Vision & Purpose
"For Out of Zion Shall Go Forth Instruction.." (Isaiah2,3)
Pre-amble And Post-amble Principles:
1. Teach everyone the whole counsel of God;
2. Love everyone with Jesus' love;
3. Pray with anyone anytime.
After 10 years of denominational pastoral ministry, on May 19, 2006 Bro. Tobin E. Hitt received a vision (sort of a Temple of the Nations if you will) showing how the God of Israel, sees our worship of Him and His Son, our Lord and Messiah, Jesus Christ. While this vision was also part of direct call on Bro. Tobin's life, upon reflection, it suggests several reminders about our worship as the Body of Christ and our role as missionaries of Christ's salvation to all the world.
Vision and Discernment (slightly updated December 2014)
There were three altars in a well ordered, spacious, and raised sanctuary, with a gold shroud framing the semi circle background of it. The left altar (when facing the sanctuary from the congregation) was the incense altar according to Exodus 30,1; 35,15; 37,25. Compare the entirely gold heavenly altar that stood in front of the throne of Rev. 8,3: "and so from the angel's hand the smoke of the incense went up in the presence of God and with it the prayers of the saints" both in heaven and earth.
Above this altar, in the vision, were billowing clouds, representing God's presence in answer to the present day prayers of God's people and the prayer groan of all creation for final deliverance, when all creation will worship, or "see" Him, as he really is.
The altar to the right, on the same parallel line as the incense altar was the Altar of Holocaust of similar proportions. This altar in Temple times was, for ventilation reasons, in the middle or open court in front of the roof enclosed Temple,1Kings8,64: "On the same day the king consecrated the middle part of the court in front of the Temple of Yahweh; for that was where he presented the burnt offerings, oblations and fatty parts of the communion sacrifices..."
The complete burning of the sacrificial animal symbolized the desired expiation of the worshipper's sins and his life offering. This corresponds to Revelation 6,9 the martyred, purified, white robed souls of Christians, under a heavenly altar after giving their whole life, their immolation, their whole heart for the mission. So this altar corresponds to the altar of the human heart so to speak, the rending of our hearts not our garments (Joel 2,13), the faith sacrifice of ourselves to God, no matter what happens.
This Hebrew typology of holocausts is now the Christian typology of burning with the very love of God (Kathryn Kuhlman comes to mind), but not flaiming out, ie losing the divine life of God's presence in us. This Christian holocaust by the faither also corresponds to a baptism by fire, Lk.3,16: "I baptize you with water, but someone is coming, who is more powerful than me, ..., he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire", either by martyrdom or a burning bush personal encounter that empowers our salvation mission.
The center altar, set further back in the sanctuary was the altar of the Passover sacrifice of Ezekiel 45,18ff. This altar received the sacrifice of Jesus, on the cross, which Hebrews 13,10 refers to "as our own altar." We remember here that the blood on this cross-altar, the altar of Jesus (that was also the altar of Babylon) was the purest altar there ever was, given that God's blood was shed there. This altar and this last physical sacrifce and still living sacrifice still speak (1Peter2,5), still wash away sin, and give the new life of redemption. This mercy altar is available until the day of judgment (cf Hb. 10,25).
In this vision this blood on the altar, on Jesus, is central in our time of the gospel mission prior to judgment, because as it arises it holds back the blood of God's wrath on the world, the devil and the flesh, and all sin and has allowed us to enter the sanctuary or the presence of God but now and forever. (cf Hebrews10,19). This upflowing blood was also the price paid for the promised sending down of another advocate, the same perpetual tongues of fire, that were first sent down on the day of the first Pentecost.
Above these three altars the vision included a dynamic interchange of earthward lighting bolts (God's judgment), and overflowing bowls of the blood of God's righteous judgment, heaven's judgment. This earthward wrath was being held off by the blood of mercy that rises off this center altar, and to a lesser extent by our Moses like intercessory prayers for God's mercy from the altar of incense. These interchange are part of the intensifying cosmic battle whereby the dragon and a third of heaven have turned wicked and have been thrown down earthward intent on devouring weak Christians and thereby keeping them out the final body of Christ (cf. Rev. 12,3ff).
The pulpit of this sanctuary was directly in front of the altar of sacrifice on a lower level (the same level as the congregation). The preacher stood on an image of the sacrificed yet risen lamb of Revelation 5,12ff. This suggests that the ministry of adequately preaching salvation to all nations prior to the judgment must reflect the new risen self, the humbled self, instead of our old proud self that was crucified with Christ (cf. Romans 6,6).
Name Reveals God's Priorities
The Name that came for this sanctuary, which need not be physically represented by anyone, was Zion Pentecost Mission, a.k.a. Temple of the Nations, that is, not a physical reproduction of any Jerusalem Temple, but an invitation to non Jewish Christians to cherish and better understand our Jewish roots and the entire word of God which was written almost exclusively (save Luke and Acts) by Jews for Jews.
Zion is God's Hill in Israel, His power and faith base on earth. Likewise it is Israel's power and faith base, a.k.a. the citadel of David (2Sam. 5,7), thought to be permanantly and easily held by the Jebusites. But God wanted this hill for all His people, the expanded hut of David. More broadly, and according to the message of the vision, Zion is the "place" of all true earthly Holy Ghost empowered strength, a "place" that God wants all to visit and experience so that we will all receive this Zion faith strength ti persevere to the day Jesus comes back.
Zion is also, and will literally be, the place of final rebirth for all faithful people after judgment, for Jews and non Jews, as well as the focal point of the kingdom of Christ and his one day unified and overcoming people: "But of Zion it will be said, 'Everyone was born there,' her guarantee is the most High. Yahweh in his register of peoples will note against each, 'Born there', princes [non Jews] no less than native born [Jews, Zionists]; all make their home in you." (Ps. 87,5)
"Zion" is also the "Jerusalem from above" (Gal. 4,25), where all those who have saving faith are born as soon as they begin living by faith.
Zion is the actual place from which they will reign and rule after the coming of Christ in judgment. See Zechariah 14,4; and especially verse 6: "and all his holy ones with him."
Zion also refers to the ultimate and just vindication and restoration of faithful Israel and the faithful of all the nations. This vindication includes reigning from physical Israel (Zechariah 2,5ff). Not from heaven, not from the USA, not some city in Europe, not from New York, but an etrenal reign that institutes eternal earthly justice for all the saved within Jerusalem. Jeremiah at 23,6 prophesies that this reign will take on the just characteristics of our universal messiah: "In his days Judah will triumph and Israel live in safety. And this is the name he will be called. 'Yahweh-is-our-Saving-Justice.' "
Isaiah also captures the importance God's just and earthly and eternal earthly vindication of all God's faithful witnesses: "And I shall restore your judges as at first, your counsellors as in bygone days, after which you will be called City Of Saving Justice, Faithful City.' Zion will be redeemed by fair judgement, and those who return, by saving justice. Rebels and sinners alike will be destroyed, and those who abandon Yahweh will perish." Isaiah 1,26-27.
The original Pentecost was promised by Jesus and sought by the Jerusalem church. It defined the early and sustained "success" of Christianity as our forbears confounded the religious, political and philosophical powers of that day. Similarly, the Pentecostal Movement has defined the last 125 years of Christianity. It rose up because the church was slumbering vis a vis the mission of salvation, preferring worldly respectability and comfort. And now when this same movement is getting a bit comfortable with it's own newfound status, God is raising up a committed portion, a movement within the movement, a remnant that wants to build on past success, but also root it more profoundly in the same God that promised to teach us all things.
Ongoing Pentecost is always the need of God's faithful because we are hungering for more and crying out "we want more, enough of baby food, we want to know God as He is! Enough of ourselves- we want the strength of God."
We also cry out for the final Pentecost in Israel when all the saved, Jew and gentile, are within the fire of God, within the permanent unmeasured Pentecost of God of Zechariah 2,8-9: second angel said "Run, and tell that young man [the first angel told to measure Jerusalem and the number of saved in the end] this 'Jerusalem is to remain unwalled, because the great number of men and cattle inside. 9 For I- Yahweh declares- shall be a wall of fire all around her and I shall be the Glory within her.' "
The vision suggests and these verses from Zechariah teach that our millenial and eternal reign with Him from Zion will be defined by kingdom folks who have all personally experienced Pentecost, who have been cleansed by faith and the Holy Ghost, so as to be within the wall of fire, within the wall of Jesus, our God is a consuming fire, that surrounds "Jerusalem." This expanded view of the vision according to Zechariah 2,8-9 fulfills the first Jerusalem Pentecost in 33 AD, which was meant to spread to the whole world back then and there, but which will be realized in the end.
In fact, this emphasis on Pentecost, could be seen as three stages in the history and salvation of God's people:
1. Birth at Pentecost AD 33, and thereafter in the life of the Christian church for those who have and keep the faith;
2. Millenial Reign from Jerusalem when risen Lord and King Jesus restores justice and righteousness and proper worship to the earth, and;
3. Jerusalem from above, comes to earth, eternal reign of God.
It is not necessary to be a "Pentecostal" for salvation. But, it is necessary to live by faith and so be contunually covered by His blood, ardent faith that places us within the wall of fire, the post Pentecost fire, that his blood won for us.
Who better to cry out for all God's people to remain within the protective wall of Jesus' salvation fire than the Pentecostal movement?
There's a comfort level in so many mundane churches and it is seeping into the Pentecostal "churches." The Pentecostal Movement is not a church! It's not a denomination. It's a movement to get back to the mission of salvation, the blind seeing and the deaf hearing, captives set free, the broken-hearted made whole. Idols are literally weaknesses, whereas our mission to serve the living God of Israel makes us strong. Wouldn't it be odd if the very movement that has so blessed fleshly and weak Christianity ends in the flesh because it drifts too far from the basic mission and strength of Christianity?
Only a refocused movement eying the origianal Christian Apostolic mission of salvation will yield a movement people ready for judgment.
Did Paul join the Christian movement to become a better Paul? No! He joined a mission movement to serve Christ and to make sure the world got it's chance at mercy just as he did.
Did Peter avoid martyrdom in favor of better Roman suits and a bigger ministry? No! He was ready to die for the right reasons right where he was.
Only a re-emphasis on mission, faith courage, and prophecy, especially as it relates to Israel, and our common apostolic roots in Jerusalem is going to give us the strength to guide God's people in these difficult days.
Reflection Points From the Revelation of this Vision:
1. We, Christ's body, remember that our worship must always remain in the Holy Spirit and according to the Truth of God's entire word and ongoing revelation that lines up with that word. Rigidly focusing on the formalism of the past or overly emphasizing the prosperity of those deemed by man to be already saved, and church as merely group and self improvement- these risk becoming style over substance flaws which tempt us away from the basics of salvation, and our mission to the unsaved.
2. There is an escalating spiritual battle for God's people. Apostasy is evident as "Christians" pick and choose what appeals to them about God's word. Mammon increasingly seduces God's people and subverts her leaders. Wars and rumors of war and all forms of injustice increase. Thus, our service in the body of Christ and worship needs to rise up to meet this battle by going both deeper into discipleship and mission and higher into Holy Ghost empowerment, according to the high standard of God's word.
3.There is still much to be learned (especially in these latter days when both great judgment and renewal are upon us) from loving the Jews and knowing more about the Hebrew forms of worship, and their Christian correlations, and our entire faith patrimony.
4. Avoiding traditional biblical and visions of worship (the cross, Spiritual sacrifice, suffering witness, the table of the Lord), and their related terms, could be a drag on the growth of Pentecostalism.
5. The Pentecostal movement, it's prayer and intercession is indispensable to bringing the unsaved to salvation, to proper strength for mission among the body, and for the faith survival of the elect (Rev. 7,4).
Based on the aforesaid vision, and open to counsel, the mission is:
1.To support and commend the Pentecostal Movement and serve in such a way that folks in it discover its original apostolic rootedness, Romans 6,3-4: "You cannot have forgotten that all of us, when we were baptized in Christ Jesus, were baptized into his death. 4 So that by our baptism into his death we wee buried with him, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the Father's glorious power, we too should bein living a new life."
2. To rejoice in Apostolic Pentecostalism's birth in "Zion," per Psalm 87,5 in the 'Jerusalem from above,' to seek and elaborate the final birth, the final Pentecost, when the body of Christ reign and rule with Christ forever from physical Zion per Psalm 87,5 and Zechariah 2,9;
3. To equip God's people, the universal priesthood, especially in faith preaching and faith teaching, for this present season of grace and renovation, of trial and apostasy;
4. To challenge the Pentecostal Movement and the Body of Christ to keep worship creative and open to our day, but not stray from our shared original biblical and apostolic norms and realities, or from our heritage as part of faithful and holy Zion;
5. To serve the entire Body of Christ as missionaries who empower the universal priesthood of the faithful to use all the gifts given and offices confirmed and unleashed at Pentecost and in early church practices (1Corinthians12,4ff and Ephesians4,10-11);
6. To love the Jews, and all unsaved folks, and represent our one God in such a way that God's compassion, mercy and salvation in Yeshua Ha Mashiach are expressed to them not only by what we say, but by our acts of gratitude and love.
7. To seek out the wisdom and unfulfilled prophecy of the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures so we present a fully rooted and complete gospel that prepares us all for judgment and introduces us all as to how to follow Jesus.
8. To hunger and thirst and fight for social justice, knowing one day we will have our fill.
Jesus, My Older Brother
Dr. John G. Lake, Pentecostal Pioneer
Dr. Gene Scott, Master Preacher of God's Creative Word
Bro. Morris Cerullo, Apostle of God's Love
Bro. Dave Wilkerson, Prophet of God's Entire Word
Mexican Immigrants Who Hunger and Thirst For God
Mons. Oscar Romero, Man of God Who Loved the Flock More than Power
Exiles Returning to Israel
God's Learning Channel- Odessa Texas
My Faith Children
All Who Have Loved and Guided Me with Christ's Love, which Never fails.