CAMPS

In 1973 while in Florida, Peggy and I spent about eight hours a day for five months in study and prayer.  We had gotten rid of all our commentaries and outlines and said, “Lord, we want you to teach us.  You said you’ve given us the Holy Spirit to lead us into all truth.  It was a tremendous time of immersing ourselves in His word and coming to know Him better.  Later that year, in December, we were meeting in a house with other couples.  I was sitting on the floor and one of the brothers, Glenn Talbert, looked at me and said, “The Lord has given Bob something to share.”  He knew that there was an explosion of the Spirit taking place in me.  I had never experienced anything like it before.  I opened my mouth and what came out is basically what I am sharing in this pamphlet.  (Note: This is an exact copy of that pamphlet with appropriate credit given at the end.)

For months I had been thinking on scriptures like the following one that had to do with what was going off in me.  Matthew 4:18-25:  “And walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen.  And He said to them, ‘Follow Me...[Those are the two key words]  ‘Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.’  And they immediately left the nets and followed Him.  And going on from there He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and He called them.  And they immediately left the boat and their father, and followed Him.  And Jesus was going about in all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the gospel [the good news] of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people. And the news about Him went out into all Syria, and they brought to Him all who were ill, taken with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, paralytics; and He healed them.  And great multitudes followed Him from Galilee and Decapolis and Jerusalem and Judea and from beyond the Jordan.”

In a vision I saw Jesus walking through the land of Israel as described in this passage.  He was walking through Jerusalem saying, “Follow Me.” He was walking down the road to Jericho, up the Jordan River valley, around the Sea of Galilee, to Cana, Capernaum, Tiberius, over to Nazareth, back down to Samaria, Judea...and His call was very simple,  “Follow Me.”

I saw people leaving and following Him—people who were fisherman, tax-gatherers, prostitutes, business people, educators—all kinds of people leaving and following Jesus. This group was moving with Him. He was in front.  He was their teacher; He was their shepherd; He was the prophet; He was the healer.

It was He, the Son of God, whom they were following.  And He was on the move.

As these people left what they were doing and started following Jesus, they became the ecclesia, the called-out-ones.  There were no buildings involved; there were no creeds involved; there was no organization involved; there were no non-profit organizations involved.  It was a band of people who had heard Jesus, Savior and Lord, and had left all to follow Him.  Some were up close to Him, in very intimate relationship; others were scattered back along the path that He was traveling on; others were just coming up out of the Jordan River, or the Sea of Galilee, or leaving their places of business.  So they were in all different places in their relationship with Him, and with one another.

I also saw as they moved in relationships with Jesus that they were living in relationships with one another—the ecclesia.

As they followed Him day and night, He would teach them, He would feed them, He would heal them—the Son of God, manifesting the glory of God and meeting all of the needs of the people who had left all to follow Him.

One day as they were walking through the land, I saw Jesus teaching.  He was teaching on grace.  He said, “You know, you’ve been trying to get to the Father through keeping laws.  You can’t do that.  It’s not by law-keeping that you’re justified. It’s by My grace.’  And boy, was that received by the hearts of the people—it just spread back through the whole body that was moving.  This body was a fluid, dynamic, moving, changing, living organism.  There was constant moving taking place in the relationships with Him and with one another.

As the word about grace flowed back through the whole ecclesia, it was so exciting.  It set them free from thousands of years of legalistic law-keeping—trying to be justified with God through what they did.  They said, “Its grace, its grace! Hallelujah, we’re free! We’re free! We’re free from the law of sin and death.  We’re set free to move in a relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ. It’s grace. Praise the Lord. What a blessing!”

And so, that became the thing that they were talking about that day.  That evening, as they were all moving through Israel, the sun started going down over the Mediterranean Sea.  Someone said, “You know, it’s beginning to get dark and a little chilly. Shouldn’t we gather some firewood?” So, they gathered dead limbs to build a little campfire.  Some of the group went to warm their hands around the fire, still talking about grace, still celebrating the newfound freedom in Jesus. That night as the sun went down over the Mediterranean, a camp formed.

They were celebrating grace, writing songs about grace, saying,: “this is it.”  The next morning they kindled their fire and continued to huddle around their revelation of grace.  However, the ecclesia was still following Jesus.  They, too, had received grace. It had become a part of their lives through the power of the Holy Spirit in their hearts, but they were continuing to move in a relationship with Jesus.  Nevertheless, that night a little camp started to build around grace.

The next few days as the ecclesia continued to move in their dynamic relationship with Jesus Christ, He talked to them about water baptism. He said, “You know, he who believes and is baptized will be saved.”  “Baptism! Did you hear what the Master said? Baptism—let’s get baptized.” So they went to the Jordan River,  Sea of Galilee—wherever there was water—and they were baptizing one another, being baptized, coming up out of  the water rejoicing!  Jesus said to do it, and we’ve done it.  We get the blessings that He promised through submission to Him.  We died, we died with Him, we’ve been buried with Him now, and we’ve been resurrected to walk in newness of life.  Praise the Lord, it was a glorious time.

That was all that some of them could think about.  They had forgotten that He was taking care of them and feeding them and healing them. It was just—”water baptism is it!”  That evening as the sun was going down over the Mediterranean, someone said, “You know, the sun is going down, and it’s getting a little chilly.  Shouldn’t we gather some wood and build a little fire?” That evening some gathered around the campfire. They started writing songs about water baptism: “Buried with Christ, my blessed Redeemer...”

They talked and talked about water baptism — that was all they had on their minds.  The next morning, however, the ecclesia was still moving with Jesus.  They had received grace, they had received water baptism, but they were continuing to move in a relationship with Jesus Christ and loving one another and serving one another, and as Peter says, “As each one of you has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another.” This was taking place in the ecclesia, but the sad thing was that another camp formed that night around water baptism.

Is water baptism of Jesus? Yes.

Is it to be received? Yes.

Is it to camp around? No.

A few days later as the ecclesia was moving through the land; growing in the relationship with the Son of God, the King of kings and Lord of lords, Jesus talked about the Holy Spirit.  “You know, even John baptized with water, but I’ll baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”  “The Holy Spirit!  Listen at that! Yes!”  And so, that day the ecclesia received the power of the Holy Spirit from the Lord Jesus Christ, the head of the body, the head of the ecclesia. Their lives were dramatically transformed. 

They now had power; the dynamite of God had gone off in their lives. Some were singing about it, some were dancing, some were saying,  “This is the most wonderful day of our lives.” In addition to the empowering, fruit was borne, gifts of the Holy Spirit released, the “deeper-walk” guys received tongues, and all kinds of manifestations occurred—prophecy, dreams, visions, interpretations.  That evening as the sun was going down over the Mediterranean, a few said,  “Did you notice that it’s starting to cool off?  We have arrived.  We have received grace, we have received water baptism, and we have the Holy Spirit.”

They were so excited. They gathered some firewood, built a little campfire to stay warm, and they started making laws about the Holy Spirit that Jesus had not made.  “If you’ve got the Holy Spirit, you will respond and react in exactly the same way that I did.”  And they were all so filled—that was the “true deeper-walk” camp that formed around another little campfire that night.

The only problem was that the ecclesia was still moving in the intimacy of the relationship with Jesus Christ and one another.  Is the Holy Spirit of the Lord? Yes.  Does He give that to believers? Yes.  Is it to be received?  Yes.  Is it to camp around?  No.

A few days later, Jesus said,  “You know, if you believe in Me and trust in Me and walk with Me, I will never cast you out.  You have eternal life now.”  “Did you hear that?!”  And His words permeated the whole body that was moving in that relationship.  “We have the eternal security of the believer!  Wonderful, wonderful!”

And, by now, you know what happened. That evening another camp formed around the eternal security of the believer.  Are we eternally secure as we walk in that relationship with Jesus Christ?  Yes.  He says that He will take care of us, now, and then.  We have eternal security.  Is it something to be camped around?  No.

We are to keep our eyes fixed on Him.  We are to keep our ears and heart attuned to Him.  We are to keep moving in the intimacy of the relationship with Jesus.  We keep growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ and refuse to camp.  We refuse to camp because of what has happened in the camps.  The minute the campers took their eyes off Jesus to gaze into their campfires, they started to die spiritually.

They were holding to a form of godliness and denying the power thereof.  They had severed themselves from the head.  Jesus didn’t sever Himself from them.  They made a choice to stop following Him.  Time and time again, people have stopped following Jesus by camping out around all manner of revelations, doctrines, and moves of the Holy Spirit— sonship, discipleship, faith, healing, prosperity, New Testament government, Pentecostal holiness, Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterians, Catholics, Church of  Christ, etc.

One time I counted over a thousand different camps, each one claiming to be the true one.

Jesus didn’t come to start a camp.  Jesus came to call us to a relationship with Him—not to know about Him, but to get to know Him and walk with Him.

Romans 8:14 says, “For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are Sons of God.” As we are called out of the world, out of darkness into light, out of bondage into freedom, we keep looking to Jesus and trusting Him and obeying Him and responding to every word that He says.

We keep receiving every blessing and obeying everything that He says to us, but we stay in the intimacy of a relationship with Jesus Christ in a dynamic move of God, moving in relationships with one another.

Camps — that’s what I call the bad news.

That’s how Satan took the good news of Jesus and turned it into bad news in the world.  Camps are all over the world today—people camped around fires they have to kindle by the arm of self-strength.

They are as dead, missing the blessings of the intimacy of knowing Him, walking with Him, and being led of His Holy Spirit.  That vision so impacted our lives that we committed not to be a part of a camp—to love people in camps, but not to be a part of a camp—but to stay in the intimacy of the relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, the head of the body, the ecclesia and with others in the body.

Today, as we walk with Jesus, we see Jesus, full of grace and full of mercy, walking back through the camps.  His message is the same as it was two thousand years ago:  “Follow Me.”  He said, “Follow Me, and as you leave and follow Me, you have security. I will take care of you; I will feed you.  Every need shall be met according to My riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”

That is what He is saying to the ecclesia, to the people who dare to leave their camps and are moving in the intimacy of that relationship with Him.  Jesus is walking through the camps today, and He is saying once again, “Follow Me.”  We hear all kinds of responses from within those camps.  There are some people who set their jaws and say: “I was baptized here forty-seven years ago.  I’m not going anywhere!”  And you know what?  They’re not.

Those leaving say: “But, there’s something about His word.  There’s something about His teaching.  There’s something about His life. He has life.  It’s not religion, it’s not ritual, it’s not dead, its living bread from the Father that He’s sharing with us.  I gotta go.”

Some say, “You better not.  You’re following a false prophet, a false teacher, because we know. We’ve been here all of our lives.”  The good news is that many are abandoning their dead camps to move forward and upward in a relationship with Jesus Christ.  They are seeing that He’s alive, He’s not dead.  They’re seeing that His word is true.  They are seeing that the promises of Jesus are yes and amen for the people who are moving in the intimacy of the relationship with Him.

It never has been okay to simply know about Him.  He’s looking for people who know Him. That’s why they were called the ecclesia—the called-out-ones.  They left. They left the bondage of the world.  They left the darkness of the world.  They left the traditions of the world and of men two thousand years ago and started moving in the intimacy of a relationship with Jesus Christ.

And today, all over the world, as Jesus walks through the land saying, “Follow Me,” there are people who are getting up, shaking the dust off their feet, and starting to move in the closeness of an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ.

Around 1981 the Teacher gave me a word saying, “To walk in My Spirit is to walk in change.”  He’s always looking for a new wineskin, the hearts of men and women into whom He can pour His Spirit; and He will permeate.  He will empower, He will provide another stone in the temple that He’s building.  He’s calling people, and He’s speaking to people, and He’s healing people.

He is looking for a people, not a place.

His building program is made up of living stones, not concrete blocks, lumber, and nails, and asphalt parking lots.  He is looking for and raising up a people of faith, not some theological meeting to come up with a statement of faith.

He is not starting a new non-profit organization.  He is bringing to life a living organism, raising up apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, and with everyone in the Body a minister.

He is not looking for people known by their doctrine, pastor’s name, or location, but is raising up a people known by their love for Him and for one another.  He is not looking for people bound by traditions, but is raising up a people free in Jesus and being led by His Holy Spirit.

“Yes, but someone says.  “What if another says... John 21:22-23 reads, “Peter therefore seeing him [John] said to Jesus, ‘Lord, and what about this man?’ Jesus said to him, ‘If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me!”’  So what of your “yes, buts” and “what ifs”?  Jesus is saying: “What is that to you?  You follow Me.”

 

Bob Hughey

1035 The Narrow Way

Liberty TN. 37095

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