Video link at the bottom of the lesson
1. Introduction to Series of Five Fellowships
Fellowship in the Gospel is the first of the five fellowships we encounter in our walk with God.
Nothing I enjoy more than my relationship with God and there is nothing the enemy will try to attack more than our intimacy with God.
I am aware that my fellowship with God has become more exciting in the last four years than any other time in my 40+ year journey with Abba Father.
A. Lessons from the Apostle John
Interestingly, the apostle John, more so than any other apostle, was the one who seemed most able to see into the spirit realm. The entire book of Revelations is a series of visions. Yet John was, after Paul, the leading theologian of His time. Jesus prophesied a coming apostasy within one generation. The primary false theology of the great apostasy was Gnosticism, and John was the one, above all apostles, who argued against Gnosticism.
There is a valuable lesson here. John was the one who was closest to Jesus:
Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved.
He was the one whom Jesus entrusted with the Revelations of Jesus Christ. Moreover, at the same time, John was the one who wrote many of the epistles, was the senior leader of the Jerusalem church and argued vehemently against Gnosticism. He was sound in his theology and had a great relationship with God that we should aspire to.
From John, we learn that seeing into the spirit realm requires a balance of good theology. But mainly, it involves intimacy of relationship with the Trinity. We will learn in this series about friendship with Jesus, fellowship with the Holy Spirit and familiarity with the Father.
B. Trusting in the Father’s Voice
In 1994, while attending a conference, I had a vision of heaven and hell.
After the vision, God said, “Neville, I want to give you some of My glory.” I had never heard nor read about God giving His sons glory, so I immediately rebuked Satan because I thought Satan was trying to deceive me.
But the Voice I knew as God continued and asked, “Neville, do you trust Me enough to receive what I want to give you, and I will teach you the doctrine later?”
I replied, “Yes, Lord!”.
The Holy Spirit filled me with His glory and His Spirit afresh that day. My effectiveness in the ministry catapulted me to a new level of glory and power. And God did teach me the doctrine of glory, which we will look at in a separate series.
C. Sound Doctrine – the Platform for Spiritual Revelation
In the example above, spiritual revelation came before the sound doctrine. Usually, sound doctrine comes first, then followed by the spiritual revelation. Spiritual revelation sometimes comes first, but must always agree with sound theology. If our theology is wrong, then our interpretation of spiritual revelation is wrong. Here are two examples of this:
When the Covid 19 Pandemic started, several well-known prophets with worldwide ministries said it would be over by Passover 2020. Still, when the pandemic did not cease, they said that it would be over by Pentecost 2020, and when that passed, others said it would be over by the Feast of Tabernacles 2020. I knew those predictions would be incorrect because they were basing their prophecies on theology that the Feasts were still active today. However, sound theology teaches that Jesus fulfils the feasts. Contrary to these prophets, in January 2020, I was already warning people this would be a prolonged pandemic.
The second example is recent prophecies stating that the Antichrist would reveal himself in 2021. Of course, he hasn’t because the Antichrist was revealed in 56CE and was known to the Thessalonians in 62-64CE. Again sound doctrine must be the platform for successful spiritual revelation.
D. The Next Level
There are times in our lives when God will speak outside of our beliefs, but generally, He will only talk inside of what we currently believe. So it is with these five “fellowships with God”.
For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.
“Eat and drink!” he says to you,
But his heart is not with you.
May I encourage you to ask God the same question that I asked Him:
“Abba, show me where I have stopped growing.”
“God, take me to the next level in my relationship with You”.
When you ask questions like these, you are opening yourself up to God, taking yourself to the next level, as David did:
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
2. Fellowship in the Gospel
Fellowship in the Gospel is the first fellowship that people have with God, the good news of redemption found in Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection.
for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now,
A. Positionally, we see Ourselves as Children of God:
I write to you, little children,
Because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake.
1 John 2:12
The Holy Spirit comforts us as children, telling us God forgives our sins. It saddens me that some think that all they need is to have their sins forgiven. They struggle through life in a cycle of sinning and asking forgiveness. Although they will go to heaven because of the New Covenant, they do not realise that they can have victory over sin and its consequences. Sadly we see this evident even in the life of great leaders. Saint Augustine had been promiscuous in his youth. Yet, on his deathbed, he was stuck in a cycle of repentance from sin, rather than confidently knowing God had forgotten his youthful sins. Jesus died for our sins, and also the consequences of those sins. We can also walk free from shame, guilt, self-pity and condemnation.
B. Holy Spirit Brings us into the Family of God.
For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”
God replaces the spirit of bondage and fear with the spirit of adoption.
It is not God’s intention that we only have fellowship in the Gospel because he wants us to mature in Christ. He wants us to retain this fellowship but include four other connections. Having all five will bring a thrill into our relationship with God and make us more effective. The subsequent friendship we encounter is with the Holy Spirit.
- Fellowship in the Gospel is the first fellowship we enter.
- Fellowship in the Gospel teaches us forgiveness and welcomes us into the Family of God.
- There are five fellowships in the New Testament.
There are four more fellowships that we will look at over the following lessons. The next in the series is Fellowship with Holy Spirit, followed by Fellowship with His Son and Fellowship in His Sufferings. And then fellowship with the Mystery of His Will, which God is saying to the Bride of Christ now.
© Use by Permission Awakening Impact Ministries/ Dr Neville van Eerten 2022