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Founder & Chairman, Open Church Ministries, which helps believers worship as the early church did
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Freelance writer for 19 years with World Vision, Wycliffe, Youth for Christ, Jews for Jesus, Prison Fellowship, the Lausanne Committee, etc.
M.A., B.A., English Language, San Francisco State Univ.; studied w/ late Sen. S.I. Hayakawa
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THE GAME HAS CHANGED
For 40 years Jim has been documenting an astounding phenomenon – the underreported explosive growth of the church worldwide.
“The world is changing hands – for the last time,” he says. “It is not a mere shift in power, but a total transformation in how things happen.”
For centuries tyrants and generals swept across the earth, crushing and raising empires. Jim believes 2003 probably saw the last war of massed armies. For the church, the 1700-year nightmare is over, and we are launching the final transformation of the Earth.
“Predominant power has suddenly shifted into the hands of us nobodies,” Jim says.
The Lord is working quietly, continually, and spectacularly. God has brought people back from the dead in 52 countries, mostly in the last 10 years. All documented – many through people Jim personally knows. Scores of cities plagued with crime and poverty are being transformed. Millions of miracles are happening through ordinary people.
God has many ways of resurrecting the dead: At a Reinhard Bonnke meeting in Nigeria, Daniel Ekechukwu, dead for two days, was brought to the lower level of the meeting in his casket. He’d already been injected with preservatives when his wife brought him there. Cameras were rolling when life came back into his body, and he rose up. This miracle was featured on The 700 Club in May 2002.
In Duad-India, Manu and other church members of the Indian Pentecostal Church in Dunger, Northern India, simply prayed in Jesus’ name and placed their Bibles on the body of a six-year-old boy who was near to being buried -- whereupon he opened his eyes.
One missionary in Guatemala read all of Isaiah 53 over and over to a circle of Indians silently mourning the death of a boy until he came back.
Arjun Dass of Delhi, India, was electrocuted in April 2001. A team of five led by Savitri prayed for him, and God resurrected him 10 hours after his death.
One Chinese church leader Wang Xin Cai, who’d been imprisoned for 13 years for his faith, was meeting with seven other leaders to unify the Chinese church. Just prior to leaving for the meeting, his three-year-old daughter fell three stories and cracked her skull. He picked up her remains and laid her on the couch. Brokenhearted and weary, he told God that if this unity meeting was of Him, He had to heal his daughter. It was too tough otherwise. He returned home the first day and her skull was back together; the second day she was breathing; the third day when church unity was reached, he arrived home to a healthy, bubbling baby girl.
THE POWER HAS SHIFTED
Jim says time is up; God is taking over. In 1960 there were 24 nonbelievers for every believer in the world. Now there are only six. There are many testimonies of the Lord Himself appearing to Muslims in visions and dreams. In 1960, even the strongest part of the church was growing slowly as the rest of the world. Now we are growing almost seven times as fast. “When I was a kid in Sunday School, I was really impressed that 3,000 people were saved on the Day of Pentecost,” he says. Now that happens around the globe every 25 minutes. That adds up fast. By tomorrow, there will be 175,000 more Christians than there are today in 238 nations around the world. At a 2000 Reinhard Bonnke meeting in Lagos, Nigeria, 3,400,000 registered decisions for Christ of the six million that came. Campus Crusade for Christ estimates we’ll see a billion new converts in the next 10 years.
Any way you look at it, the Kingdom is expanding at a heart-pounding rate. From 1970 to 2000, core apostolics doubled every nine years. From our vantage point in Europe and North America, where church membership is going nowhere, these numbers sound fantastical. This is the biggest megashift in history. But as national strongholds of sin are dismantled and pits of misery cleaned up, the true purpose of God for many nations will be revealed. We are in the early stages of a total transformation of our planet.
A 30-year-old farmer lives in the flat part of China – all the better to see the police coming from a long way off. This gives him ample time to take his prayer list off the wall and hide his cell phone – his gift of technology. When asked, the interpreter thought he’d misunderstood the farmer when he said he had 30,000 Christian workers in his church network. Through this missionaries he ministered to an astounding eight million believers. This number pales in comparison to those of “The Heavenly Man,” known as Brother Yun, who provides leadership for China’s largest network of house churches, totaling 60 million. In his best conservative estimate, Jim says we are looking at a dedicated Spiritual Army of 707 million missionaries. How is the enemy going to stop that Army?
THE OPEN CHURCH
In His takeover of the Earth, the Lord has many avenues to work from. Jim says the Open Church or Open Fellowship is a viable, vital option. The “open church,” like the early church, is characterized by three freedoms – pure worship, true sharing, and free ministry. In open worship, everyone presents at a service can participate whether it is singing a song, or offering prayers of praise or adoration to the Lord. Open sharing includes testifying to God moving in one’s life, briefly expounding on the Word, or exhorting fellow believers. In open ministry, believers have opportunities to practically help others as needs are expressed. For example, if during this part of the service someone says he is looking for a job and another has some job leads, they will get together. Of if someone has an idea for new ministry outreach, he can explain his idea and ask if others are interested. In an open fellowship, you are not only allowed to share, but prodded, coaxed, and trained to share. A Spirit-driven meeting is an unscripted drama that unfolds before your eyes, and the team players are there to play. In open meetings, God is free to do as He wants. He has, in theory, total control of the agenda and choice of participants. Today there is a rapidly spreading awareness that the real matrix of growth and change is the small group, whether it is the independent house church, a cell (subdivision of a traditional church), or some other goal-oriented task team.
How does an open church look different from a traditional church? Most of them meet in homes, offices, schools, and restaurants. A bigger difference: they aren’t once-a-week affairs. They offer a 24/7 support community that’s somewhere between a volleyball team, college fraternity, etc. They don’t have programs. Projects sometimes, but not programs. Their meetings are highly participatory. The good ones are viral -- what baseball calls expansion teams. Jim promises a network of interactive fellowships meeting in homes worldwide without pastors, programs, or sermons where members will take a giant step up to a whole new level of life. Instead of sitting once a week on Sunday, they can be active participants in what God is doing. They shed their problems. They get a solid, dedicated team behind them, one that will stand by them no matter what, and enable them to reach their goals. They become a key person in the exploding Kingdom of God and have a lasting impact on the world of the future. Most importantly, they will have a much closer heart-knowledge of God.
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