The church is arousing from centuries of sleepy irrelevance, secret abuse, and cleric arrogance. A new recovery group of disciples is awakening—dressed in humility, marching in unity, and wielding weapons of spiritual power against a pervasive kingdom of darkness.
These pilgrims are recovering what James Rutz calls the three freedoms that empowered early believers as they met in open meetings. There was open worship (praising and adoring God), open sharing (building up one another), and open ministry (serving other people in the church and in the world). Rather than a re-action against closed-program church meetings, one-way religious lectures, or man-at-the-front ministries, a new spirit of pro-action is invading religious gatherings—prompted and directed by none other than the living LORD Himself. These Spirit-led open meetings are an oasis for family restoration, personal renewal, and spiritual nourishment.
Open Meetings in Ancient Israel
The pattern of open meetings began in a Garden some time ago. One's imagination turns to discussions God surely had with Adam and Eve. Even after they broke away from Divine intimacy, God called them for their daily walk to discuss their disobedience. "Adam, where are you?" echoed through the Garden.
What began in a Garden was repeated throughout biblical history. The God of creation longed to communicate with His people through open discussions reflected in walking with Noah, Enoch, Abraham, and Moses, to name a few.
Open discussions or meetings can be traced to the Torah and instructions given in the law courts. Deuteronomy 17:9 states: "Go to the priests, who are Levites, and to the judge who is in office at that time. Inquire of them and they will give you the verdict." ...