Teaching Into An Encounter by Bill Johnson

James Preston Reply 9:08 AM
This is a summary of "Teaching Into An Encounter", the 8th Chapter of Bill Johnson's remarkable book "When Heaven Invades Earth." I thought the material here may well provide you with some stirring Food for thought. Enjoy.

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Any revelation from God's Word that does not lead us to an encounter with God only serves to make us more religious. The Church cannot afford “form without power”, for it creates Christians without purpose. (Opening statement)

God's revealed Word, declared through the lips of an anointed teacher, ought to lead to demonstrations of power.

Jesus sent out His disciples saying “freely you have received, freely give. Preach the Gospel of the Kingdom.”

From John 14:10 – It is apparent that we speak the Word, and the Father does the works – miracles!

Bible teachers are to instruct in order to explain what they just did, or are about to do. When we restrict ourselves to mere words, we limit our gift, and may unintentionally lead believers to pride by increasing knowledge without an increased awareness of God's Presence and power! It's in the trenches of Christ-like ministry that we learn to become totally dependent upon God.

Personal Experience

There comes a time when simply knowing truth will no longer satisfy. There must be a “risk factor”. John Wimber calls this faith! Teaching must be followed with action that makes room for God to move.

Are we making the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, with the full manifestations of His gifts, the sole purpose of our existence?

Resisting The Influence Of Our Own Culture

Our culture values concepts and ideas above experience with results. You can go to colleges and get lectured in business by a person who has never owned a business! Such a culture has shaped most of our Bible schools.

Many present day movements have made a virtue out of staying the course without a God experience.

God cannot be known apart from experience.

Anyone who doesn't have an experience with God, doesn't know God.” He is a Person, not a philosophy or concept!

Those that have encountered God must stop watering down their story and use their testimonies to sit up a hunger for such encounters!

Kingdom Realised

God has promised to back up our message with power if our message is the Gospel of His Kingdom!

Power vs Pride

1 Corinthians 4:19b - 20

I’ll find out whether these arrogant people just give pretentious speeches or whether they really have God’s power. 20 For the Kingdom of God is not just a lot of talk; it is living by God’s power.

(For the Kingdom of God is not in word but in Power.) NKJV

The teachers mentioned here are different from the kind that Jesus intended the church to have! (Paul concedes these may be believers, but still refers to them as “puffed up” in the NKJV)

Personal charisma is often valued more by the church than either anointing or truth.

Paul chose not to wow the Corinthians with his extensive knowledge, instead he led them to an encounter with the God of all Power who would become the anchor of their faith!

The Kingdom of God is not in logos but in dunamis!

Dunamis is “the power of God displayed and imparted in a Holy Spirit outpouring.” That is the Kingdom!

In 1 Cor 2:5 Paul lays out his ministry priority as bringing people to a place of leaning on God's Power (dunamis) and not man's wisdom!

Any time the people of God become preoccupied with concepts and ideologies instead of a Christ-like expression of life and power, they are set up to fail, no matter how good those ideas are. Christianity is not a philosophy; it is a relationship. It's the God encounter that makes the concepts powerful!

We must require this of ourselves. How? We must seek until we find! (Luke 11:10)

Fathers with Power vs Teachers With Only Words (As in 1 Cor 4)

Father Teachers (not after Jesus' example)

Lifestyle – imitate fathers Lifestyle – gather around ideas (divisive)

Attitude – Humility Attitude – Pride (puffed up)

Ministry – Power Ministry – Many words

Focus – The Kingdom Focus – Teachings


God Is Bigger Than His Book

You are wrong because you know neither the Scriptures nor God's Power.” Matt 22:29 (NLT)

A rebuke aimed at the ignorance infecting every area of their lives.

They didn't allow the Scriptures to lead them to God. “KNOW” - personal experience!

They tried to learn apart from such an experience.

It is a lack of Power of encounters that lead to a misunderstanding of God and His Word. Experience is necessary in building a true knowledge of the Word.

It is illegitimate to allow fear to keep us from pursuing a deeper experience with God!

Embracing such fear causes a failure to the other extreme, which is culturally more acceptable, but significantly worse in eternity.

God is True to His Word, bet He does not avoid acting outside of our understanding of it!

God is so foreign to our natural ways of thinking that we only truly see what He shows us – and we can only understand Him through relationship!

The Bible reveals the greatness of our God, but it does not contain Him.

Don't hide your need to be in control behind a banner of “staying anchored in the Word.”

Road Map or Tour Guide

Anything I can get from the Word without God will not change my life.

The Bible is closed to ensure that I remain dependent on the Holy Spirit.

When we treat the Bible as a roadmap we live as though we can find our way though our own understanding of His book. This kind of perspective of Scriptures is similar to live under the law, and not living under Grace!

Living under law is the tendency to desire a list of preset boundaries, and not a relationship.

Under Grace we don't get a road map, we get a tour guide – the Holy Spirit!

Revelation that doesn't lead to a God encounter only serves to make me more religious.

The pride that comes from mere Bible knowledge is divisive.

The heart that fears God only – that heart is the heart where faith is born.

The mission of heaven is to infiltrate earth with its realities. All teaching is to lead us to that end, for training in the Kingdom is not without purpose.

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