembly, to the good, or a church, to the bad. One can chase a thousand. Two can chase ten thousand. Which are you, the ONE or the TWO? Hopefully, you are at least doing some chasing. And if two in agreement and function be powerful, then what might ten obtain? Yet if every individual grows silent and sleeps, the assembly ceases to function and all multiplication of power and authority is forfeited. How long will God allow this fruitless situation to persist? Have mercy Lord Jesus. 
Stephen L. Bening'


Today I posted about what the best and truest appearance of the Church of God should look like. When we talk about Church, we talk as much about us as individuals, as we do about us being members of the whole, because we are all temples of the Spirit who are being made into ONE temple in the Spirit (as we are the body of Christ in Him). This is an encouraging subject because it makes us realise just how integral we all are to the Kingdom, and HOW to be integral. Recently, the Lord has laid it on my heart that the nature of HIS Kingdom is a fluid thing. This is because Jesus describes His Spirit as a WIND, and His power, purpose, life and presence as a STREAM that flows through and out of a believer:
5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit[b] gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You[c] must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”[d]
-John 3:5-8
Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’”
-John 7:38
This fluidity means that while church is a gathering of believings to encourage each other in Christ, the purposes of the church are daily, multifaceted and very diverse. This is because Jesus Himself ministered to men in MANY ways and in many manners, whether He was teaching at the temples or not, and whether He was with many or few. This also shows us that the purposes of church are also the purposes of individual Christians who see what the Father is doing, then they do that thing (whatever that specifically is for that individual according to the will of the Spirit). Like Jesus, they also listen to what the Father says, then they speak that thing. Christians, therefore, should not only follow Jesus, but copy Him. This won't bring schism to the body, but unity and power because the Lord does not design the gifts of the Spirit to contradict or compete, but to complement and to accomplish the greater good. The role of elders and pastors, therefore, is not to take over ministry for the whole body of Christ, but to minister so that each member can become as much a part of ministry as they are and have been called to be. Elders and Pastors are not 'above' the body of Christ, but overseers to lead and encourage each member to be equipped and active in their own lives for Christ. The Lord does not limit His work to one meeting, place, and time, but desires that the body of Christ be encouraged in such times to continue to operate each day in their service for Him. The Church of God is not to be boxed, but it is supposed to be living, active, and sharper than any two edged sword, just as the Word of God is (for the Word of God dwells in and works in and through us to work His purposes). The Church itself is an active, flowing thing (just as a river is active and flowing), designed to reach into and influence every crevice of society for the good. Every member of the body is therefore as effective for Christ in a Sunday Church service, as they are in their work place, in socialising, with family, in giving, in speaking encouragement or the Word of God, and whether singing to others, being hospitable, or in any other ministry that the Word speaks about and provides precedent or foundation for. 
If we think about it carefully, in the New Testament Jesus actually did nearly all of His work, ministry and teaching OUTSIDE of formal church/teaching/building settings. This allowed Him to work with the many as well as the few, with the rich as well as with the poor, and the healthy and unhealthy alike. It allowed Him to reach the 'sinners' with the good news of the Gospel, heal the sick, testify to and witness against the Pharisees, and teach and grow His disciples all at the same time. It also allowed Him to work IN THE SAME WAY and AS EFFECTIVELY in the temples and more formal church gatherings. Jesus did this to give us the perfect and most effective pattern of what Church IS and how it BEST and most biblically operates. 
In the same vein, I've also posted below another article of Stephen Bening's. The article was directed specifically to the prophetic group itself, but it holds true and reveals what the NATURE of every part of the Church should be:
'Let us begin with "Assembly". That is what the God of the New Testament requires believers to gather to. The word "church" really does not properly express what the ancient meaning really is. "Church" has all types of ungodly connotations that have stuck to the word over the years. Let us set it aside discussion of that for now (discussed elsewhere). God intended an assembly where everyone could and should participate and where no one man or group would Lord it over others. The more participation, the better. Members who do not function or participate may be viewed by the Lord as not bearing fruit. A tree that bears no fruit is a biblical image that Jesus dealt with. Trust me: we all should want to bear fruit.
What is prophecy for the purposes of Watchmen Prophets Assembly? Any member who hears, receives or has the Holy Spirit quicken anything to him or her is in receipt of a word from God. That is a prophetic word. It may be just for that believer, but many times, it should be shared. It does not have to be predictive about some future disaster or event. Believers need to ask for boldness from God so that they freely share what they have been freely given. It is quite easy to fall into harlot church patterns where members only listen, sit silently and take part in assembly life, but this has never been God's intention.
Watchmen and Prophets have been members here and a few still are. Other members are expected to be believers in Jesus Christ. We should all be being filled with the Holy Spirit. You should be growing in the Kingdom of God Daily and going deeper into God as individuals. This can only be done through prayer, fasting and time spent in God's word. As you grow, you should share.
God intended every single one of His born again believers to be a river of living water. Every river has a source. The source of this river is God. This river is supposed to RUN THROUGH you, but where will it run to? Where will its' outflow be? 
Watchmen Prophets Assembly is one place where your river can flow out to, for there must be an outflow. Where there is no outflow, there is no river, but a lake, sitting behind a dam. Water sitting long enough, without a flow, begins to grow dank. Unclean things grow there. We have better hopes and prayers for better things for each of you.'
-Stephen Bening'