IRC North America Update ~ Turkey/Israel Prayer Journey
Dear Friends & Colleagues,
“Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” Revelation 2
In the midst of these uncertain, turbulent and changing times, I’m sure we’re all asking “What is the Spirit saying to the Church?” More than ever in my lifetime I’ve been deeply focused on Jesus, the Word, Prayer and the Holy Spirit in order to truly hear His voice and be used of Him like never before!
In 1999, while Pastor of Church of the Living Christ in Simi Valley, I gave a series of messages from Revelation 1-3 on the Seven Churches of Asia Minor—Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia & Laodicea—entitled, “Churches from the Edge!” Because of persecution in Jerusalem, Christians were scattered to surrounding cities and nations sharing the gospel giving rise to new “gentile” congregations. Then there was Saul’s (the Apostle Paul) dramatic encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus where he was given a special revelation and specific call to the “Goyim,” the Gentiles. Many churches are referred to in more or less detail in the book of Acts and Paul writes letters to the Romans, Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, , Philippians, Thessalonians. All of this was very new for the “Apostolic” Jewish Leadership in Jerusalem as well as for Paul. There were a number of “councils” in the New Testament addressing the conflicts and challenges facing the “fledgling” church—both Jew and Gentile, the most notable in Acts 15. Both the “Post Pentecost Church” in Jerusalem and the “Gentile Churches” in Asia Minor and around the Mediterranean were at the forefront, on the cutting edge, of the advancement of the Gospel in their world and generation.
The Revelation begins with the Apostle John receiving a clear revelation of Jesus Christ who holds in his right hand the Seven Stars and the Seven Golden Lampstands. He then reveals that the Seven Stars are the Angels of the Seven Churches and the Lampstands are the Seven Churches. The fact that Jesus, through the Apostle John, focuses directly on these seven churches has intrigued theologians and Christians throughout modern history. Some have seen these seven churches in a dispensational context: Ephesus the “loveless” church being the New Testament First Century Church ending up with Laodicea, the “lukewarm” church of our generation. However, these churches existed contemporaneously with each other and, to me, have always represented the “archetypical” or “prototypical” church living in and confronting the social, cultural, economic and spiritual milieu in their geographical location in their day. I have read and reread these chapters for years and back in ‘99 I saw a pattern that was not only important to each of the Seven Churches but also can help focus, inform, direct and encourage us, the Church of today.
¨ Revelation of Jesus: Each letter begins with a Revelation of Jesus that is specific to that church—an excerpt of the Revelation John saw in Revelation 1.
¨ Recommendation: Jesus then Recommends and encourages the good things He sees in each Church.
¨ Rebuke: Jesus goes to reveal and Rebuke the things where they have drifted from true faith or are lacking in righteous behavior and influence. For two Churches, Smyrna (the Faultless Church) and Philadelphia (the Faithful Church) there is NO rebuke!
¨ Remedy-Repentance: Jesus goes on to give Remedial Steps they can take to correct their doctrine and behavior to once again enter into the favor and blessing He intends for them. The key is Repentance!
¨ Reward: There’s a specific Reward for each Church as they Repent and take Remedial Action. “To him who overcomes……..I will GIVE!”
In my last Update a few weeks ago I shared that I had been invited / strongly encouraged to travel to Turkey & Israel as part of a Strategic Prayer Initiative of the Transform World 2020 Celebration Challenge—Praying, Encouraging and Raising Up Houses of Prayer throughout the world and networking prayer ministries for greater Informed Intercession and effectiveness. I shared that that I needed over $6000 for this journey. Today I want to give testimony to the Faithfulness of our Father and the Generosity of His People. Yesterday I was able to pay the final $1400 for this Outreach. I give God the Glory and am so Grateful for so many who have contributed to make this possible. To date I’ve received $5780 with a couple of pledges still to be received! Thank You Jesus & His people!!
From September 5-26 I’ll join an International Group of Pastors, Leaders and Intercessors for a very strategic Prayer Journey to Turkey (Asia Minor) and Israel. We will visit each of the Seven Churches in the order listed in Revelation to build altars of Praise, Confession, Repentance & Worship in the model of the Tabernacle of David in Amos 9:11. We will used the Words of Jesus to each of these Churches to humble ourselves as representatives of His Church on earth and “do business” with Father God, through the Blood of Jesus Christ and by the Power of His Holy Spirit believing he might use us to stand in the gap for the Church and for the Nations. In Turkey we will also be visiting and networking with existing Churches the Izmir House of Prayer and other Houses of Prayer and praying at strategic sites in Istanbul. Note: the First Church Council, 325 CE in Nicea began the process of Replacement Theology which Jews, especially Messianic Jews, have been battling against for Centuries. Jesus died to destroy the wall of partition!
In Israel we will attend the Feast of Tabernacles September 19-25 in Jerusalem. We will visit and pray with/for a number of Houses of Prayer throughout Israel and well as praying at Sacred Sites we will be visiting. I will send you an updated copy of our itinerary in both Turkey and Israel before we leave so that, should you desire, you can track with us and pray for and with us. We’re praying for a Great Spiritual Awakening throughout the Earth. Isaiah 60! Also, as time and internet access allow, I hope to send photos and updates as we go along to help you participate with us.
In my former Update I also shared that YWAM Belgium, which we founded in Brussels in 1983, is Celebrating 30 years of ministry on October 12th. I’m so grateful for those who have continued and advanced this ministry since our family left in 1990. I’m hoping to spend 10 days to two weeks there to allow time to network with old friends and colleagues, speak in churches and be a blessing to Belgium. It’s been over 5 years since my last visit.
I’m still in need of about $2000 for airfare, ground transport, food and lodging in Belgium. To date I haven’t asked for money but for Prayer knowing that Father knows my needs, even before I ask, and will provide “according to His riches in Glory by Christ Jesus.” Thank you for your prayers for this ministry!
Many of us, and perhaps you as well, are feeling stretched and challenged like never before. The warfare around this team and Prayer Journey has been extremely intense—often all we can do is be quiet, rest and call out to Jesus for Grace & Endurance. He has proven to be totally faithful and able beyond what we can even believe or hope.
“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.“ Ephesians 3:20-21
In His Shalom,Ron Archer North American Coordinator International Reconciliation Coalition To Contribute to this Ministry – Send a Check or Online Bank Payment to: IRC North America P.O. Box 941749 Simi Valley, CA 93094-1749 Memo: North America