NO "BODY"? NO LEADERS? -Really?? -by Andrew Strom. Yet again in this forum the subject of whether we "REALLY" need a Body or "REALLY" need leaders has arisen. I guess I find this a frustrating topic, because it is one that never seems to go away - no matter how often we have discussed it over the years. During my "wilderness" period in the 1980's and early 1990's, I would have argued loudly that "NO!" - We do not need to be part of a 'body' to live as a true Christian. "God is doing a new thing," I would have said. "And there should only be kind-of 'invisible' leaders or none at all... Anyhow, the churches and leaders we see today are nothing like the Bible." - This is the kind of argument I would have used at that time. I had many heated discussions along these lines. But today I have a different view. I believe we are about to see a move of God that will bring about the highest form of 'Body life' and true leadership that we have ever seen. The best example of Body Life that we know of was the book of Acts church - but we have never actually seen such a thing ourselves. Back then, 'Body Life' involved incredible unity, love and community of the highest order - and a clear recognition of the authority of the apostles. We are going to see this kind of thing again. And we are going to see leaders like David arise, who truly have a "heart after God". It is important to realize that if you take away 'BODY' and "LEADERS" then you pretty much destroy the entire purposes of God in the earth. Most of the New Testament has to be thrown out. In fact, the entire purpose and direction of God in the earth is lost. He is after a Body in the earth that truly represents Him. He is after a Body that looks like Jesus, sounds like Jesus - and in fact is "LIKE CHRIST" in every way. It is to be His 'body' - doing His works. That is the whole point of the New Testament. And He raises up LEADERS known as the "Five-fold ministry" to bring His people into this state - into the "full stature" of Christ. (-That is their job). What is the "full stature" of Christ? It is simply this: Every member of the Body functioning to the fullest extent of what they are meant to be in God. Knitted together "as one", cleansed and purified - a glorious, anointed Bride - truly fit for the King. This could not be further away from the concept of 'individuals' who are out there by themselves "doing their own thing" in God. It is the exact opposite. This is not to say that today's church is 'ideal' in any way. Far from it. But there are harmful attitudes amongst many people that could prevent them from having a part in what God is about to do. There is a 'new move' coming. As soon as you get rid of the idea of leaders with godly 'AUTHORITY' then you have got rid of the entire New Testament, in my view. It is then impossible for God to bring about the Body that He so desires. If there is to be no "five-fold ministry" then all is lost. The Bride can never be. Christ's Body has to be formed the way He prescribes in Scripture - with "every joint supplying" - or it will never become His Body at all. God has always used strong leaders right through history. It is the way He operates. From Abraham, Moses and Joshua down to Peter, Paul, Whitefield and Wesley - it has always been God's way. 'Five-fold' type leadership is ESSENTIAL to seeing God's purposes fulfilled in our day as well. And they will be leaders of great authority. Not harsh dictators, but men who have a heart like David. True authority and true leadership go hand in hand. Such was the authority of Peter that under his word Ananias and Saphira were struck dead. This sent a godly fear right through Jerusalem - amongst believers and unbelievers alike. And such was the authority of Paul that under his word a false prophet was literally struck blind. These were "fathers" in the church, to bring God's order, discipline and love to bear so that the entire body could be molded and grow up into the "fulness of the stature of Christ". And they were constantly on guard lest the devil's deceptions get in and wreck everything. There is NO CHANCE of a full "Bride" without leaders such as these. The devil would get in so fast, we would hardly know what hit us. As you can see, I have come to regard the "anti-leader" and "anti-body" dogmas that are out there as being essentially "anti-christ". They are against Him and His purposes in every way. They stop people wanting to come together and "BE" the Body of Jesus. And they stop people from expecting true LEADERS to arise that they can join with and find trustworthy. What happens is that a terrible cynicism arises inside people. They reject authority and go off by themselves. Some stay that way for years. It is very significant to me that it was only when I RENOUNCED (-with all my being) all "REBELLION" and Cynicism, that I was set free from these deceptions. Suddenly my eyes were opened and I could see the harmful attitudes that 'Rebellion' had formed inside me. I would encourage every person to go through this "RENOUNCING" process. Treat these things like 'demons' that you have to get out of you! RENOUNCE them with the full force of your entire being - in Jesus' name. Go through your life and get rid of any darkness inside you - any pride, hurt, rebellion, whatever. RENOUNCE it all. You will be transformed. This process certainly transformed my life. What a breakthrough! "The Spirit and the Bride say 'Come'", my friends. God bless you all! Kindest regards in Christ, Andrew Strom.