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The Forerunner

The Strategic Imperative for Unity

By Editorial Staff
Published August 1, 1992

By John D. Beckett
Chairman of the Board, Intercessors for America

Last fall I attended a “solemn assembly” of pastors and church group leaders, based on a pattern found in Joel 2. During the three days of the assembly, which was accompanied by fasting and much prayer, reconciliation took place and many damaged relationships were restored.

More recently, several from this assembly regathered, this time on a site overlooking the juncture of two of Ohio’s beautiful rivers. Exactly 175 years earlier to the day, a hearty pioneer had arrived by horseback from New England and decided these rivers provided the ideal location for a frontier settlement, and a town was born. With one heart and voice, we lifted up strong prayers for the area, asking God to displace spiritual strongholds and flood our community with His grace and mercy.

I see an important link between the solemn assembly and our territorial prayers. We needed right relationships to pray effectively. Our impact was rooted in our unity. But such unity is only beginning in our area. Satan has successfully used his time-tested arsenal of accusation, deception, turf-building and outright lies to divide and weaken us. He knows that a divided house cannot stand. He trembles at the prospect of a Church that is walking in submission to the Head and in love and forgiveness with each other. I believe this is why the New Testament makes clear that unity is not an option.

Our first encounter in the Scriptures with the early Church is at a prayer meeting, where they were all together in one accord. This was the context into which the Holy Spirit was poured out. Later we see them breaking bread from house to house, taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart. They enjoyed each other’s company.

Paul continually urged unity among believers, emphasizing that by one Spirit we are all baptized into one body. He admonished us to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body is fitted and held together. He exhorted us to agree, that there be no divisions among us, and that we be made complete in the same mind. He pressed the men to pray, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and dissension. He described a Church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle. I once heard a pastor remind us the Lord is coming back for a beautiful bride, not a nagging wife!

Peter said that all should be harmonious, sympathetic. He spoke of us as living stones, being built up into a spiritual house for a holy priesthood. James urged us to confess our sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that we might be healed.

So compelling was the idea of unity that Jesus petitioned His Father that his followers might all be one, even as He and the Father were one. He spoke of the power that would be released through a united church: “Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven.” The Greek word translated “agree” is sumpheneo, literally to sound together, or be in harmony. From this root we get the word symphony. Sumpheneo is so essential in a fine orchestra that a skilled conductor will detect even a single note that is out of place and speak firmly to the errant musician.

Our Heavenly Father is the conductor of the earthly orchestra called the Church. Whether it’s a duet, a small ensemble, or a full-scale symphony, He wants us in harmony. Only then will we produce the clear sound that engages the energy of heaven itself, which in turn will change the destiny of communities and nations. This is the strategic imperative for unity.


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Go Stand Speak (DVD)

With “preaching to the lost” being such a basic foundation of Christianity, why do many in the church seem to be apathetic on this issue of preaching in highways and byways of towns and cities?

Is it biblical to stand in the public places of the world and proclaim the gospel, regardless if people want to hear it or not?

Does the Bible really call church pastors, leaders and evangelists to proclaim the gospel in the public square as part of obedience to the Great Commission, or is public preaching something that is outdated and not applicable for our day and age?

These any many other questions are answered in this documentary.

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The Real Jesus: A Defense of the Historicity and Divinity of ChristThe Real Jesus: A Defense of the Historicity and Divinity of Christ (DVD)

Who is the Real Jesus?

Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the “historical Jesus” — a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.

Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regrettably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.

The Real Jesus explodes the myths of these critics and the movies, books and television programs that have popularized their views. Presented in ten parts — perfect for individual, family and classroom study — viewers will be challenged to go deeper in their knowledge of Christ in order to be able to defend their faith and present the truth to a skeptical modern world – that the Jesus of the Gospels is the Jesus of history — “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is the real Jesus.

Speakers include: George Grant, Ted Baehr, Stephen Mansfield, Raymond Ortlund, Phil Kayser, David Lutzweiler, Jay Grimstead, J.P. Holding, and Eric Holmberg.

Ten parts, over two hours of instruction!

Running Time: 130 minutes

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A Revival Account: Asbury 1970 (DVD)

What is true Revival and Spiritual Awakening?

Discover the answer in this eyewitness account by Dennis Kinlaw, President of Asbury College, Wilmore, Kentucky, who recounts the story of a visitation of the Holy Spirit in 1970. This is the presentation that has continued to spark the flames of Revival in the hearts of people around the world. Contains eyewitness footage from the Revival at Asbury College in 1970 in Wilmore, Kentucky.

Certain to challenge you to greater holiness and a deeper commitment to full-scale revival. Original news and private footage has been included. If you are a student who longs to see a spiritual awakening at your school, you must see this video!

“This simple video does a wonderful job of conveying something of God’s heart and power, Everyone we have ever shown this to has received an immediate impartation of faith for revival and the power of prayer.”
— Bob and Rose Weiner, Weiner Ministries Int’l

Running Time: 40 minutes

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The Beast of Revelation IdentifiedThe Beast of Revelation: Identified (DVD)

Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?

Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!

Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.

Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)

Running Time: 145 minutes

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Dr. Francis Schaeffer - How Should We Then Live? (DVD)

Special Two-Disc Set!

After 40 years of intense study and world-wide ministry, Dr. Francis Schaeffer completed his crowning work of scholarship – to present profound truths in simple film language. Dr. Schaeffer’s brilliant analysis of the past and predictions for current trends have proven so uncannily accurate that this amazing series still feels contemporary almost three decades after its initial release. Ultimately, Schaeffer concludes that man’s only hope is a return to God’s Biblical absolute, the truth revealed in Christ through the Scriptures.

Available for the first time on DVD, this documentary spectacular also includes intimate in-depth conversations with Francis and Edith Schaeffer. With the on-disc study guide, this presentation forms a unique course of comprehensive study. While this series forms an innovative analysis of the past, this outstanding work is more than history. Each episode focuses on a significant era, yet speaks clearly to 21st-century man with answers for modern problems.

$49.95 — ORDER NOW!

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