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Jun 08, 2009

Decerning the Times

by Rick Joyner


Nearly twenty years ago, Bob Weiner, John Elliott, and I were doing a radio show together when the Spirit came upon us and we were shown 500,000 small home groups being raised up all over America. These were places where new believers would come for salvation, healing, deliverance, and basic instruction in sound doctrine. These would also be used to raise up some of the great future leaders of the church, who not only discovered their purpose in these small groups, but were trained and equipped to walk in their purpose. In this way, these home groups would result in a strengthening of the whole church. These also became the greatest force for the gospel and the fulfillment for the Great Commission.

Many such home groups have already been raised up, but we are about to see a new wave of them being spawned, which will be a springboard for another Great Awakening in America. This is important for us to understand because when we are facing large problems, we often think that the remedy must come from something large when the main strategy of the Lord is to use something small. This seemed to be a basic message of Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. There were big battles to be fought by large armies, but the victory was won by two little hobbits.

For this reason, I am devoted to helping the church mobilize in large and powerful forces that can have a great impact, but I am also always looking for the unknown and humble who the Lord will use for His ultimate victory. Both have their places, and we are half-blind if we can only see one or the other.

It was with small gatherings that Wilberforce helped change the spiritual and moral fabric of Britain in his time from one of deep darkness and bondage, to one of the most spiritual and moral nations ever. Being engaged in politics has its place, but if it is not from a strong spiritual and moral foundation, it will not bring lasting change. The strength of the changes in Wilberforce's time was fellowship of these small groups where those in the frontline of the culture war battles constantly encouraged and strengthened one another. This is likewise a reason why so many home groups are being spawned by churches in America now. They are individually small, but together they are destined to have a great impact.

When I was given the expansive three-day vision that I wrote about in the book, The Harvest, home groups were a main part of the strategy of the Lord for casting the net for the great last-day harvest. Not only did great leaders arise from them, but they helped recover true, personal discipleship, which is the most basic way that the Lord prepares and matures His people for their purpose. This is not to negate or compete with large congregational meetings, which are also important for vision casting, corporate worship, and "apostolic teaching," just as it was in the first church in Jerusalem, but discipleship is the basis for maturing in the Christian life.

To survive in the times to come, the American church is going to have to both unify and decentralize. These may seem like contradicting strategies, but they are not. True Christians, who hold to the basic truths of the gospel, must resolve to come together and work together. Over the last few months, this has been happening in a remarkable way. It is also remarkable how fast the church is starting to change, and will change maybe even faster than our democracy is being changed by the Obama Administration.

This new unity in the church is being driven because of foreboding created by the demeanor and laws being passed by the Obama Administration, which seem to be specifically designed to open doors for persecuting the church. Even though it is very sad to see this happening in our nation, which was begun and built by those seeking freedom, especially religious freedom, nevertheless these present trends are working to strengthen and galvanize the church like possibly nothing has ever done before. This is just at the threat of persecution, or some minor persecution, so how much more will this happen when the actual persecution intensifies? The future of the church is going to get brighter and more glorious as these times unfold, and the opposition is going to help this.

The church is getting the message that it must join together or die. However, the joining is not under a single organization, and will likely end up not under any visible organization. Some of the most powerful forces in the world are not seen, such as the force of gravity. God's government, or authority in this age, is mostly unseen, built on relationships more than organization. Therefore, the coming organization of the church will be built more on relationships than organization. This is how we are joining and yet decentralizing at the same time.

This does not mean that the organizations or denominations will cease to exist, but even these are beginning to change their strategies fast. With this devotion to embrace change, they are becoming like new wineskins again, flexible and expandable. This is very exciting to see.

Brilliant new strategies for communications networks are taking shape to enable Christians to mobilize when needed to aid and protect other churches and Christians from such things as legal or media attacks. Since the secular media seems to have almost completely abandoned truth and objectivity, the resources are coming together for a Christian media that could quickly eclipse the quality and resources of all other media. None of this would have happened without the threat to our basic freedoms. These can all help through the coming times, but the main thing we can do to prepare for any circumstance is to develop relationships, first with God and then with His people.


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  1. Gravatar

    The article pretty much captures where my heart is these days.I've learned to learn from everybody televagelists or the person on the street but always attempting to feel Gods' leading every second of my life.

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    One Big Word AMEN

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    Forgive me; I have a hard time with the messenger, so it makes the message hard to digest. I know, I's something I'll need to deal with. At the same time, as much as parts of it resonate with us, we also need to be careful of folks like this seizing an opportunity to exert undue influence over the Body. Sorry if I sound cynical and I admit to being so, but something in my heart just doesn't sit well with the ministry of extravagance that Morningstar has presented us in the past and appears to be positioning itself for in the future. You can bet as the "free range" movement of the Spirit gains momentum there will be those who try to step into the perceived void of leadership...which isn't really a void at all, but rather the leading of the Lord. Am I wrong to feel this way?

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    Mike, you are not wrong and neither am I - I may not be right, but I am not wrong!!!! I feel so much like you do and it is so good to hear someone speak out about how he feels. There is still a lot happening and names are changed for programmes in the churches so that it sounds so good and looks different. Makes me want to vomit - always having to do something new to attract people. Ugh!! Was cells, now it is life groups - what next.

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    I actually like Rick Joyner. I have been reading some of his articles for the last several years, and even where I think he may err, (and who am I to judge him), I truly believe his heart is in the right place. I think every single one of us has grown and changed our minds about a number of beliefs over the years. Rick is very proactive in his approach to help people and to equip them in practical ways. I think it's wonderful that he believes in unity. I love the shift that I see happening across all sorts of denominational/theological lines within the Church. The Lord is doing something beautiful and extraordinarily powerful within His people, and I am proud of Darin for publishing this article. It's just another example of embracing the truth, and all truth belongs to God.

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    cindy g

    I just found this site today; am loving the articles.Jaylen - I also respect Bro Rick, and see him as a true father of the faith in our time. We need voices of reson like his. I've been seeing this same thing - the Church 'decentralizing'and going to smaller, more organic groups. Also, the darkening of the world around us is definitely affecting in mostly good ways - at least among those who stay near the Lord no matter what. Thanks Darin, for publishing this article here.

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    Darin Hufford

    Cindy for more up to date writings you can check out the blog page. I think you'll enjoy it.

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    Sue Ellen Jones

    Thank you, Lovin' this word in Michigan. 2009 was the year our "Simple Gathering" began - 3 families meeting in each other's homes. Now still going strong and loving it while other groups have sprung up, eccumentical groups. Some of them are looking to expand, divide and plant new "Simple Gatherings" Sigh, simple is, well,simply devine.

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