How can we know the way forward?  Thomas said. “Lord, we do not know where you are going.”  The way forward is into the acknowledged presence of the Father.  Jesus described Himself as The Way and The Truth and The Life (John 14:5-6).  By His Spirit, Jesus leads those that are willing (John 7:16-17) into the presence of the Father.  This is the journey for which Foundations has girded up.

Oppression and Freedom

The Jews were hard pressed in Egypt.  Their oppression prepared them for freedom from oppression.  They were willing to go wherever God led them.  They did not have the energy to argue what is often today simply, mimsy-pimsy doctrine.  Neither did they line up as Orthodox Jews, Reformed Jews, liberal Jews or Conservative Jews.  They didn’t line up as Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes or any other sect; and had they been ‘Christians’ they would not have lined up as Roman Catholic, Anglican, Baptist, Methodist, Pentecostal, Messianic…. and so forth.  The Jews lined up and left Egypt under God’s powerful hand as the people of God.  There were no labels, no point of difference.

The Church in the West has lost its way, particularly since Christianity ceased to be oppressed.  The Church lost its vision and understanding of being the people of God.  Having become a doctrinally driven entity, fault lines developed which splintered, fractured, and fragmented the ekklesia of God.  Instead of being willing to do God’s will, the Church degenerated into arguing and falling out over points of doctrine.  The new, cerebral approach to the faith led to theological confusion and the splitting of denominations.  The Church behaved more like the world than the world did; particularly when opposing sides turned to killing one another.  It is the antithesis of Scripture – “If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ yet hates his brother, he is a liar.  For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen” (1 John 4:20).

Today, some are returning to the root understanding of the faith, that the wild olive (Gentile) branch is grafted into the cultivated tree (Romans 11:11-31), and can very easily be removed should it become arrogant toward Israel.  Jesus was born a Jew, lived and died as a Jew, and rose again a Jew.  Even so, differences in understanding concerning the biblical festivals (for instance), are used to refuse fellowship with one another, and the fragmentation continues, and love in Christ dies.  Loving one another as Christ loves us is shelved, as we dispute and fall out over the interpretation of words – “Remind the believers of these things, charging them before God to avoid quarrelling over words; this is in no way profitable, and leads its listeners to ruin.  Make every effort to present yourself approved to God, an unashamed workman who accurately handles the word of truth.…” (2 Timothy 2:14-15).  We cannot handle the word of truth correctly if we do not handle it and one another with love in Christ Jesus.  We cannot hear the word of truth correctly if we do not love.  Love (not sentimentality) covers – “Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8).  Love and freedom go hand in hand; when we refuse to love one another we hold one another in bondage, however polite that bondage may appear.  “God is love.  Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.  In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him” (1 John 4:16-17)

The world is full of fakes and counterfeit in all areas of life.  Jesus is all and is in all; and when we are truly living for Him in the power of His Spirit, the true God is made visible in His people on earth.  “…and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.  Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, or free, but Christ is all and is in all.  Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.…” (Colossians 3:11-12).  “For in Him all things were created, things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities. All things were created through Him and for Him.  He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:16-17).  It causes one to sing out with the Psalmist – “My soul will make its boast in the Lord; the humble will hear it and rejoice.  Magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together” (Psalm 34:2-3), and with Mary, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour!” (Luke 1:46-47).

Foundations is a movement of the people of God; people that are willing to do God’s will, serving Him together.  A forward movement which began at the first conference, is gaining momentum.  The regional conferences, that are a new development this year, mean that the forward momentum can gather at pace.  It is a movement of mature Christians, and is fertile soil for others to flourish and grow as they reach out to the Lord.  I see Foundations as a ray of hope for those whose heart’s desire is to follow Jesus, rather than to be bogged down with denominational overload.  From my point of view, Foundations offers a ray of hope for the Church to live on in this land, and not to die.  We are so often fed, read and hear only bad news.  Foundations is good news!

To be an effective leader, one must be willing to be led.  Those in Foundations leadership have the wonderful blessing of being led by God.  One can understand that this movement of God (thankfully, it is not a movement of ‘personalities’) will grow as oppression of the Church increases.  People that are made ready, and that are prepared to do God’s will, will join God’s movement of people walking in His Way, being led by His Truth, and coming into His Life in all its fullness.  You cannot be in the Way without the Truth; and you cannot have the Life without being in the Way and the Truth.  Learning of the Father means following and learning of the Son by His Spirit.  Anyone that is willing to do His will, will know of the teaching, whether it is from God or from man (“If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself” – John 7:17).  The movement of God’s people includes the teaching of Jesus, the Word; it includes instruction in the ways of God.  It is not a headless movement of experience and emotionalism.  Foundations is a movement of people that love and appreciate being in fellowship with God and with one another.  “God has given us this command: whoever loves God must also love his brother” (1 John 4:21).  “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).

Moaning and complaining did set in after Israel left Egypt and wandered in the desert for a time, but this drove the leadership to the Lord.  Opposition and oppression are forces that drive us to God, and in this sense are to be welcomed as friends.  “We are pressed on all sides, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.…” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9).  Complainers and moaners have risen and fallen during one or two conferences, but this is fuel to drive the people onward towards the goal; it does not stop the momentum.  “We love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19).

More information on regional conferences and Foundations 8 Annual Conference at:

http://saltshakers.com/main/foundations

Blessings and shalom,

Malcolm (19.10.2016)

Author/Teacher: