THE ACTS MODEL CHURCH
~ A BRIEF OVERVIEW~
THE ACTS MODEL CHURCH
- Jesus taught His 12 Apostles what He wanted them and us to teach and practice.
- All 23 of His apostles (mentioned by name in the NT) established the Acts Model church.
- They were Messianic, and we are grafted into Abraham… making us Jews.
- They were Pentecostal. The Baptism in the Holy Spirit fell on them, and (according to Acts 2:39) on us as well.
- They were Evangelical, Fundamentalist, and we to should be getting people saved and sanctified and healed.
- They were pre-millennial and most probably post tribulation or Pre Wrath.
- The Preterist and Historist eschatology’s didn’t come on the scene until the fourth century and later.
- They were all of these all at the same time… and so should we be.
- Neither God nor His WORD has ever changed, and never will.
The Book of Acts Gives Us
God’s Model For His Church
It is no coincidence that the Acts Model lifestyle we see in the first century church is also the best preparation a Christian can make to sustain life and continue in ministry even in the hardest of times as well as in the best of times. For these reasons we would incorporate the Acts model in our Fellowship of Intentional Neighbors concept. By “Acts model” I am referring to the entire book of Acts, not just chapters 2 and 3.
A Christian does not have to practice this “Acts Model” concept of Christian community to be saved or to continue in ministry, but we argue that it is a good gift from God to us. Jesus taught this brotherhood concept of living to His Apostles, and they continued in these teachings.
The ultimate and future goal and vision of ArkHaven is to form a totally self sufficient, “Acts model fellowship of Christians becoming intentional neighbors” who live off the grid and farm the natural and organic way so we can provide food for ourselves and for the poor and needy. And we will also sell our food products (for as long as conditions allow).
Here are some things we are NOT:
If we ever form a Christian community we will not practice the “common purse” concept where one person owns everything and dispense food and housing, etc., as the owner sees fit. We will not be an armed, militant camp. Every family will live in their own quarters and rule their own household. We are not isolationists who are running for the hills to hide in fear. We are not a doomsday survivalist group.
We do believe in complete reliance on God’s provision for our daily living based on the principle of self-sufficiency by growing our own food, raising our own cattle, sheep, horses, chicken and fish in accordance with the teachings of the Holy Bible. In short, we are describing the Acts model life style.
The Acts (of the Holy Spirit) is God’s model for His church in every generation and culture (because neither God nor His Bible ever changes). The Apostles simply practiced the life style and doctrine that Jesus taught them. This model goes beyond the community concept found in chapters 2 and 3, the model includes the entire book of Acts.
The book of Acts is more than a history lesson or doctrinal teaching, it is a Holy Spirit inspired life style. Restoring that which the Apostles established will require a restoration process of repentance and reformation.
For all that Martin Luther restored and reformed, he did not bring this reformation … this Apostolic life style called “The Way” throughout the book of Acts. Remember this. The full title for this book is ‘the Acts of the Apostles.’ But a better title would be… The Acts of the Holy Spirit in the church Jesus founded. This Christian life style MUST work in every culture and century to be valid. Since these are of the Holy Spirit and since the Holy Spirit is with (in) each of us today, we can accept this Christian model (lifestyle) as being applicable in our (any) culture today.
The reason we do not get First Century results today is because we do not practice First Century Christianity. Because of that the Reformation and Restoration process will not be complete until we see Him face to face. So, when He returns and then heads His church during the Millennium we shall see the Acts model perfected.
Not all that is practiced in many churches today was taught by the first century Apostles. And not all that the first century Apostles taught is practiced in very many churches today. Few! Few indeed.
Many modern Christians believe they are practicing the Acts model, but if they were to objectively read the book of Acts — the WHOLE book— they would then have to admit that they have never seen an Acts model church. I know I haven’t. The truth is . . . one will not practice truth until one first believes truth. But first we must hear the truth.
People ask me what kind of a Christian I am. Some think I am Pentecostal, some call me a Messianic, some an Evangelical. Guess what! I am all of them. That is what the first century church was. But I just call myself an ACTS MODEL Christian, or at least a wanna-be.
LISTEN TO A FULL EXPLANATION OF
THE ACTS MODEL ON THIS RADIO SHOW
When asked what the end-time church should look like, and how many churches I know of that observe the Acts mode, it is my observation that there are few to none. And when people –who have read the book of Acts many times– ask me what the Acts model is, I find that very few know. We tend to super impose our notions and traditions over the WORD —unwittingly and unknowingly— instead of simply doing what first century Christians did.
A BRIEF OVERVIEW OF THE ACTS MODEL CHURCH!
Jesus taught His 12 Apostles what He wanted them and us to teach and practice.
All 21 of His apostles (mentioned by name in the NT) established the Acts Model church.
They were Messianic, and we are grafted into Abraham… making us Jews.
They were Pentecostal. The Baptism in the Holy Spirit fell on them, and we can have that as well.
They were Evangelical, Fundamentalist, and we should also be getting people saved and sanctified and healed.
They were pre-millennial and –according to some church historians– most probably post tribulation or Pre Wrath. The Preterist eschatology came on the scene with Augustine, and a variation of Preterism, the Historist eschatology, came along with the Protestant Reformers. The Pre-Tribulation Rapture eschatology was introduced in the 1800’s by John Darby.
In summary the first century church —the Acts Model church— were Messianic and Pentecostal and Evangelical all at the same time.
Neither God nor His WORD has ever changed, and never will.
Looking around at the state of the church today what are some prime examples of this Acts Model we can mention here. Well, the pastor who interviewed me, Dan Gatlin, is a fine example. But you might not know him. But are you familiar with Rabbi Johnathan Cahn? I consider him a prime example of an Acts Model Christian and ministry.
Here are some of his YouTube messages and also his website.
Now Lets Expand on The Overview of the Acts Model:
- MESSIANIC. They were Messianic Jews who proclaimed Yeshua Hamashiach –Jesus is Messiah– and observed all the feast days . But very few Messianics practice the rest of the Acts model today, and seldom read anything but the Torah. I do not feel a need to wear the Tzitzi or the Kappa or wear a full beard, but I have found Messiah and He is Jesus Christ, very God! And He is Lord of my life!
- PENTECOSTAL. On the feast of Pentecost (Acts 1:8) the church was born when the baptism of the Holy Spirit fell on the 120 and then the 3,000. Paul described this manifestation for us in 1 Corinthians 12, 13, and 14. But Mark emphasized it’s importance as the signs that will accompany those who have believed in Messiah (Mark 16: 14-20).
The Disciples Commissioned
14 Afterward He (Jesus) appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at the table; and He reproached them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who had seen Him after He had risen. 15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned. 17 These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” Acts 2
- EVANGELICAL. They went out into the public and evangelized and healed the sick every day, not just on one day of the week.
15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned. Mark 16
- SABBATH KEEPERS. They met on Saturday (Shabbot) but taught that their rest was in Jesus and not in a day (Hebrews 4). So, we can congregate on Friday or Saturday or Sunday –any day– every day– and still not have broken any rules. Keep this in mind. The first day –Sunday– starts at sundown on Saturday. So if you have an evening service on Saturday, by God’s clock you are are actually having a Sunday service.
- HOME FELLOWSHIP OR HOUSE CHURCH. They met in homes, in the square and in the court yard, and sometimes in a Synagogue. The concept of a church or cathedral (with a pagan bell tower and round windows and long, narrow windows, etc) came into existence under Constantine, but not until then. Constantine simply ordered that the pagan temples be used for church services. Thus the origin of church buildings with our traditional bells and steeples. See if you can find those in the Bible.
The Protestant church has no idea how Catholic and westernized they still are. The Acts model is not a gentile form of Christianity. Very few Messianics or Pentecostals or Evangelicals follow the model Jesus and the Apostles gave them… unwittingly. We are all following the traditions of the elders.
- LOVE GIFTS REPLACED TITHING.
- Tithes and offering were for maintaining the temple and for living expenses for the Levitical Priests… which has all passed. No mention is made of tithing in the New Testament.
- The Acts church gave as they were led of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2 & 3). Some could give a lot, others little, others none. The only rule was that you could not lie to the Holy Spirit about how much you gave.
But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back some of the price of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not under your control? Why is it that you have conceived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.” ~Acts 5: 3-6.
- COMMUNITY. They met daily and went from house to house to fellowship and serve each other. There was no need amongst them.
- NON-CESATIONISM. The Holy Spirit initiated a divine act the cesationist have endeavored to cease. This cessationist view states that God became silent; all miracles —and the Acts model— ceased when the last apostle died, and that we are now in “the Bible era.” This view says: “Scripture alone speaks to us today” with no scripture to support that view. Fact is, the Spiritual gifts did not leave the church, churches left the Spiritual gifts. Not even the most ardent Bible believing critics deny the Spiritual gifts were once in effect. Although often used and abused, we see “Pentecostal” groups all the way through church history exercising these spiritual gifts.
READ MY SERIES OF ARTICLES ON CESSATIONISM
Dr. Charles Caldwell Ryrie, Th.D., Ph.D., stated that miracles and prophecy disappeared along with the apostles and prophets explicitly in his Bible commentary. Note his commentary on 1 Corinthians 13:11:
“After the church began, there was a period of immaturity, during which spectacular gifts were needed for growth and authentication (Heb. 2:3-4). With the completion of the New Testament and the growing maturity of the church, the need for such gifts disappeared.”
When Dr. Ryrie speaks of a period of immaturity, he is referring to the high water mark, the glory days of the church. To refer to this period as “immature” is to insinuate that the apostles and the authors of the New Testament were immature. Dr. Ryrie catches himself in a contradiction. By this logic, he should be able to pen for us a much more mature Scripture and doctrine than the writers of the New Testament gave us.
PREMILLENNIALISM: From all first century church fathers letters it is clear that they were all premillennial in their views. Meaning they believed the second coming would come at the end of the Tribulation period of 7 years as contrasted with the postmillennial view that Jesus will return at the end of the millennium… the 1,000 years of peace. It was also clear that they all held some understanding of the post-tribulation-rapture view. All the other views came centuries later out of Gnostic thought.
Gnostic philosophy had been the dominate religion of the middle east for centuries, and the Apostles had to deal with this mind set a lot. But despite their efforts they were not able to keep it out of the church, and Gnosticism is still very strong in most of Christian thought today, thanks primarily to Augustine. Just keep in mind that Gnostic philosophy –or any heretical religions– is never to be combined with what the Apostles taught.
CHURCH AGE. The view that I am presenting here states that “the Holy Spirit era” (the church age) started on the day of Pentecost and will continue without change until the Second Coming of Jesus. This is the Acts model.
I recommend the book “Pagan Christianity” by By Frank Viola and George Barna. This book shows us, vividly and painfully, how far we have drifted from the First Century (Acts model) church. Howard Snyder, Professor of History and Theology of Mission, Asbury Theological Seminary, author of “The Problem of Wineskins” and “The Community of the King,” said this about this book:
“Most contemporary Christians are massively ignorant as to how the church got to where it is today and of how much current church practice is due simply to accumulated tradition, with little or no roots in Scripture. This book provides a useful service in peeling back the layers of tradition, showing the origins of much that we today call “church.” Christians who want to be biblically faithful, regardless of their particular tradition or church form, can learn and benefit from the book.”
I have to warn that Barna holds to the Historist Eschatology and is heavily involved in the (Universalist) Emergent Church movement. The interesting thing about Historist is … as the name implies, they really know their church history. In short, they believe that (much more than premillennialist believe) that almost all Bible prophecy has been fulfilled and that the antichrist is in the past. They (and the Preterist) call us (premillennialist) Futurists because we believe the antichrist is coming in the future.
But back to Frank Viola’s book. History wise, it is an excellent book. When he gets into theology … watch out. But I have read a lot of church history, so I know his history lessons are solid.
By Christian community we really mean a Christian life style designed after the Acts model and the historic first, second and third century model for the church. The following passages from Acts 2 indicate that these believers were hearing from the Spirit of God, and were in unity as to what to do.
44 And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common;
45 and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need.
46 Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart,
47 praising God and having favor with all the people And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.
We should not assume that all these first century Christians sold everything they had, or that they gave all the money for whatever they sold, to the Apostles. They continued to live in their own houses (whether owned or rented) and being the heads of their households. The statement in Acts 2 that they held all things in common (common purse) was not a doctrine, it was what they were led to do at that time. We do not advocate the common purse practice for our pending community. It simply does not work today in our society (as you will see in a few paragraphs down). This was not socialism as some charge. They were free to participate or NOT participate (freedom of choice), whereas in a Socialist state you have no such freedom of choice, you are FORCED under penalty of law to participate.
In Acts 5 Ananias and Sapphira’s sin was lying about what they did, not over what they did.
1 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,
2 And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?
4 Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.
5 And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things.
6 And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him.
7 And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in.
8 And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much.
9 Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out.
10 Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband.
11 And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.
Many prophetic people have moved into NW ARK because the Holy Spirit has shown them that this area is especially protected. There have been numerous confirmations – Corry ten Boom and David Wilkerson among them.
When I drove into this area for the first time, the Lord told me that this is “A green island of survival.”
We want to go into community because it is the best answer to all that ails the church and the world. Community is the New Testament way to live…the scripture says that we will be known by our love for each other. Some charge that this is a socialist principle, not realizing they just said they do not believe the Bible and miss the message God is giving us in Acts 5.
As a living example, the Amish think of themselves as a community of believers. They own their own farms, but they work together to meet all the needs within the community, so between them all, they are almost totally self sufficient. Despite their success for centuries, the problem is, their doctrinal stance limits their ability to reach outside their community to minister to the physical and spiritual needs of others. They miss the Acts 2: 47 model of “praising God and having favor with all the people, And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.” Years ago most farming communities looked after each other much like the Amish do.
This quote came to me in an email from a trusted friend on my forum:
In Practice, most Amish don’t live exclusively in a communal group. They have 80 acre farms interspersed among “English” farms. And are personally responsible for choosing their crops and farming practices as observed within the Ordnung (a set of rules for Amish and Old Order Mennonite living). Having a big Christian group instead of many smaller ones will likely attract Big Brother sooner to kidnap your children (FLDS fashion) or flame your project (Davidian fashion). There already has been sheriffs taking Mennonites hostage for 8 hours because they didn’t have a ‘business license” for their coop.
The English colony at Jamestown, Virginia learned this lesson the hard way 400 years ago. One of the most important lessons of economics, which helped to set the course of America, was demonstrated in that colony. For the first two years, the colonists had a communal garden, and in those first two years, 50 percent of the colonists died each winter from starvation. The third year, they decided to give a plot of ground to every person, and let them each eat what they grew personally. No one ever starved at Jamestown again. Socialism doesn’t work because Socialists don’t work. And as Paul said in 2 Thessalonians 3:10, “if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either.”
The Acts Model for Sharing Among Believers
Jesus taught this brotherhood concept of giving to His Apostles, and they continued in these teachings. (Most scholars agree that the common purse concept seen in Acts 2 is not a doctrine.)
32And the congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul; and not one of them claimed that anything belonging to him was his own, but all things were common property to them.
33And with great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and abundant grace was upon them all.
34For there was not a needy person among them, for all who were owners of land or houses would sell them and bring the proceeds of the sales
35and lay them at the apostles’ feet, and they would be distributed to each as any had need.
36Now Joseph, a Levite of Cyprian birth, who was also called Barnabas by the apostles (which translated means Son of Encouragement),
37and who owned a tract of land, sold it and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet. (Acts 4)
1But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property,
2and kept back some of the price for himself, with his wife’s full knowledge, and bringing a portion of it, he laid it at the apostles’ feet.
3But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back some of the price of the land?
4“While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not under your control? Why is it that you have conceived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.”
5And as he heard these words, Ananias fell down and breathed his last; and great fear came over all who heard of it. (Acts 5)
The Acts model for Christian life style is very hard for our society to comprehend or accept … in fact it is flat-out REJECTED by most of Christendom! We cannot duplicate the first century Christians culture but we do have the teachings of Jesus that He expects us to make a part of our life style. He set the precedent for the model we see in Acts 4: 32-37 and in 1 Corinthians 14: 20-40.
THE OVERCOMER MODEL
There is but one purpose for life — to prepare for eternity. Life is measurably brief. Eternity is immeasurably endless. Ignorance alone compels us to trifle with our eternal destiny.
Personally, I don’t want to get over on the other side of eternity and then find out what I SHOULD have known — what I COULD have done — on THIS side of eternity to lay up treasures in heaven. How about you?
In Christendom, when it comes to the concept of laying up treasures in heaven, the common misconception is that we all enter eternity on an equal basis. One size fits all, they say. Therefore, doing good works, or gaining crowns to cast at Jesus’ feet often gets passed over (Rev. 4:10).
It is ridiculous to assume that those who do the minimum and just squeeze by will receive the same rewards in eternity as the patriarchs (like Moses and Paul) who did great exploits. God forbid!
Furthermore, it is unkind to rob naive saints of potential rewards by not teaching them the clear Word of God. That is what discipleship is all about.
We are being robbed if we are not being discipled, and we are robbing the next generation if we are not discipling them.
We know about the Great Commission and the gifts of the Spirit, and all that. The question here is: How can we learn what other “treasures” we can “lay up,” if they are not being talked about enough in our churches? For example, I believe that we need to hear more about becoming overcomers.
The subject of “overcomers” is somewhat controversial because we are challenged with three basic schools of thought, or theories, or factions.
It’s the old story where each of the three factions makes the identical statement of faith and then draws diverse conclusions. But since we are stuck with three theories, rather than one clear-cut absolute, they should be open to discussion.
In the Revelation letters to the seven churches (chapters 2 and 3), Jesus made special promises to “he who overcomes.” Here is what the Nelson Study Bible’s commentary says about these “overcomers.”
“There are three main views about the nature of the overcomer in vv. 7, 11, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21:
“The first view states that the promise to the overcomer is experienced by all believers. In other words, all genuine believers are overcomers, and failure to overcome means that there was no true salvation in that person’s case.
“The second view holds that the promises are experienced only by those believers who are faithful and obedient, and failure to overcome means there has been a loss of salvation.
The third view contends that the promises are experienced only by believers who are faithful and obedient, and failure to overcome means a loss of rewards, not salvation (see 1 Cor. 3:15).
None of these is without difficulties, but the correct interpretation would be the one that most consistently handles the details of all seven “overcomer” passages. This means the third view is most likely.
John is telling the Ephesians believers that they have spiritual obstacles to overcome. The problem in the church at Ephesus was a lack of fervent love for Christ. The church is commanded to ‘repent and do the first works’ (v. 5), which suggests a lapse in Christian living.
“The reward for those who obey is the promise that they will eat of the tree of life. Eating of the tree of life is a promise of special intimacy with the Lord, a promise of renewing the fellowship lost before the fall (see Rev. 22:14; Gen. 2:9; 3:22, 24; Prov. 11:30). The privileged access once denied Adam (see Gen. 3:24) will be enjoyed by the overcomer.” [End of quote/Emphasis added]
Now, back to Christ’s message to the seven churches and the three main views.
CHRISTIANS vs OVERCOMERS
Since Jesus was speaking to churches, He therefore was speaking to the Christians in those churches, not to unbelievers. It is obvious that He differentiated between ordinary Christians and overcomer Christians. Otherwise there was no point in Jesus calling on the Christians in each of these churches to become overcomers.
Here is my own synopsis of the shortcomings found in those churches.
(1) Various kinds of heretical teachings and teachers were tolerated.
(2) They left their first love.
(3) They were devoid of spiritual life and power, and
(4) were lukewarm in their zeal. To tell the truth, that sounds like a lot of our churches today.
Overcomers are not some special class. They are simply people from every generation who overcame the shortcomings found in these churches. They are promised wonderful privileges, special and exceptional rewards — treasures in Heaven — that are not promised to other Christians.
As the Nelson Study Bible’s Commentary says: “None of these (three main views) is without difficulties.” Here is one of those difficulties:
Does Christ want you to believe ALL and accept ALL that God has promised truly born again Christians (in the Bible)? If you do not believe ALL or accept ALL that Christ offers, are you rejecting a part of Christ?
Here is the Scripture reading that compelled me to ask these hard questions:
7. He that overcometh shall inherit ALL things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
9. And there came unto me one of the seven angles…and talked with me, saying, come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife. (Revelation 21 KJV)
Notice that no mention is made in these verses of those Christians spoken of in the seven churches who were not overcomers (Rev. 2-3). Only overcomers and the bride are mentioned here.
What would you do with Christians who are not counted among the overcomers? One alternative that is often used to identify these Christians can be found in the parable of the ten virgins (Matt. 25:1). Virgins are said to be a typology for Christians. Five had oil in their lamps, a typology for the Holy Spirit, and five did not. These five “Christians” were not invited to what appears to be the wedding of the bride of Christ. But yet we know they will spend eternity with Christ. So, where will they dwell in eternity? In the New Jerusalem (Rev. 21)? Or in the Nations (Rev. 22)?
This is a most uncomfortable subject, but it is one that must be resolved. Again, what would you do with this class of Christians who are not counted among the overcomers?
REVEALING THE BRIDE
TAKING THESE VERSES IN SEQUENCE AND IN CONTEXT REVEALS THE OVERCOMER TO BE THE BRIDE.
Most Bible Scholars agree that the letter to the seven church that Jesus had John write in the Revelation makes it real clear that the Overcomers in those seven churches were in a small minority among the Christians there.
“In examining the principle of the overcomers we must notice two things:
(1) that whenever the whole body fails, God will choose relatively few to stand for the whole body;
(2) that God calls these few to carry out His command so that through them He may later reach the many.” ~Watchman Nee [God’s Plan and the Overcomers]
But what makes Overcomers different from the majority of Christians? Let’s look at the promises made to the Overcomer that every Christian should covet and endeavor to achieve.
12 He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name. ~Revelation 3
21 He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. ~Revelation 3
In the Millennia when the New Jerusalem comes down (comes into view) Overcomers will dwell for eternity in the New Jerusalem.
These scriptures make it clear that Overcomers will not live in the nations but they shall rule over them.
26 He who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations; 27 and he shall rule them with a rod of iron, as the vessels of the potter are broken to pieces, as I also have received authority from My Father; 28 and I will give him the morning star. ~Revelation 2
21 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them… ~Revelation 21
9 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and spoke with me, saying, “Come here, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.”
10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, 11 having the glory of God. ~Revelation 21
22 I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined the city, and its lamp is the Lamb. 24 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. 25 In the daytime (for there will be no night there) its gates will never be closed; 26 and they will bring the glory and the honor of the nations into the city; ~Revelation 21
By keeping this article short and to the point, my hope is that you will notice that the promises made to the Overcomers will be fulfilled in the Bride when She is seen in permanent resident in the New Jerusalem.
Revelation chapters 21 & 22 make it clear that the Bride will rule over the nations. And the nations will travel to the New Jerusalem to pay homage and eat of the leaves on the trees along the river of life for healing.
1 Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb,
2 in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
By the end of the Millinnium (the 1,000 years) and the beginning of eternity the nations will be healed and will no longer isolated from the New Jerusalem.
If you will read this short article over several times you will begin to see why it would really be hard to get these verses say anything else. Not all Acts Model Christians are Overcomers, but all Overcomers will surely be Acts Model Christians.
So much more could be said about the church we see in the book of Acts and the eschatology we stumble over in the book of Revelation. My objective here was to open our eyes to these major insights and encourage us all to do our own research to gain a better understanding of these insight. I have been working on a book on this subject for a long time.
Only a small minority of born again Christians are Overcomers.
All the promises made to the overcomers are fulfilled in the Bride of Christ.
A majority of the Christians will spend eternity in the nations outside of the New Jerusalem.
The Overcomers will rule over the nations.
The leaves on the tree of life will heal the nations.
Which dwelling place are you preparing for? New Jerusalem? Or the nations?
Are the Acts Model and the Overcomer Model valid for today, or just for the first century church?
Did this expand for you the concept of what a Christian Prepper is, and expose the REAL preparation that is needed for these prophetic end-times. We are preparing to be more able to serve until the Bride Groom catches away His Bride. And we are preparing the Bride to be ready for that day. We are NOT just preparing to just survive. Survivalists are totally missing the point on what to prepare for and many of them will be the first… not the last… to parish
Christian Prepper Communities Make Sense:
Develop Self Sufficiency Skills
Divide and Conquer various Projects
Privacy, but with Intentional neighbors in sight
Like Minded Prepper Neighbors
Thrive in Good Times & Bad in a farming lifestyle
Far Easier to Take Vacations
People are Social Creatures
Permaculture as a self sufficiency technique
Aquaponics – Hydroponics – gardening intended
Self Reliant – self sufficient – Christ Centered
Security – in numbers and divine covering
Ozark mountains most ideal location in world
MUCH Cheaper than doing it alone
Looking to Homestead?
Why be a loan wolf homesteader where few if anyone near you is a prepper when you can homestead with like minded preppers?
Statistically, nearly three quarters of Americans move every five years … so chances are pretty good that you could be relocating again. Obviously, moves are often driven by major life transitions, like a new job, a marriage, or retirement. And sometimes you don’t really have much of a choice in your destination.
But quite often, you do have a choice. And that’s important, because …
One of the very best things you can do to live and survive hard times is to move where the likelihood of major events affecting you is minimized.
There are plenty of places like that in the United States … as long as you think critically and evaluate your options using the right criteria.
THE HOMESTEADER WHO INVITES APPRENTICES CONCEPT
How to contact Ken Uptegrove:
Andrew Strom Quote From His 9/10/2010 Newsletter
How to contact Ken Uptegrove:
Not Socialism or a Commune
To the point, the Acts model we see in chapters 2 and 3 is not Socialistic or a commune, it is as Jesus said in Matthew 25: ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’ Here is the whole quote:
31“But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne.
32“All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats;
33and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.
34“Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
35‘For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in;
36naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’
37“Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink?
38‘And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You?
39‘When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’
40“The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’
41“Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels;
42for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink;
43I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’
44“Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’
45“Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’
46“These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
So, the Acts model is to minister to Jesus by ministering to the needs of the brethren so we can be counted amongst the sheep rather than the goats.
How to contact Ken Uptegrove:
There is No Social, Economic, Political or Government Solution
In my opinion we are in the last days prophesied in the Bible. The Antichrist, the Beast System, and the One World Government WILL arise, and it will NOT be DEFEATABLE until God defeats it at the battle of Armageddon so the notions expressed in the below letter for activist political and armed resistance planning and organization will only walk into the enemies plans. Therefore we are in a time when this entire end-time scenario is being staged, and there are no social, economic, political or government solutions.
Realizing we are undoubtedly coming into the worst economic depression in history, I also hope to become totally self sufficient so we can go off the grid if necessary, but not just for the selfish, self preservation purpose of surviving. We intend to minister to our own community members, and be able to go into local towns and minister to others, even if our lives are at risk … as were the first, second, and third century Christians. I am willing to live or die for my Jesus. Accomplishing these two goals will have us prepared for any other eventualities that are seen by so many (tribulation, all kinds of disasters, antichrist, etc).
That is what the Apostles did. They were involved in Kingdom of God matters only. Jesus said, “Give unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s,” and so we abide by the laws of the land. I used to be an activist, but God took me out of all that and showed me the only solution is Jesus Christ and His Kingdom.
Non-Christian Community Concepts
By nature I am a quiet spoken diplomat, but when it comes to gathering in the core group of our community, I need to not only really be understood, but I need to clearly understand those that write to me. This year, a lady in NY City called me, and I had to tell her she is a New Ager and is not saved. But she is not the first one.
I see no comparison what-so-ever between First century Christians and the Branch Davidian mentality. Many people think they were Christians but if one studies their leader and doctrine you will see they were a demonic, sexually perverted, heretical cult living in a heavily armed fortress. Their well publicized prophecy that they would be attacked by government forces some day, and might have to fight to the death to defend themselves from persecution became a self-fulfilling prophecy (Yes, it is also true that the Government attack on them was unwarranted and illegal). In contrast, the Mennonite’s pacifist prophecy over themselves has preserved them for all these centuries.
Why the Mennonites Have succeeded
The Mennonites success in Community living comes from their emphasis on the Beatitudes, so I am studying Matthew 5 again. That is the mindset that works for them. I have never been a Mennonite and have no interest in becoming one (most of them are pacifists and Post Millennial), but they do have this (just a servant of God) Christian quality/virtue about them. ArkHaven will be neither pacifistic nor an armed fortress, but we can embrace these blessings from our Lord Jesus:
1And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:
2And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,
3Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
5Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
6Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
7Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
8Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
9Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
10Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
12Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. Matthew 5
Instruction for the Church
20 Brethren, do not be children in your thinking; yet in evil be infants, but in your thinking be mature.
21 In the Law it is written, “BY MEN OF STRANGE TONGUES AND BY THE LIPS OF STRANGERS I WILL SPEAK TO THIS PEOPLE, AND EVEN SO THEY WILL NOT LISTEN TO ME,” says the Lord.
22 So then tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe but to unbelievers; but prophecy is for a sign, not to unbelievers but to those who believe.
23 Therefore if the whole church assembles together and all speak in tongues, and ungifted men or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are mad?
24 But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an ungifted man enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all;
25 the secrets of his heart are disclosed; and so he will fall on his face and worship God, declaring that God is certainly among you.
26 What is the outcome then, brethren? When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation Let all things be done for edification.
27If anyone speaks in a tongue, it should be by two or at the most three, and each in turn, and one must interpret;
28 but if there is no interpreter, he must keep silent in the church; and let him speak to himself and to God.
29 Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others pass judgment.
30 But if a revelation is made to another who is seated, the first one must keep silent.
31 For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all may be exhorted;
32 and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets;
33 for God is not a God of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.
34 The women are to keep silent in the churches; for they are not permitted to speak, but are to subject themselves, just as the Law also says.
35 If they desire to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is improper for a woman to speak in church.
36 Was it from you that the word of God first went forth? Or has it come to you only?
37 If anyone thinks he is a prophet or spiritual, let him recognize that the things which I write to you are the Lord’s commandment.
38 But if anyone does not recognize this, he is not recognized.
39 Therefore, my brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak in tongues.
40 But all things must be done properly and in an orderly manner. (Emphasis added) ~1 Corinthians 14
References to speaking in tongues by the Church fathers are rare. Except for Irenaeus’ 2nd-century reference to many in the church speaking all kinds of languages “through the Spirit”, and Tertullian’s reference in 207 AD to the spiritual gift of interpretation of tongues being encountered in his day, there are no other known first-hand accounts of glossolalia, and very few second-hand accounts among their writings.
The view that I am presenting in these articles states that “the Holy Spirit era” (or church age) started on the day of Pentecost and will continue without change until the Second Coming of Jesus.
I think it will be healthy for us to be in local churches on Saturdays or Sundays. That keeps down the gossip that we are a weird cult group, and in fact keeps us from becoming one. I learned this from the YWAM’ers years ago (my wife was YWAM trained in Hawaii).
It will be essential for the core group of each community to mature in their Christian walk, as we will be involved in hard work as well as being of one heart from God’s perspective. It will make no difference what the people we serve believe, as we are there to be a witness for them. But it will be very important that everyone in any one given community to be as like-minded as possible for the sake of unity. The hard truth is that 90% of all communities, no matter what their core beliefs may be, fail!
By starting out with these goals in place we will be more able to start moving into living by miracles alone … if it comes to that. We can’t start there, but we had better be able to end there … just in case there are no options.
Amos 3:3 Can two walk together, except they be agreed?
Too many are so desirous of this community ideal that they think doctrinal agreement isn’t a big deal. Sadly when they jump in without regard to doctrine, they end up hurt. We all require doctrinal purity (as we understand it), but we also are more comfortable within our own culture group, so it is important to find like minded people who we can be comfortable with to join in a community. In short, everyone in the community must be as like-minded as possible if it is to work.
(1Pe.3:8) Finally, be ye all likeminded, compassionate, loving as brethren, tenderhearted, humble minded: (9) not rendering evil for evil, or reviling for reviling; but contrariwise blessing; for hereunto were ye called, that ye should inherit a blessing.
The smallest concept of community is marriage between a man and a woman. Unless the man and woman can agree, they will certainly have marital problems. So if this is desirable or mandatory for a husband and wife, how much more so with a group of people?
How to contact Ken Uptegrove:
All that has been said on this page incorporates our vision, but now I need to summarize it in a minimum of words.
God has compelled me to believe that ArkHaven is (in typology) an ark, as in Noah’s Ark and Ark of the covenant…God’s promise to protect and provide for His called out ones. No one location is big enough or close enough for everyone to come to, so ArkHaven hopes to train, equip, and mentor other committed believers with the same vision to set up other communities all over the world. We will not form this community for the sole purpose of living this life style, but to be in a position to survive so we can help others survive when a depression and/or national disaster strikes. But survival is not our ultimate goal either, our goal is to minister Jesus Christ. That is our vision.
ArkHaven Ministries seeks to form a community of intentional neighbors in north west Arkansas that is totally self sufficient. By self sufficient we mean that we will provide our own food and energy sources, build our own buildings, and not need to buy, sell, or trade in order to sustain ourselves. The goal is to not need any public utilities or merchandise of any kind because we are providing our own. The reason is, either they will not be available anyhow, or they will require us to agree to conditions we find contrary to the Bible, the Word of God (i.e., the sign of the beast) to buy, sell, or trade.
Among those who believe God has called them to prepare, there seems to be two distinct groups. One group has the resources to purchase all they need but do not have the time and/or skills, and/or fellow participants to make it happen. The other group has the skills and an income that will sustains their present standard of living but lack the funds to prepare adequately.
I am wondering why these two groups can’t each give what the other needs.
In our family Lora loves to work with livestock and I am the horticulturist. Even though I am a computer professional I am also proficient in most of the building skills and have a lot of gardening experience. Oh, and I have been in excellent health all my life, and still am at age 84.
In reference to our doctrinal group, we define ourselves simply as born again, Spirit filled, pre millennial, Acts Model believers who have laid down our lives to our Lord and Savior, and who believe the Bible is the Holy, infallible Word of God. We are Bible oriented, not experience oriented. That alone separates us from some doctrinal groups, but at the same time identifies us with others.
WHY: We anticipate the coming of troubled times happening BEFORE the official “Great Tribulation” comes. Even as you read this message, millions of Christians in China and other nations are under terrible tribulation and persecution and martyrdom on this very day. To say it can’t happen in America is not being realistic. After all, have we forgotten that there have been three wars and one depression in the continental United States, so why can’t there be another one? But to say we should prepare for such an eventuality as best we can is realistic.
- It will take a lot of Godly wisdom to know what to prepare for, and how to prepare for it. Understanding how to prepare will take Christians like you receiving a revelatory word from God, and then being obedient to move on the direction God has given you. We have to live it before we can give it.
- I (Kenneth Uptegrove) am reporting on what my wife (Lora) and I feel God has shown us and many others. There are hundreds of like-minded people on our email list.
How: Providing our own food, water, power and septic system, such as….
· Truck farming: Hydroponics, greenhouses, gardens, berry bushes, fruit trees, grains,, all done by the natural and organic method. We anticipate that insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, gasoline, and just about everything needed to do conventional farming will no longer be available. We will have to revert back to the way farming was done, centuries ago, before all these things became available, and that is the natural and organic method.
· Animal husbandry: Chickens, ducks and geese, fish farm, milking and meat goats, draft horses, etc.
We are considering selling eggs and live chickens to health food stores and farmers markets and other pick-up points. Free range, natural and organic chickens and eggs sell very well. Here is an example of such such an operation. We buy their eggs from a natural foods store they deliver to.
· Either an artesian well or a large spring with our own water tower and pipelines. A lake that has an outlet to keep it clear is ideal.
· Either a large wooded area or a natural gas well on the land for an energy source.
· Several 500 gal. propane gas tanks are an option.
· Solar panels and large Stirling engines to power generators and equipment work well here, but 50 ft. wind generators don’t work here because of the mountains.
· The kind of septic system that purifies waste water so well that it can be used to water a lawn. It must be admitted that many poor people in these hill only use a 50 gallon tank and a drain field for a septic system.
· We will always be dependant upon God as our source and our hope, utilizing what He makes available for us to use to survive and to serve all who come to us.
·Buying food, seeds, gasoline, and many other things in bulk greatly reduces the price of things. This will be needed until we are (or are forced to be) self sufficient.
·Christian agricultural cooperatives: Different local communities or families (within walking distance from each other?) interacting and working with each other.
Again, this is part of the Intentional neighbor concept.
We will not only provide food for ourselves and sell it on the market, but we hope to also have food for the poor and needy in the area.
WHERE: Somewhere in the extreme Northwest corner of Arkansas (Carroll, Madison counties). Talk to us about what the Lord is prompting you to do.
HOW: It is important that you read this. What is the solution to bringing all these concepts into one setting that will work long term? Historically no community concept has worked that didn’t come out of a culture with a long history (like the Mennonites), so we don’t want to do over again what has failed repeatedly. Einstein calls that the definition of stupidity. But here is a solution that will work because it has been proven to work for millennia.
IS GOD PROMPTING YOU TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT US?
Would you like to participate with us in our common vision with your prayers and financial support?
Would you like to contact Ken to talk about and pray over what the Lord is showing you?
CLICK HERE TO SEE REAL ESTATE IN NORTH WEST ARKANSAS OZARKS
Make a Discovery Trip to NW ARK. We will be glad to be your native guide, and even take you to our church in the area we want to move into.
BOOKS BY DAVID WILKERSON: God gave me this vision in 1974,actually 24 years before Wilkerson wrote these books. If you find David Wilkerson a credible man of God that speaks the truth of God, these books should be on your “must read” list.
- America’s Last Call. On the Brink of a Financial Holocaust (1998)
- God’s Plan To Protect His People In The Coming Depression (1998)
How to contact Ken Uptegrove:
We see the need to prepare our families (physically, mentally, and spiritually) for the hard times we see rushing in on America and the world … very soon.
Worse yet, we feel alone and misunderstood. The church, our family and friends, and indeed the whole world, seems to be asleep and oblivious.
We are looking for like minded Christians who are being led of the Lord as we are (being like minded), so we can encourage and assist each other. We encourage those of other mind sets to form their own forums and stay out of this one.