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.)
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
baptism of Jesus? Yes.
Is it to be
Is it to camp
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
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.
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,
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?
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
1035 The Narrow
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