GOD'S FAMILY & OUR FAMILIES
One night away back in May 1988, not long after we ended our involvement
in organised church, I lay awake and was asking the Lord what He is doing
with us and others like us, who have left the structured church. As I
waited on Him, seeking to listen with my heart, this is what I felt He
spoke to me: "I desire to restore My family, to re-establish My family
(household. Ephesians ch.2 v.l9), and also it is my desire to heal and
renew your families." So, there were two things, My family, and your
What was it that Jesus taught us to know above all? It was to be able
to say, "Our Father." His whole life, His teaching, His Cross
and resurrection, His exaltation to heaven and His pouring out of the
Holy Spirit were all to bring us to God, to know Him as Father. "Abba",
God, our Father in heaven; Jesus "Not ashamed to call us brethren."
(Hebrews ch.2 v.ll) " Our fellowship is with the Father and with
His Son, Christ Jesus." ( John ch. 1 v.3.) "Because you are
sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts crying 'Abba
Father!'" (Galatians ch. 4 v.6) We could go on quoting Scriptures.
It is all family, family relationships, family love.
I felt the Lord was saying to me, "Your humanly organised churches
stand in my way. You have divided My family. If you would cooperate with
Me, then all these humanly organised structures, programmes, services
have to be laid aside and put away. You cannot retain them and fully know
what I want for you as My Family. Structured church and organised religion
have hindered people from knowing the simple wonder of a love relationship
Older fathers, with older children know a special joy when their children
become truly their friends. The relationship then enters a new and more
wonderful dimension. This was the special joy God had in Abraham, when
He could say, "Abraham, My friend." This is what God wants for
all of us. This is mature sonship in God, when Father and we are friends.
"No longer have I called you servants, but I have called you friends."
"What I am doing," I felt I heard Father say," is I am
working in two dimensions, on two levels.: first to replace your churches
and your denominations and your fellowships with My family. I am determined
to remove these things which are obstacles to the experience of living
in My family. For this purpose each individual must come to really know
Me as Father, and for this reason I need to take you, one by one, away
with Me alone. That is what I have been doing and am doing in many lives.
This is the wilderness wooing described in Hosea ch.2 vs.14-20. I want
you to know how to be able to cry, in helpless dependence and utter love
and trust, "Abba. Dad!.'"
"And this is just the beginning of My work. for as you come to know
Me as Father and Friend, then you will begin to love your brothers and
sisters in a new way, a new dimension of loving one another "fervently
from the heart" will be birthed."
"Then you will have a desire for family reunions, and I wi11 bring
you together, not for services or religious meetings as before, but for
times of joyous open relationships and sharing. And I, Father will be
amongst you, making My heart known to you as My friends."
"The second level is this: As I work to renew and restore My family,
so I will renew and restore your families (Malachi ch.4 v.5.),'Turning
the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children
to their fathers.'
Religious organisations and activities have not really been building strong
family relationships. Many have found, and are finding, that their religious
activities and ministries impose severe strains on family life. I felt
that the Lord was saying, "When you are willing to lay down these
things and stop them, allowing Me to bring you into the reality of My
family, then I wi11 restore your families. Fathers will have time for
their children and their wives and will see in a new way, the priority
of their families in My family."
John the Baptist's Forerunner ministry, (Luke ch.1 v.l7. Malachi ch.4
vs.5-6) had to do in part with family restoration. Satan's assault today
is very much concentrated on family life and relationships, and this attack
will intensify as he sees God's corporate John-the-Baptist ministry arising.
Pentecostal teaching has laid much emphasis on teaching about family,
but this has largely failed of its purpose because leaders and people
are so often swept up into a whirlwind of activities, meetings, seminars,
groups etc. It has to be recognised that the restoration of our families
can come only as God's family is restored and church divisions and denominations
are put away, and people learn to know God as Father, He who is the Father
"From whom every family in heaven and on earth is named." (Ephesians