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Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Notes: Final Exam: History of the Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements

History of the Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements


*The following are my personal notes taken from studying for the Final Exam for my class on the History of the Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements. Because these are final exam notes and not a formal paper, I have not bothered with citations. However, reference texts are below for anyone interested in studying further. Please note: These are only rough sketches. Details are left out for time-sake. 


1. The Holiness Movement


Tracing their origins back to John Wesley and the Methodists, Wesleyan-Arminian in theology, the Holiness Movement dealt with the sin-life of the believer. Observing that "getting saved" wasn't enough to change the life of a person, they began to seek Christian Perfection. This lead to a belief in a second work of grace called "Sanctification". If sought this experience, they could be instantly transformed and become sinless. It would out of this movement that some within the Holiness Movement (late 1800s-1900) would begin to seek the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, kicking off the Pentecostal Movement.

Although many examples of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, including speaking in tongues, can be found cited in previous moves and ministries, no doctrine around the experience had yet been debated in the halls of theological circles. That would come in 1901. 

2. The Pentecostal Movement


Although most Pentecostals would trace their origins to Acts 2, the modern Pentecostal movement officially began on January 1, 1901, when Ages Ozman spoke in tongues at Charles Fox Parham's bible college. The movement was characterized by the following points:

  1. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is for today.
  2. The evidence of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is speaking in unknown tongues. 
a. Charles Fox Parham was a preacher operating out of Topeka, Kansas. He led a team of students to begin praying, fasting, and studying the scriptures while they awaited the Holy Spirit like the original Apostles, leading to the first tongues-speaking by Agnes Ozman. Combined with his Faith Healing ministry, these events led to The Topeka Revival. The rest of the students were filled with the spirit and people began to flock to the meetings until a few years later when excitement lost its momentum. Then Parham lost funding for the school and had to close it down.

b. William Joseph Seymour studied under Parham in Texas and then took those teachings with him when he was asked to come to California to preach. He was asked to pastor a Holiness Church but was kicked out after two weeks for his teaching on tongues. He started a prayer meeting at the house in which he was staying (on Bonnie Brea Street). After laying hands on Edward Lee who then spoke in tongues, a revival broke out. Meeting became so large that the porch collapsed under the weight of all the people. 

c. This break out of the Holy Spirit became known as The Azusa Street Revival. Before very long, they were forced to move from the house into a run-down building on Azusa Street in Los Angeles, California. This resulted in the formation of the Apostolic Faith Mission (AFM) in that building (on Azusa Street). 

Note: From these meetings, nearly all of the original founders of Pentecostal Denominations can be tied. The leaders of these churches either visited this revival or were directly affected by someone who had been there. John G Lake was among those who visited. 

d. William H. Durham, and his Finished Work Theology (1910) saw sanctification as complete at salvation but worked out in the life of a believer as they gradually mature. Seymour was a devout "Second Blessing/Sanctification" believer.  Durham was preaching for Seymour at Azusa Street, but when Durham began preaching "Finished Work" Seymour rushed home and locked him out. That became a permanent split between them. 

This Finished Work doctrine replaced the Second Blessing Sanctification doctrine for many Pentecostals. Over 390 denominations adhere to this Finished Work, including Assemblies of God, International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, and the Open Bible Churches.
 
e. Aimee Semple McPherson was a preacher evangelist who rocked the world. She built a 5,300 seat church in Los Angeles (Angelus Temple), founded the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, founded the Lighthouse of International Foursquare Evangelism (LIFE) Bible College. She held large meetings of thousands all over the country, she used creative means of theater and music productions. In an age when women were not involved in things outside of the home, Sister Aimee broke down every barrier.

f. Classical Pentecostals: The term "Classical" was added to the moniker around 1960 to separate the established Pentecostal Churches from the newly forming Neo-Pentecostal movement working its way through the older churches. These Neo-Pentecostals were eventually relabeled, Charismatics. 


David Johannes Du Plessis, Mr. Pentecost, was a link between the Pentecostal Movement, Ecumenical Movement, and the resulting Charismatic Movement, operating from 1935-1987. He began in the Pentecostal Movement and always identified as a Pentecostal. His work began as attempts to bring the various Pentecostal Bodies into unity; however, he was then thrust into the work of bringing the Pentecostal Message to the old churches, paving the way for a fresh wave of the Holy Spirit that would become known as the Charismatic Movement, or Charismatic Renewal. 

David's primary message was twofold:

  • Holy Spirit: You cannot (sustainably) grow a church with programs and organizations alone. You cannot grow without the power of the Holy Spirit. Unless you are empowered, your church remains cold and dead. In other words, the Baptism of the Holy Spirit was required to be a healthy, vibrant, and growing church.
  • Missions: Sending missionaries and evangelists to preach doctrine is a dead lifeless activity. Rather, give men an experience with God that touches them, then send them out to witness to that experience. They need not be educated to be effective. It was the organic person-to-person style of the Pentecostals that allowed them the meteoric rise they enjoyed. 
As a result of his work, Du Plessis was “…the only Pentecostal invited to the third session of the Second Vatican Council in Rome in 1964. ”. He went on to be noted by Time Magazine (Sept 9, 1974, 66) as one of the key shapers and shakers of Christianity. He was given several prestigious awards and received an honorary doctorate from Bethany Bible College.


3. Charismatic Movement

On Easter Sunday, 1960, Dennis Joseph Bennett of Saint Mark's Episcopal Church in Van Nuys, California announced he had received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues. Bennett resigned to avoid controversy and was handed a struggling church (St. Luke's Episcopal) in Seattle. They hoped to hide him away in a church that would soon be closing its doors; however, a revival struck that facility and with Bennett's leadership it became a thriving center of life.

This Neo-Pentecostal movement worked its way into all the old church denominations throughout the 1960-1970s. They adopted much of the flavor of Pentecostalism but avoided the label. They adopted the name Charismatic instead as it was more theologically and culturally appealing. 

Prior to the 1960s, people who received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit either kept it private or left their church to join a Pentecostal Church. As a result of this renewal, many stayed within their original churches. 

3.1 The Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR)

Pope John XIII prayed that the Second Vatican Council might be a "New Pentecost" for the Catholic Church. Among those involved in the Vatican II was David Du Plessis, Mr. Pentecost himself. In 1967, several Catholic faculty at Duquesne University had been reading David Wilkerson's book The Cross and the Switchblade (1963) and John Sheeill's book The Speak with Other Tongues (1964). The faculty and students went on to attend a prayer meeting attended by those from the Protestant Charismatic Movement (Neo-Pentecostal Movement), and several students received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit at that meeting.  This kicked off the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. 


4. The Third Wave Revival was birthed into the churches that did not hold strict "denominational" ties. These are churches that remained independent and largely Evangelical in their beliefs. The Third Wave of the Holy Spirit worked its way into these independent and sometimes denomination-life organizations. Calvary Chapel, The Vineyard, and the British New Church Movement were all birthed out of this wave. A point of divergence among this movement was that they made room for all the gifts of the spirit but did not generally hold that the gift of tongues was "the" sign of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit; but rather "a' sign. 


5. Healing Revival: Simultaneous and Overlapping with the Pentecostal Movement was the Healing Revival. Healing was part of the Pentecostal Movement from its inception. Charles Parham, a faith healer from his Holiness days, kicked off the Pentecostal Revival in Topeka Kansas with Faith healing. 

At the root of the Healing Revival was the fact that the men involved attracted Non-Pentecostal followings. The movement influenced the Charismatic Renewal of the 1960-1970s. 

William Marrion Branham (1909-1965) was the initiator of the post-WWII Healing Revival. He claimed that as a result of a visiation of an angel, he was given the power to heal and even discern people's illnesses and thoughts. Walter Hollenweger, who interpreted for him in Zurich, "is not aware of any case in which he was mistaken in the detailed statements he made". He also lived and dressed moderately which made the common people big fans. In his day, his meetings were the largest ever held in some cities, and he preached throughout the world. 

Granville Oral Roberts, known as Oral Roberts publicly, was "America's Premier Healing Evangelist". Roberts, a Pentecostal himself, launched his healing ministry in 1947 at a campaign in Enid, OK. Throughout his life and ministry, Oral Roberts conducted Healing Crusades and meetings around the United States and world. He was the first Pentecostal to take advantage of the Television as a means of spreading the Gospel. By the 1970s, he was the best known preacher in the USA and held a strong loyalty among his followers. Although his active role in the lime-light faded in later decades , he was still influential and active in ministry until his death in 2009.

6. Three Additional Movements: Although far more questionable, there were three additional movements that warranted further discussion. As with previous movements, each came with its own controversy. 

The Shepherding Movement, AKA the Discipleship Movement, came about in 1974. "The Shepherding Movement taught that every believer needed to submit to a "Shepherd" or pastoral leader". Pastors and leaders should also submit one to another. Key leaders of this moment were: Bernard (Bob) Mumford, DOC; Derek Prince, Philosopher; Charles Simon, Southern Baptist; among others. Several influential leaders, such as Pat Robertson and Kathryn Kuhlman, denounced this movement as a cult. The movement took a turn for the worse when a doctrine developed asking people to devote themselves to their leaders in Covenant Relationships, often considered lifelong. Eventually, all but Simson left the movement and renounced it. Charles Simson held firmly to the ideals and preferred the term: Covenant Movement; and formed the Fellowship of Covenant Ministers and Churches. As of the time of the article Charles Simson pastored Covenant Church, Mobile AL. 

Although not entirely wrong in its initial premise, this movement went so far off the reservation that they became an abusive cult… 

((( Holy Cow! This is the root of the Spiritual Abuse I witnessed and experienced in two separate churches in Southern California. Wow, just realized that! Is it good and right to submit to authority? Yes. But just like Jesus earned the right for our submission to Him, you have to die to yourself and become a servant if you want people to follow your leadership. I swear, if I hear the word "armor bearer" in a church, I'm out! ))

The Toronto Blessing, AKA Father's Blessing, was an outpouring of the Holy Spirit at the Toronto Airport Vineyard (TAV) in Jan 1994 led by Pastor John Arnott. In addition to those hallmarks that Pentecostals were used to (speaking in tongues, being laid out in the spirit, even shaking at times), this outpouring resulted in some odd behaviors that made some uncomfortable, including making barnyard animal sounds. These more odd behaviors led John Wimber of Vineyard (who himself was kicked out of Calvary Chapel for manifestations of the Holy Spirit) to kick out John Arnott. Thus, the name was changed to the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship. Arnott wrote a book on the experience called The Father's Blessing. Thousands were affected by the movement directly and many more as the movement spread throughout the world into various congregations. It could not have been all bad, as people were saved, healed, and brought closer to Christ as a result. But John Arnott himself was not clear on some of the odder manifestations, reasoning that it was God's business not his. 

The Brownsville Revival, began on purpose, so to speak. Reverend John Kilpatrick, of the Brownsville Church in Pensacola, Florida, had been praying with his congregation for some time to ask God for a revival. For several years, they held a Sunday Evening Prayer Service. No sermon or alter calls, jut prayer and communion; asking God for revival. On Father's Day, 1995 (Sunday, June 18, 1995); Evangelist Steve Hill was invited to speak and the Holy Spirit fell during that service. Steve Hill canceled his future engagements and held revival services there at Brownsville from 1995-2000. In some cases, there were people waiting 14 hours or more to gain entrance into the services. The Movement became broiled in controversies under alleged financial mishandling, including non-payment of state taxes on merchandise sold at the meetings. There were also claims that leaders took huge salaries and put pressure on the people to give large amounts. Steve Hill officially ended his involvement on Father's Day 2000, exactly five years later. 

Side Note: The Assemblies of God (AG) had a fairly sketchy past. Although primarily Theological and not Racial in origin, in 1914, a largely white majority of 300 Pentecostal Ministries and laymen split from the African-American led Church of God In Christ (COGIC), under Bishop Charles Mason. They didn't even invite him to the assembly where they began the process. The creation of the AG officially ended the racial integration and unity that had become the hallmark of the Pentecostal Movement to that point. The finer point of the separation was over Sanctification as a "Finished Work" vs a "Second Grace". Although the Theological Reason for the separation was sound, the racial lines leave open questions about how it was handled. The AG made another terrible blunder when they revoked David Du Plessis' AG Preaching credentials. Having been birthed out of a church split, it's understandable that they would be wary of his active work with the old churches that treated them so harshly; however, they were clearly wrong in hindsight. Luckily, they corrected this error returning his credentials 20 years later (1962-1980). 

References

NIDPCM. "DU PLESSIS, DAVID JOHANNES." In The New International Dictionary of the Pentecostal and Charismatic (NIDPCM), by Stanley M. Burgess, & Eduard M. van der Maas, 589-592. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2002.

Cauchi, Tony. David du Plessis 1905 - 1987. 2004. http://www.revival-library.org/index.php/pensketches-menu/american-pentecostal-pioneers/david-du-plessis (accessed 9 28, 2020).

Dart, John. "OBITUARIES: David J. du Plessis; Force in Pentecostal Movement." Los Angeles Times. 2 5, 1987. https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1987-02-05-mn-978-story.html (accessed 9 28, 2020).

Du Plessis, David. "David DuPlessis - "Forgiveness" June 30, 1967 pm." Elim Campmeeting. Lima, NY.: YouTube; Hearn, Jay, 1967. Audio Recording Posted to YouTube.

Du Plessis, David, The Spirit Bade Me Go : The Astounding Move of God in the Denominational Churches. Alachua, FL: Bridge-Logos, 1970, 2004.

Du Plessis, David, and Bob Slosser. A Man Called Mr. Pentecost: David Du Plessis as Told to Bob Slosser. Plainfield, NJ: Logos International, 1977.

Encyclodpedia.com. Encyclodpedia.com. 9 18, 2020. https://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/educational-magazines/du-plessis-david-johannes-1905-1987 (accessed 9 28, 2020).

Hollenweger, Walter. "Two extraordinary Pentecostal ecumenists: the letters of Donald Gee and David Du Plessis." The Ecumenical Review, 52 no 3, 7 2000: 391-402.

NKJV. Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible: New King James Version. Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers; Thomas Nelson, 1984.

Robeck, Cecil M. "A Pentecostal looks at the World Council of Churches." The Free Library. 1 1, 1995. https://www.thefreelibrary.com/A+Pentecostal+looks+at+the+World+Council+of+Churches.-a016420085 (accessed 9 28, 2020).

Synan, Vinson. The Holiness-Pentecostal Tradition. Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge U.K.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1971, 1997.

Wikipedia. David du Plessis. 12 31, 2019. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_du_Plessis (accessed 9 28, 2020).
 
***


 

Shalom: Live Long and Prosper!
Darrell Wolfe (DG Wolfe)
Storyteller | Writer | Thinker | Consultant @ DarrellWolfe.com

Clifton StrengthsFinder: Intellection, Learner, Ideation, Achiever, Input
16Personalities (Myers-Briggs Type): INFJ


Saturday, September 26, 2020

An Aspirational Vision: The Next Revival 2020 and Beyond

Aspirational Dream: 


On Thursday 09/24/2020, at approximately 1:28 PM PST, I woke from a nap with these images and thoughts swirling around in my head. I am not so bold as to say they are prophetic or that they will happen this exact way. I see them more as an Aspirational Vision. Something we could each aspire to see happen in our own lives and communities if we begin to surrender to the work of the Holy Spirit in our generation. I could even see him doing this type of thing simultaneously all over the world so that there is no one epicenter? I felt led to share this to inspire you to begin to dream for your community.
 

***

An Aspirational Vision: The Next Revival 2020 and Beyond:

 
In 2024, a small group of believers had been gathering for some time in a manufactured home on a half-acre in North Pole, Idaho, near Coeur d'Alene.
 
An outpouring struck that group unlike any that came before. The Holy Spirit moved in them with all the signs of the New Testament church. While no one sign was more present than another, they were all present: Signs included miracles, healing, tongues (both known and unknown), interpretation of tongues, words of knowledge to answer questions and words of wisdom to solve problems, Prophecy, and discerning of spirits all poured out in huge waves. Even in the relatively quiet hammock of North Idaho, demons presented themselves and were cast out by anyone standing by without waiting for "leaders" to direct them.
 
Messages were taught and songs were sung, as the Spirit gave utterance, but no formal church services were ever announced. The meetings were only ever held as weekday prayer meetings only throughout the revival, allowing all the churches in the region to participate equally.
 
At its apex, 10,000s were directly affected and present in these meetings. Millions were affected by people who left the meetings and brought the revival with them. The results were such that the small property wasn't big enough to contain the meetings. A larger piece of land was purchased, which eventually became their headquarters. People left this revival  and went back into their own towns carrying the revival with them.
 
All the previous signs of other revival were present. Gifts of the spirit. Unity between races, sexes, and even sexual orientations. Love was a hallmark sign. The fruit of the spirit was evident.
 
As the movement matured, semi-formal parachurch organizations were created to help give unity to the message and provide a resource to other local churches for the duplication of its intent (but not style) in other areas.
 

Two characteristics set this movement apart from previous movements.

 
1. No formal Sunday church services were started by the original group. The intent remained, throughout the revival, to bring the community together and revive life within the existing churches. The group never formally started their own.
 
2. They remained home-prayer based extensions of the churches they affected. Although some new churches were planted around the world as a side effect of fresh evangelism and growth, no new churches or denominations were formed to represent this movement as being separated from its founding church. Although (as always happens) some leaders recoiled from the movement, most Pastors and Leaders from churches affected became leaders and participants of the meetings, rather than rejectors of them.
 
Those hosting the prayer meetings also recognized that the point of any revival or movement of the Holy Spirit is to bring a new fresh perspective and life to HIS people. As such, once the wave had done its job of spreading this new phenomenon around the world, the intensity of the move crests and fresh waves come forward, and they were pleased with that arch. Thus, as predicted by the hosts, the flocking of millions to North Idaho lasted approximately 10 years, and the revival officially ended in 2034.
 
However, today, some 50 years later, a consistent remnant of approximately 200-500 meet on a weekly basis in homes throughout the North Idaho region, including visitors.
 
Most of the founding hosts are still faithful members of their original home churches, except for those who have passed on or gone to other works.
 
The Kingdom of God, LLC (KOGLLC), a parachurch organization built to support existing churches. The KOGLLC still produces free content from and for churches around the globe, holds regular prayer meetings on its 100-acre campus, hosts leadership training, hosts a spirit-filled counseling center, and homeless outreach, among other activities. All of the activities are dedicated to helping support local churches; therefore, no Sunday church services are ever held on campus. Rather, any of the students or clients living on-site as part of the recovery or school programs, are bussed to any of the local churches they would like to attend.

***
 
Who knows… but it's got a nice ring to it, doesn't it?
 


 

Shalom: Live Long and Prosper!
Darrell Wolfe (DG Wolfe)
Storyteller | Writer | Thinker | Consultant @ DarrellWolfe.com

Clifton StrengthsFinder: Intellection, Learner, Ideation, Achiever, Input
16Personalities (Myers-Briggs Type): INFJ


Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Who am I? Clarify Your Calling


Who am I? 


Clarify Your Calling: Your Sweet Spot! 


Over the years, I have made a point of self-study, so I can learn more about who I am and why I am the way I am. Who am I called to serve? What would be the best use of my skills? Etc. In that time, I've coached and worked with others through those same questions. There is one key lesson you must learn to make the process of self-discovery more effective. 

In Clifton Strengths Finder 2.0, the book, there is a powerful lesson that everyone would be best learning early in the self-discovery process and it runs contrary to the mythology many are taught in our society:

You CANNOT be anything you want in life; but you CAN be a lot more of who you already are. 

The essence of the lesson is that you can expend a lot of effort doing something you are passionate about but not good at, resulting in few results; OR, you can expend far less effort doing something you are passionate about and good at and see exponentially more results. Your best self, the self that does the most good in this world, is in that second category.

I've broken down these concepts more in previous posts (Discovery) and (The Hedgehog). The bottom line can be summarized by what Ken Coleman referred to "The Sweet Spot":

"You find your sweet spot by finding the intersection of your greatest strength and your greatest passion."

The following is a series of exercises you can do to hone your calling and find your sweet spot. 

These exercises will not tell you that you should become "a doctor" or a "a writer". What they will do, is help you identify your giftings, callings, passions, and themes. As you begin to refine these, they will help you define a Vision, Mission, Life Theme, Characteristics, and Guides (bottom of this post). Once you have a handle on these, you will use them throughout life to know what opportunities to take advantage of and which to take a pass on. 

NOTE: You are always evolving. These will not remain stationary. You should revisit these periodically as you mature. Your Vision or Mission doesn't have to lifelong. They can be seasonal and are subject to change as you grow. Use them as guides, not hard rules. 

I hope you enjoy this exercise. Write or comment if you'd like to get in touch. 


*** I will be updating this post periodically, so please feel free to re-visit for updates.***


DISCOVERY PROCESS


Discover your personality themes by taking a variety of personality tests, and personal evaluations, each designed to help you see aspects of your personality, gifting(s), and personal themes. 

It's important to realize that your "type" in each test is less relevant than what you resonated with in the results. It's what you gained from knowing your type and how that helps you identify who you are that matters most.

From each test, your goal is to identify two things:

  1. Aha! Moments. Any moments where you felt like you were suddenly able to understand yourself better or you felt the test “got you”. 
  2. Recurrent Themes, did you notice the same ideas present in multiple test results, and each of them resonating strongly with you? Pay attention to these. 

In the following sections, don’t be too organized. Just throw it all out onto the pages. Anything you see, any themes, any key words, any insights, anything that stands out. 

The goal is discovery first, then we can sift through that data and make sense of it. Then compile the results here in the tables below. Also, any other tests you are aware of, not included in this list, use those too! The more you data you have the more you can use to identify themes and Aha! moments. 



***


Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) at 16Personalities


*Take the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) at 16Personalities, you will be assigned a four letter designation, a theme name, and a summary of the theme. For example, mine is INFJ/Advocate. 


Type: ______ (Ex: INFJ)


Theme Name: _______ (Ex: Advocate)


Discoveries: 

______________________________________________________


______________________________________________________


______________________________________________________


Key Words of Theme:

  • __________
  • __________
  • __________
  • __________
  • __________


***

CliftonStrengths


*Take the Gallup CliftonStrengths, either Top 5 or all 34. Write down your top five, and read about them, including your unique combination of strengths.


Top Five Strengths:

  1. ________________________
  2. ________________________
  3. ________________________
  4. ________________________
  5. ________________________

Discoveries:


______________________________________________________


______________________________________________________


______________________________________________________


Key Themes:



______________________________________________________


______________________________________________________


______________________________________________________


***


DISC Profile Type


*Take the DISC Profile Type: (2 good options: 123Test.com or Tony Robbins). You will be assigned one major type: Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Conscientiousness. Read about your type and brainstorm your findings. 

DISC Type: __________________________________


Discoveries:


______________________________________________________


______________________________________________________


______________________________________________________


Key Themes:



______________________________________________________


______________________________________________________


______________________________________________________



***

Enneagram 


*Take the Enneagram (by Truity). You will have one of the nine numbers score highest, also pay attention to the two next highest, these are considered your Wings. Brainstorm your discoveries.


Enneagram Type: __________________________________

Wing 1: __________________________________

Wing 2: __________________________________



Discoveries:


______________________________________________________


______________________________________________________


______________________________________________________


Key Themes:



______________________________________________________


______________________________________________________


______________________________________________________




***

Spiritual Giftings


*Take the Spiritual Giftings (by Team Ministry Gifted to Serve). 

Spiritual Giftings:

  1. ______________________
  2. ______________________
  3. ______________________
  4. ______________________
  5. ______________________

Discoveries:


______________________________________________________


______________________________________________________


______________________________________________________


Key Themes:



______________________________________________________


______________________________________________________


______________________________________________________



**** Putting it all together ****



THEME

*Based on your personality tests, what is your theme?


Theme:_________________________________________



Key Words of Theme:


  1. ________________________
  2. ________________________
  3. ________________________
  4. ________________________
  5. ________________________


CHARACTERISTICS


About Your Who

*Three traits/themes, unique to you, that make you authentically you. These are traits you possess, they are about you (You can use more than three if you'd like).


1. ______________________________________________________


2. ______________________________________________________


3. ______________________________________________________


GUIDES


About You

*Three principles, unique to you, to help guide you in every opportunity. When to say Yes/No. These are traits, patterns, themes, in your “who”, the people, market, niche, types you are drawn to (You can use more than three if you'd like)



1. ______________________________________________________


2. ______________________________________________________


3. ______________________________________________________





VISION

*Problem that hurts you. Your solution. The transformation someone experiences from being with you. 

This is the line you give everyone you meet. See Donald Miller or Michael Hyatt for more on this. Here's a video on Donald Miller's One Liner.
https://youtu.be/HFergI0UOAs

When you meet someone in the elevator or at a party, they say "tell me about yourself, what do you do... etc". Don't reply "My name is Darrell. I'm  father, I work a a call center..." Reply with your vision. 

Framework: You know how sometimes (describe the problem people have that you solve in life). I help __(my who)__ do (see, understand, get)__(my unique value added/solution)_, so that _(the transformation they experience/benefits not features).

Example Professional:

You know how there are people who walk around frustrated with Religion but still desperately wish they could know God? 

I use a philosophy called NO HIDING to help disillusioned or de-churched Christians reconnect with the Heart of Daddy-God, heal from old wounds, and discover new purpose. 

So that they can experience: Radical Authenticity, Healthy Connection, and Identity Rooted in God's Love.


Example Personal: You know how some moms are exhausted and lonely? I connect with isolated moms, take them out to coffee, and let them know they're loved. Helping moms is my biggest passion. What's yours? 

Your Vision Statement:


______________________________________________________


______________________________________________________


______________________________________________________



MISSION

*Can be temporary, must be specific outcome based, but focused on daily actions that vote for this outcome.

This mission is to be as specific as possible. Temporary or short term is fine. It must be actionable, measurable, and specific. 

Framework: I am the kind of person who ____(your theme, can be lifelong or temporary)__, and I am on a mission to _(as specific as possible, clean the house by spring)_. To do that, I (we) will _(specific actions that cumulatively will create that result, clean out one room or closet every Saturday)_. 

Example: We are the type of family who loves each other. We know that being connected makes that love grow stronger. To do that, we will play board games 3-times each month this summer and turn of the screens while we do. We'll talk to each other during the game and find ways to honor each other in the process by asking questions without over speaking or arguing. 

Your Mission Statement:


______________________________________________________


______________________________________________________


______________________________________________________




Other helpful tests:

Use these same types of exercises on any other tests you can find or want to use. Here are a few others I and others found helpful:

Thank you for reading today,


 

Shalom: Live Long and Prosper!
Darrell Wolfe (DG Wolfe)
Storyteller | Writer | Thinker | Consultant @ DarrellWolfe.com

Clifton StrengthsFinder: Intellection, Learner, Ideation, Achiever, Input
16Personalities (Myers-Briggs Type): INFJ


Wednesday, September 9, 2020

The Men and Women who move in God's Movements are Imperfect... but effective.

The Imperfect History of the Church

Church History is fascinating. Imperfect Men and Women creating change for God. You never know what chain of events might be set by your actions. There is a distinct chain of dominoes that fall from Martin Luther's Theses of 1517  to the Tent Revival Meetings of the 20th Century. 

These dominoes involve an intricate layering of men and women, their causes, movements, and churches, and the often simultaneously Breathtaking and Devastating effects of their work. 

I'm studying them, and I couldn't possibly list them all. But I did notice a specific line of dominoes I would like to point out today. 

The whole of Church History is like a Fractal. Factals, as layers and layers of the Moves of God combine to create the intricate shapes of God's Church. 


Great videos on Fractals at Fractal Foundation Org.





Romanesco broccoli, showing self-similar form approximating a natural fractal


There's no linear "this then that" in God's Historical Movements. There are layers that fold into each other, overlap, and combine to create intricate masterpieces. 

Here are a few of those layers:


*******************************************************


Martin Luther (1483-1546) (Lutherism) nailed his Theses to the wall of the church in 1517, essentially lighting the fires of the Protestant Reformation that would lead the church out of the dark ages into the light. He wasn't right or perfect, but he had the first glimmer of light. He laid the foundation of "Saved by Faith" not works. In many respects, he was insane. Plagued by depression, possibly even demons. But his work on this subject laid the groundwork for the centuries to follow. 

John Calvin (1509-1564) (Calvanism) was another stepping stone in the development of Church Theology as the Protestant Reformation came into fruition. He laid the foundation of asking good questions about what it means to be saved. He was flat wrong in many of his conclusions, but, he asked the right questions! And that gave the foundation upon which Arminian thought could grow.

Jacobus Arminius (1560-1609) (Arminianism) corrected Calvin's obvious errors, building upon the foundation he laid, leading us to see how Free Will played a role in salvation. He wasn't perfect either, but he gave a foundation upon which the Gospel could be understood, and built framework around the ever-present tension between understanding of Free Will and the Sovereignty of God. He demonstrated that the tension could not only co-exist, but was vital to understanding the Gospel. 

John Wesley (Methodist 1703-1791), himself an avid preacher of Arminianism, laid further ground work for a second experience after salvation (which he called holiness or sanctification) which we would later understand as Baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Charles Fox Parham (1873-1929) a Holiness Wesleyan preacher (and yet horrible racist), recorded some of the first Baptism of the Holy Spirit experiences involving speaking in Tongues. They were not unique, but rare prior to his ministry. He laid the foundation for a Theological position on this subsequent experience, calling it Pentecostalism. Showing us that the subsequent experience not only had a name but came with signs following. He over-corrected, laying down a theology too harsh to be true, but he gave us the beginnings of the conversation and a basis upon which to have the discussion. 

William J Seymour (1870-1922) attended one of Parham's trainings but had to listen from the hallway because of his race, and went on to ignite the world in the Azusa Street Revival (~1906-1913), which eventually birthed Pentecostalism into the world at large, and directly affected the earliest Pentecostal Denominations. The work of Seymour also laid the inter-racial, desegregated foundations for the church to follow in subsequent years. Our racially integrated churches today can thank Seymour for doing some of this early work. 

Aimee Semple McPherson (1890-1944) affected indirectly by both the happenings of these men in the USA and the revivals overseas in Ireland and Wales, went on to become one of the most powerful preachers (man or woman) of the 20th century, with healings and demonstrations that still make me curious today. She was also one of the most successful, founding her own denomination (Foursquare) (which birthed one of the churches (The Rock) that had the most profound affects on me as an adult), her own college ( which became Life Pacific University), one of the first Large Church Buildings (Angelus Temple, 5,300), as well us over 180 songs, multiple books, theater shows, and more. 

David du Plessis (1905-1987) Founder of the Charismatic Movement, attempts to reconcile the various groups and beliefs of these moves into one experience. He lays the groundwork for a broader understanding of the moves of the Holy Spirit than Parham gave us and built that understanding upon that earlier foundation. 

Granville Oral Roberts (1918-2009) took the baton further and was instrumental in ushering in the Healing Revivals, adjacent to the Charismatic Movement. He became the first to introduce these concepts to the larger world through Radio and Television. 

This led to the works of men like Kenneth Copeland (1936-Present), Jack Williams Hayford (1934-Present), and Robert Morris (1961- Present), Gateway Church. who have all had a direct affect on my life, theology, and Christian Experience. I can see a thread trying Martin Luther to Jacobus Arminius to John Wesley to William J Seymour to Robert Morris to Me.

I could add ten thousand layers in between, before, and after these... but it is humbling to see that the thoughts I've spent a lifetime struggling through, the theology I am developing, has it's origins in the works of men and women who came before me... I am not building anything new. I am simply taking the masterpiece I was given, and adding to that my peice of the equation, my unique contribution to the whole. I stand on the shoulders of giants. 

I only hope I can add something of value for the next generation to build upon. 




 

Shalom: Live Long and Prosper!
Darrell Wolfe (DG Wolfe)
Storyteller | Writer | Thinker | Consultant @ DarrellWolfe.com

Clifton StrengthsFinder: Intellection, Learner, Ideation, Achiever, Input
16Personalities (Myers-Briggs Type): INFJ


Saturday, August 22, 2020

It's time for a Heart Transplant...

Doctor Gregory House, television Character in the TV Series House, is an arrogant, selfish, brilliant man who lives for the puzzle... 

Often working to find out what's wrong with someone despite them, he endangers them just to answer the question. He's the doctor you want solving your case, as long as someone is holding his reigns and enforcing him to remain humane. 

In short... He's me.

But I don't solve medical mysteries... I solve theological and philosophical and psychological ones. 

And I've been known to leave a few wounded and bruised in the process of diagnosis.

Things fit together like a clean puzzle for me if I'm given long enough to ponder it. 

People bring me the pain that seperates them from God or others... And I can usually begin to unravel the thing that seems so complicated to them, simplify it, and give them a prescription for the Spiritual-Psychological path to recovery. 

Like Greg House, I too have a much harder time unraveling the mystery for those closest to me. I lack the distance required to diagnose.

I find the ones I can't help usually result from a few commonalities.

They don't like my diagnosis.
They don't agree with my diagnosis.

I already admitted I am arrogant, so I'll take another note from House and say: I am rarely wrong. 

If they don't like it, or agree with it, it's usually because they can't see the whole picture... Not because I was wrong.

That's where I lack. 

They're heart.

I can't get into their heart, and shove 40 years of experience and knowledge into them to give them the whole picture. 

How do I communicate in a way that they'd see it?

Like House begins learning in season 7....... Love is the key. 

Not just being kinder about my delivery... Or even my diagnosis... 

LOVE Himself usually has a way of communicating to each heart in a way that is unique, like a fingerprint. He can reach into that heart, pull a memory tied to the healing they need, and tie them together, then download decades of revelations in a single moment.

As a Biblical Counselor... It's not my job to be brilliant, witty, or force my solution into someone. My intellectual capacity is a tool he's given me to see the problem in creative and unique ways, and see answers nobody's considered........ 

But HIS heart is required in each situation. In every instance, he's wanting to perform a heart transplant. And each and every time, he'll do it differently. 

My job isn't to be smart and have all the answers. That's good TV but not real life. 

My job is to use the gifting he's given me to facilitate a meeting between Jesus and this person.... And let Him do all the heavy lifting and cutting and transplanting.

My job... Is to usher Him in, and step aside.

Selah...

Shalom...

Darrell











Sunday, August 16, 2020

Two Broken Legs... Mid-2020 Review and Update

I'm writing this from my wheelchair. 


It's been just over half a year into 2020 and we've all seen quite the ups and downs this year. Here was my most recent doozie. 


The Event that Changed My Perspective


On Sunday 07/26/2020, while at a church event with my girlfriend, I went to run. I took three steps and my body turned to rubber. It felt like my feet were walking into quick sand and I lost all control of my body. I hit the ground for a split second and rolled. The entire clip of video, including the pre-run, is less than 17 seconds. 

In under 17-seconds, my summer plans changed, financial life took a big hit, and my entire life was placed on hold. 

It hurt to walk (was impossible to walk) but it didn't hurt to sit. So it can't be that bad. 

I went home, expecting I would heal fine, "It's just a bad bruise" I told my girlfriend... who gave me a sardonic look. 

After two days, I still couldn't walk, so on Tuesday 07/28/2020, my Paramedic-Trained girlfriend and Nurse-Mom decided to force me into the ER, where they took X-Rays and CT Scans, and confirmed Left and Right Medial Tibial Plateau Fractures. 

I was referred to an Orthopedic Surgeon who confirmed with MRI (imaged below) that both legs were fractured. On Thursday 08/06/2020, I went into surgery and had three screws placed in each leg, holding the fracture together to heal faster. 

Some friends came and built a wheelchair ramp for me, partially donated from a pervious ramp used by a military Vet. Some church men came and shored up the weaknesses in that first build and finished making it functional. Mom, who'd just arrived in town for a planned vacation, extended her trip to help get me back up and running. 

We still have no firm answers as to why I fell in the first place. Guesses, ideas, no firm idea. So I'm still living with the wonder "will it happen again?"... and... "What happens next?"

It will be many weeks before I walk upright again, but I'm hoping to use the right leg soon for basic things, we shall see what the doctor says at the follow up next week. 

The Realization


I have lived my life as a staunch Libertarian. Anti "Group-Think". Each person should take responsibility for themselves and pick themselves up and handle their business. Don't ask me to pay for your stupidity. Don't steal my money (taxes) to pay for your idiot choices. 

From June 25, 2018 to Today, I've come to the firm realization, that:

Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans. Allen Saunders: Publishers Syndicate

Things you couldn't imagine just happen, without warning or provocation. 

You're wife gets pregnant and instead of having a baby, she dies of a simple blood clot at 36. Your financial life and plans are wiped away in an instant. You flounder and fall for two years. Grief, though dealt with and processed in healthy ways, took it's toll on your body, weakened it, and two years later you physically broke for no good reason. 

Now two years after loosing your wife, you've begun building a life with a potential future-wife, you find yourself with another life-lesson, sitting in a wheelchair, at a computer, waiting to return to yet another new normal. 

The concept of "new normal" is so frequent in your life by now, that you don't even pause to consider it. You just pick up, dust off, and find a cane with a hooked handle you can use to grab at things you can't reach, or help you pick your lame leg up off the bed and lower it carefully to the floor. You adjust quickly, to everyone's surprise but your own. 

You're not surprised. It's just another "new normal" in a line of "new normal's" you've been tossed in the past few years. Who cares, no use bothering about it. Just figure out how to handle it, and move forward. Because that's what you've been trained to do. 

Sometimes, "it" just happens, as Forest Gump told us... and there's no bootstraps to pull. And all the back-up funds are gone. And all you can do is let other people help... and watch helplessly. 

The things you can do, you do. 

The things you cannot do, you let someone help you do. 

No room for pride, things need to get done. Mission needs to stay on task. You learn to delegate, accept the help, and move forward. Keep moving forward. 


I've learned interesting things. 


We could do better as a society... I've learned we have done a horrible job of making life accessible to wheelchairs in many places. Applebee's and Red Lobster in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho have bathrooms with "handicap stalls" that leave much to be desired if you are wheelchair bound. 

Things are hard to reach. Rooms have to be re-arranged. It's not enough to have a path, you must have turning radius as well. Things you would just get up to grab now become a debate. Is it worth getting up, into the chair, rolling over, using something to knock that down to me, and then wheeling back.... Nah. I'll just wait until someone walks in. 

It took until after surgery to finally agree to use a Urinal by the bed at night. It cut down on trips to the bathroom (big events at night). 

We could learn to accept help gracefully... I've learned I have to rely on others. My independent streak served me well. I have learned to do many things people didn't think I could from this chair. 

However, I've had to hold my tongue and let other people help. 

  • I sat helplessly, watching multiple people build a ramp in front of my house. 
  • I sat helplessly, watching people cut my yard.
  • I sat helplessly, as people loaded my wheelchair into the back seat of the car. Forced to lift an awkward object I was incapable of helping with, all for my benefit. 
  • I sat helplessly, as people made food on a stovetop I can't reach, taking far less time than I would if I tried. 
  • I sat helplessly, as my mom and girlfriend completed tasks I would rather complete. 
  • I sat helplessly, as my girlfriend rubbed my dry feet with lotion, and she and my boys put on my shoes for me, to protect my feet for the few moments they touch the ground as I transition from chair to car. 
  • I sat helplessly, as people did things I usually do for them. 
  • I sat helplessly, as I allowed a nurse to help me change down to my underwear, and into scrubs, and even put socks on my feet for me. Not as sexy as that sounds, when you wince in pain every time you move the wrong way. 

It's often quoted:
No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent. John Donne




We could learn to do what we can do... I've learned I can do things. I've been less surprised by the things I can accomplish; and, more surprised by other's reactions to them. There are differences between having a hurt foot from Gout and having two broken legs. But there are marked similarities. So as a Gout sufferer, I'm used to adjusting my "norm" for a period. Using a cane to get at things I cannot comfortably reach. Etc. 

If there's a will, there's a way. 

Or, as George Herbert phrased it, in 1640, 

"To him that will, ways are not wanting." 

To many raised eyebrows... 
  • I used my cane to hook under my worse leg, and raise and lower it from places. Even at the hospitals, getting on and off X-Ray, CT Scan, and MRI tables.
  • I used my cane to open and closed doors, pull items closed to me, and brace for changes from chair to chair.
  • I wheeled around in my chair faster and more dexterously than people expected. 
  • When I (wrongly and stubbornly) insisted on coming home for two days before going to the ER, I found creative ways to get into the house and around. Braced my legs with braces I already owned for other reasons, used a backless office chair, and two canes which I used like ski-polls to wheel around the house. The lips of doorways were tricky though. 
  • I shocked the nurses after surgery... They thought they'd need orderlies to get me into the car, but I managed to pull myself up using just my arms.  
The real trick... is going to be the next few weeks. Mom's going home. Kids will leave for school. Girlfriend can't be here every morning, she has a life too... 

Can I get into the car by myself? How do I get the chair into the car without assistance? Etc... 

Eventually, that will be a mute point. I will be allowed to attempt walking by 6-8 weeks. But... My mom's broken leg took her 6 months. It was worse, but, it's something I should consider as I look forward. What if I have limited mobility for longer than expected? But... I've been able to manage, and call for help when needed. 

I trust God now... God's been good, directing me to the right people at each stage. So... here I am. Making no real "plans". Just taking each step one day at at time. I'm looking into a new internet provider, so I may (or may not) be able to work from home. That's a potential idea. Either way, I learned to trust God. I learned to trust him when my marriage was restored in 2017, when my marriage died in 2018, when I learned how to single parent throughout 2018-2020. When the woman I thought I'd marry (a potential "chapter two") left me in 2019. And now, I keep trusting him. This only brings me closer to him. I wish I could stand in front of me in 2016 (at the depth of my midlife crises) and tell him how much we've grown.

As I look to the life ahead, I see great potential. I have an amazing life-partner who very well may become my wife someday. I have great kids. I have a supportive Mom and friends. There's a lot to be thankful for. And I'm focused on that today. 

This has been a rambling post. Hopefully, it helped. 

Signing off... Goodnight. 

Darrell Wolfe














 

Shalom: Live Long and Prosper!
Darrell Wolfe (DG Wolfe)
Storyteller | Writer | Thinker | Consultant @ DarrellWolfe.com

Clifton StrengthsFinder: Intellection, Learner, Ideation, Achiever, Input
16Personalities (Myers-Briggs Type): INFJ




Monday, June 22, 2020

The Word is Alive, Listen to Him


The Word is Jesus

The Word is not dry writings of yesteryear, to be followed by rote, our New Law, bound as slaves... Blindly following a prescription for life.

The Word is a person. A member of the Godhead. A living being. 

The Word is our bread.

The Word is our life.

If we have lack, it's because we ask not, or, if we ask, we ask with wrong selfish motives. The Word said that.

He wants us to ask, seek, knock, and then hear, listen, obey.

Sometimes His healing comes in the form of putting mud on your eyes and telling you to go wash it off. Sometimes His healing is from going to wash in a dirty river. Sometimes His healing is spoken, and you leave by faith to do as He said without any sign it is "working"...

He is interested in our submission, not our blind obedience to a written code. 

Today..... Spend time LISTENING not just reading. 

By all means, read your Bible. But more importantly, or at least as important, LISTEN. Hear what he would say to you today. 

Selah.











Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Man. Moon. Duck Suit. God's Ways.

The black oil of night crept over the sidewalk making it hard to see where he was going. Not that Manny could see much through the mask of his Big Yellow Ducks mascot outfit. The team left without him, taking his change of clothes with them. 

Manny stumbled down a dark alley, his guitar slung over his fake feathery yellow back. The street lights became puddles to reach one after another, accenting the voids between.

Finally, he reached a corner, he decided he'd had enough. He tried music and failed. He tried art and failed. And now he was reduced to wearing a mascot outfit for pennies just to make ends meet. The anger boiled inside until he couldn't take it anymore. He grabbed the guitar and smashed it over and over on the curb. Just as he was starting to break it, a white odd looking car passed by, splashing water onto him from the street. "Great, thanks!"

Cocking his big fake head, he looked up into the sky, and the Man in Moon, "Why give me a desire to be something but never let me be it?" Then he stumbled home, tossed his outfit to the bedroom floor and went to sleep.

A week later, he woke up on a Monday morning to 67 missed calls from his friend Conrad. "Dude, wake up! You're famous!"

There on his phone, was a picture of him dressed as a big yellow duck, smashing a guitar on the corner. Video from the corner store security footage, showing the events in time, had been circulating the internet and recieved over 2 Million Views. 

At the school, he was fired for his making the mascot of their proud institution look bad, but he didn't even care, totally worth it, he thought. As he was leaving, a call came in from an agent looking to represent him, claiming he had an interview with Good Morning America if he was interested.

***

Turning from the screen, "... And that kids, is how I got my start in movies, right there, on a street corner. So never give up. God has funny ways of bringing about your calling." 

As Manny packed up his gear, to end his presentation, the moonlight through the window showed the wrinkles on his hand growing darker and more defined. He'd had a really good run. 

"Thanks Man in the Moon, couldn't have done it without you."

Sunday, June 7, 2020

It's time to stop spending my energy in someone else's garden. It's time to invest in my own.

The Government is on HIS shoulders... 

I have decided that I am no longer interested in discussing government in public. 

It's not my arena. 

It's not what I'm called to. 

It's a distraction for me from my actual calling. 

I've never once, in nearly 40-years of living, ever changed anyone's mind about politics or government. Clifton Strengthsfinder 2.0 points out that one can be passionate about something they are bad at and waste their life's energy doing something unfruitful. Meanwhile, they could put a fraction of that energy into something they were gifted to do and recieve exponentially more positive results. 

God's called me and gifted me to do many things, politics is not one of them. I have seen God promote men I do not understand, several times. I've seen God's hand on men I don't like. I've seen it be CLEARLY God when I was dumfounded. So I am laying that down. I'll leave the government to God and the people he has called to that mountain. I may observe and comment in the form of writing Fiction, and see what those trends are like extrapolated, but, I will no longer occupy my time arguing with people on this subject.

My calling is to Writing, Music, Prophetic Teaching, and Healing of Hearts. My calling is to discuss Fatherhood, Manhood, Marriage, Intimacy and Sex. Those are my wheelhouse. Those are things I can make a marked difference talking about. Those are the areas in which I can be a gift to the world. So that's what I'll be doing with my time. 

Selah....

For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

Note: *I am sure to struggle with this. I'm sure I'll post things I later retract or delete. But I'm declaring my intention.*


Friday, May 8, 2020

What happens after death, sleep or heaven?



Question: When you die, do you take a dirt nap until the end of times; or, do you go to heaven?

Answer

I didn't know this was still a question. It's not even a grey area, biblically. Heaven.

You go to heaven for now, but that is not our final destination. Ultimately we’ll all come back to earth at the end of times. But in the ages between prophetic events, we will go to heaven.

 

Background:

 

First interesting note, Jacob has a dream/vision of Angels Ascending and Descending from Heaven. Establishing early in Biblical interpretation that Heaven is an actual place that can be visited.

 

Paul, (speaking in the third person but referencing himself), visited heaven and saw visions. This visitation is what led him to pen the statement which becomes the key idea for this topic:

 

To be absent from the body, is to be present with the Lord.

 

When Jesus was on the cross, two men were with him on their crosses. One rejected Jesus, made fun of him. The other respected Jesus, and asked him to remember him when he came into his kingdom. In the most visceral act of “laying one’s life down for another”, in his own pain, Jesus told this man “you will be with me today in paradise”. This indicates that he will not be sleeping in the dirt.

 

Jesus, himself, told the story of a rich man and poor man. The story was not told in parable form, and may well have been a true account. Regardless, he portrays the scenario as being in line with truth about after life. Both men die, one is righteous and escorted by an angel to Abraham’s Bosom. The other, being a selfish prick, is escorted to Hades. This story shows us another example of men being VERY conscious after death on earth. It’s also an interesting example of the after-life pre-cross.

 

At that time, heaven was off limits. The Blood had not been shed. Jewish Tradition held that there were two sides of “Sheol”, hades and paradise. As the story shows, a chasm between the two was inseparable but there was still communication between them. Even discussion about why they can’t return to earth to win the lost.

 

We also see that during his earthly ministry, Jesus received a visit from Moses and Elijah, which is fascinated because one died and the other did not. This gives precedence for some, limited, interaction between Heaven, Sheol, and Earth, Dead and Living, as God wills only of course.

 

The bible says that when Jesus ascended from the grave, he took many captives with him. Given the numerous references to the saints in heaven (especially throughout the book of Revelations) we see that Jesus cleared the captives from Paradise and took them with him into Heaven when he was raised from the dead.

 

Also interesting to note, there are two men who never have (yet) died. Enoch and Elijah. Both men have not yet physically died. These two received a special calling and were taken into Heaven directly from earth, body and all. Many end-times scholars (myself included) believe that these two men will come back as the two witnesses spoken about in Revelations. Since it has been appointed to man once to die, I believe these (the only two men to never die) will come back as the two witnesses.

 

At the end of the Great Tribulation, after the Marriage Supper of the Lamb which was taking place in heaven during the tribulation on earth, Jesus comes back to Earth with the believers in tow behind (Rev 19). This is after the Rapture, in which the dead in Christ have been risen. So it doesn’t directly answer your question, but, it’s interesting and the next stage in events.

 

After these, Jesus reigns, physically, on the Earth for 1,000 years, with all humanity that survived plus all believers that ever lived. Satan is locked in prison during this time, but afterward released once more. He will prove once and for all that even in a perfect society with a perfect King, the hearts of men will rebel. With this final global lesson learned, he will wipe the slate clean and remake the Earth all over again. I don’t believe this means the planet will be destroyed. God is a God of Redemption. So he will clean up and make new a New Heaven and New Earth. They will then be reunited, and co-exist as one entity in one location. The actual physical city that is built in heaven right now, populated with those who have passed, right now, will descend from Heaven onto Earth, and God Himself, the Father, will dwell on Earth at this point. Until now, the Son reigned on Earth for 1,000 years. Now the Father himself will reside on Earth forever more.

 

 

* A few fun Heaven Scriptures here as well.

 

 

 

References:

 

2 Corinthians 12:2
I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knows;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.

 

2 Cor 5:8 New International Version
We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.

 

Luke 23:43 New International Version
Jesus answered him, "Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise."

 

Revelation 4:1 New International Version
After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, "Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this."

 

Genesis 5 - God Takes Up Enoch (See Also Hebrews 11:5)

18When Jared was 162 years old, he became the father of Enoch. 19And after he had become the father of Enoch, Jared lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters. 20So Jared lived a total of 962 years, and then he died.

21When Enoch was 65 years old, he became the father of Methuselah. 22And after he had become the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked with Godc 300 years and had other sons and daughters. 23So Enoch lived a total of 365 years.

24Enoch walked with God, and then he was no more, because God had taken him away.d

 

2 Kings 2

11As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire with horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up into heaven in a whirlwind.

12As Elisha watched, he cried out, “My father, my father, the chariots and horsemen of Israel!” And he saw Elijah no more. So taking hold of his own clothes, he tore them in two.

13Elisha also picked up the cloak that had fallen from Elijah, and he went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan. 14Then he took the cloak of Elijah that had fallen from him and struck the waters. “Where now is the LORD, the God of Elijah?” he asked.

And when he had struck the waters, they parted to the right and to the left, and Elisha crossed over.

 

Luke 16 The Rich Man and Lazarus ( See Also John 5:39-47) (Other translations say “Abrahams’ Bossom”).

22One day the beggar died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side.d And the rich man also died and was buried. 23In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham from afar, with Lazarus by his side.

 

2859 [e] kolpon κόλπον bosom

2859 kólpos – properly, the upper part of the chest where a garment naturally folded to form a "pocket" – called the "bosom," the position synonymous with intimacy (union).

 

Ephesians 4:8 New International Version
This is why it says: "When he ascended on high, he took many captives and gave gifts to his people."

 

Revelation 6

9Now when the Lamb opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been violently killed because of the word of God and because of the testimony they had given. 10They cried out with a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Master, holy and true, before you judge those who live on the earth and avenge our blood?”

 

Hebrews 9:27 New International Version
Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment,

 


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