Community

And the Lord answered me, and said, write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. 3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.                                                                                                                                                                                 Habakkuk 2:2

The Lost Sheep - Ephraim Returning

Matthew 28:19-20 therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

Introduction & Vision

The concept vision for the community was birthed during a time when the revelation of what would become known as the second greater exodus was revealed to us. We have subsequently made this message a central theme and the focus of the ministry of AoE for several years. Gradually, believers, though still small in number, are coming to understand that YHVH wants us to be ready for the times to come. The greater exodus is, in essence, the move of His people; the whole community of Israel in the diaspora, to return to the land of their promise in the days leading up to and during the tribulation of Israel in the world. As part of the initial move, the spirit of the LORD will move upon their hearts, and as part of this move, the realisation of making themselves ready for such a move will become paramount. YHVH has shown that such places will be positioned throughout the earth and that the Spirit of the LORD and the ministry of angels will direct the path of thousands once they are ready to move. The pattern of exodus follows the pattern of exile. As long as YHVH’s children are not in the land, they remain in exile. The ideal of community; the desire for YHVH’s people to live in unity and stability, is a Biblical pattern. Over the years, many have tried to emulate the idea but have failed because of the lack in understanding the foundation and purpose. We, by no means, profess that we have the absolute answer, but we have the understanding that without the word of the LORD being central to our move and the life of the community, where Godly and humble people reside over the safety and welfare of the vision, there can never be unity or peace — the vision will simply not succeed. When men take control and seek position, there will be conflict, and the idea of community no matter how good or honourable will not survive. The purpose of such a community will ultimately equip the sojourner to complete their path with the necessary skills and knowledge. In premise, to begin the journey into community, we must understand that it will come at a cost and sacrifice. Most of all it will demand that we have a complete change of heart and that we walk in humility, even seeking to put the journey of others before us, and the welfare of the vision before the needs of any single person. The mandate given to us is to facilitate this move and to oversee the pattern YHVH has shown for us. In addition to the building of its infrastructure, the observation, education, and teaching of the word must remain central and uncompromised. The growth of the community will be safeguarded in this respect.

 

Overview

We have come to call the vision for such a community ‘The Lost Sheep Homestead Project.’ It seeks to establish a thriving sustainable community and training centre to equip participants in the various aspects of farming, craft, and building projects that will help to support individuals, develop business and bless the wider community.  Accommodation will be provided for those who seek to live and be part of the fledgling community and will also provide an opportunity for those who wish to come and live on the land while studying and working.

As part of the project, we will establish temporary and permanent dwellings for co-workers and visitors, and other additional outbuildings for livestock and stores. It is envisaged that various sustainable animal stocks will be part of the produce of the community, along with various types of vegetable crops and gardens suitable for its biodiversity.  

The initial phase will see the first group of the community come to build and establish the infrastructure to the land. This initial phase will also encompass the first batch of livestock, which in the initial weeks, will be made ready for processing for future needs. The ethos, of the project, in addition,  will also help those in need in the wider local community, thus building relationships among the locals and sharing resources in a practical and giving way. We have spoken to many people in the UK who are looking now to know how they can be involved.  Feedback thus far is positive and prospective members are waiting for the initial phases to begin.

We have, within the project team, the necessary engineering skills to create power and resource streams to help the community to become self-sustaining and Eco friendly.

The task we are about to undertake is enormous, and it will require much organisation.  It has to be done right and correctly, but paramountly in the way that has been ascribed by YHVH. The Lord is calling us to a greater level of faith in these days. If we are obedient to the vision and seek God's kingdom purpose, then all that we need will manifest. We will not lack any good thing. We need people to pledge and commit their support both financially, practically, and prayerfully for the vision to become a reality. When we obey and move in accordance to ways of YHVH, He promises us that we will see the promise and the blessing in the land of the living.

 

Financing the vision is important, but we want people to be more than financial supporters. That is why we are asking that those who want to invest in the project do so by initially pledging their intended support and commitment. As a stakeholder, you will partner with and walk with us every step of the way.  Therefore, we ask that you seek the Lord and understand how you might be involved.  Every skill and experience is needed, and regardless of age, health, or status, the vision can be yours. All who seek to build and bring glory to YHVH will be accepted. Giving in to this vision requires long term investment of every resource and commitment as the strategy for its success will evolve as the community grows. 

We have been busy sourcing land areas that have the necessary resources for the initial phase and for subsequent development phases.  However, as is our custom, we continually strive and seek the Lord in the places for the vision and to make sure we are still on course. We know that the UK is our field, We also know that many believers are also being called out to emulate the project where they are and in other places on the earth.  each homestead assigned to the Lord must be a permanent dedication and a sacrifice of worship to Him. Each one of them must be a place for family and sojourners.

Our plan for stakeholders and partners is to develop and work in long term partnerships with landlords and farmers. Our hope is to eventually purchase land as a central location, and several other properties as homesteads, so that the project can be sustainably viable. There is a strategy that we believe will help everyone make the move to community regardless of status. At this point, we will reveal the process to those who will be willing to make the move into committing to the project. We want to establish a long term understanding and honour our landlords and partners by involving them in the growth of the vision. This is a vital step and one we consider to be extremely important. In response, we undertake to create a framework of responsibility for the land, wildlife, and any structures and buildings that currently have a footprint on the land. 

 

What Now?

We hope that the outline of the ‘Lost Sheep Community Vision’ will encourage you and get you excited. The times we find ourselves in are indeed peculiar, unprecedented, and extraordinary. Many are wondering what the future will bring for them. YHVH has made a way for His children. The work of the gospel remains paramount in our endeavours. We must reach the lost and equip the saints in every way and use all the resources available to us. That will be part of our work, and it will remain central to the vision. The house of Israel, the lost sheep, must hear the message of the gospel. It is the power of God unto salvation, the hope of Israel’s unification and the restoration of the House of YHVH.

 

We ask that you will prayerfully consider your response. Our counsel to the reader is to seek the Lord to where you should go and how you should be envolved.  Your move may take you to others who are also building this vision. May the Lord lead you to them. Your direction may be in another land or to stay where you are and help others to build. Wherever it may be, may you move in peace.

 

The ‘Shema,’ in Deuteronomy 6:4-7 and Mark 12:29 is an ordinance to hear YHVH’s word and do it. It is conditional in the relationship with Him, and is founded on forgiveness. It confers upon every child of God to love his brother and maintains the welfare of His family and the community of faith.

Ask, seek, and knock, the Lord tells us. We pray that you will come to understand the times and may wisdom and understanding guide you.

 

Shalom

Grant Marshall & Nathan Barnard

 

LIVE, LEARN, LEAVE

 

Deuteronomy 30 1 And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath driven thee, 2 And shalt return unto the LORD thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul; 3 That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee. 4 If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the LORD thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee: 5 And the LORD thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers. 

 

 

The pattern of Church and a Community is established almost immediately in the Biblical narrative. The construct of a Community Church is what God establishes and calls family. It reflects God’s desire for His family to dwell together in unity with Him at centrality. Living with Him each day with His Holy Spirit and nature reflected among the personalities and gifts of His children, point to a greater vision or the fulfillment of a divine plan to see His heavenly family united. The earthly plan, therefore, reflects a divine purpose. God commanded the first man and woman to multiply and to fill the earth He had made for them. God’s plan was to cohabit this world with us. But the world became corrupt when those first human beings were influenced by  Satan, the adversary of God. God looked down and saw that the earth was filled with wickedness and evil. As a result, He had to make a plan to save a group of people that carried the righteous seed of their ancestors. The seed bearer was Noah. This plan would see the separation of these people from the rest of the world. The separation would not be easy. The plan to diminish the earth’s population and deal with sin, crimes against God, would take millennia in human time but only days to Him. The extraction would begin with the flood, and subsequent events would follow. From Noah’s seed Abraham would come and it would be from him that Isaac and then Jacob would be born, and from him, the nations of Israel would rise. Israel would be the sign that God would use to show His glory to all the inhabitants of the earth and to the household of God in heaven. Through wisdom, understanding and the work of the Holy Spirit, God’s children will come to understand the signs revealed at the right time. 

 

The nature of Jacob’s sons, the tribes of Israel, will reflect the many personalities, exactly like those among the children of ordinary families of the earth today. These would represent the many single houses in God’s whole house. Israel would be a people group called ‘chosen,’ and bearing God’s name among the nations. These would be the ones He would make into a Holy, separate nation and a royal priesthood.. Exodus 19: 5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: 6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation.

 

Deuteronomy 14:2 ….for you are a holy people belonging to the LORD your God. The LORD has chosen you to be His prized possession out of all the peoples on the face of the earth. Isaiah 61:6 But you will be called the priests of the LORD; they will speak of you as ministers of our God; you will feed on the wealth of the nations, and you will boast in their riches. 1 Peter 2: 9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: 10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy

 

On earth, Israel would be given a land of their own to occupy. The whole house of Jacob would be restored following the breakup of the Kingdom of Israel into the northern and southern kingdoms. The prophecy of this event would come to fulfilment when the nations return in repentance, back to God… 

 

Romans 11:25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part has happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. 26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: 27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. 

 

Before this event, God would establish a series of laws and precepts to help govern Israel. Given through the patriarchs, these laws would eventually be written upon stone tablets for the people of Israel to see. These laws would establish harmony and blessing among this Holy/separate nation. The blessings would manifest as abundance in wealth, health, fertility among man and woman, livestock and land. The people would see miracles and the awesome deeds of God in their midst when trouble from their enemies arose. In these times, God promised that if they obeyed His laws they would receive victory in battle and their enemies would flee or remain as slaves. 

Deuteronomy 30: 9 And the LORD thy God will make thee plenteous in every work of thine hand, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy land, for good: for the LORD will again rejoice over thee for good, as he rejoiced over thy fathers: 10 If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if thou turn unto the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul…. …15 See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; 16 In that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it. 17 But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them; 18 I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it. 19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: 20 That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them. 

 

The conflict between Israel and God would insue many times throughout the ages. God’s reaction would be to turn His face from their disobedience, resulting in their expulsion from the land promised to them, into exile. In time, once Israel had learned their lesson and repented, God would deliver them from the hands of their captors. Some would return to the land but others would choose to remain as part of the nation, having absorbed their traditions, language, and practices of worship. This would result in the loss of their identity and culture. Though God’s judgments were hard, His love for Israel will endure despite the covenants between Him and His people being broken many times. That covenant is alive and remains today.

 

Romans 11:1 I (Paul) ask then, did God reject His people? Absolutely not! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God did not reject His people, whom He foreknew. 

 

The Church Community vision is one where people can come, live, learn and then leave, having been equipped for the next phase of their personal journey. Overall, each person will leave with a clear purpose of what God is calling them to do.