Viola and DeMuth Release THE DAY I MET JESUS

The Day I Met Jesus – Released in 2015, this book is a literary masterpiece. Viola and DeMuth are titans of creative writing, and in this astounding book, they are their incendiary best. The Day I Met Jesus brings the reader into windswept grandeur, a soul-stirring journey of first-century figures and the Man, Jesus, who transformed their lives. The book is a durable body of work, nothing less than awe-inspiring. A great display of color, engaging story, and drama. At points, it contains a flair of passion. A spellbinding presentation. As one endorser put it, the book is “elegant, stimulating, rewarding, this probe into Jesus’ relationship with women packages the best of biblical scholarship and theology in the spellbinding wraps of storytelling.” – Leonard Sweet.

by Donald Stevenson

For other books by Viola, go to Frank Viola author

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Jesus Our Glorifier

Our Glorifier

Finally, there will come a time when Jesus will glorify us and give us a body just like His. This phenomenon is called glorification.

Glorification is the highest expression of a life. When a flower comes into full bloom, it is glorified. In the words of deeper Christian life writer Andrew Murray, “To glorify is to be manifest the hidden excellence and worth of an object.”[1]

There will come a day when Jesus will manifest our sonship (and daughtership) to the world. He will give us a resurrected, glorified body just like His. The seed of God’s life that first entered into us will have grown into its fullest and highest potential.

[He] will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. (Phil. 3:21 ESV)

And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. (Rom. 8:30 ESV)

So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. (1 Cor. 15:42–44 NIV)

Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. (1 John 3:2)

This is all part of His present-day ministry. It is to perfect what He started in us.

[1] Andrew Murray, The Spirit of Christ (London: James Nisbet & Co., 1888), 106.

by Frank Viola, author, in Jesus Now.

See also Frank Viola author ministry site.

In the Life of Job

Consider Job. Here is a man who experienced a dark night beyond telling. Job had great wealth, many friends, and many children. God had beautifully blessed him. And what happened?

God took it all away.

Job’s dark night occurred suddenly without warning. An angel didn’t send him an email saying, “Get ready, there’s a big one coming!” God didn’t throw a Facebook snowball at him saying, “Look out, Job, you’re going to lose everything in one day.” No, there was no fax, email, or superpoke announcement.

It came without warning. In one day, Job lost his cattle, his crops, and his children. It appears that God went on vacation. This was Job’s dark night. God was silent, but He wasn’t absent. The Lord was present throughout the ordeal, from beginning to end. In fact, He was actually behind it—allowing it.

Job’s drama was being played out on a double stage. Aside from the earthly events, there were things happening in the heavenly realm of which Job was completely unaware. Job was experiencing his evening, his darkness.

Let me remind you: The evening always has within it the promise of the morning. The night always has within it the promise of the day to come. When you go through the dark night, as a church or as an individual, remember that the morning is gestating, growing, and it will eventually appear.

Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5 NKJV).

Job endured his evening. He was bombarded on every point to lose his faith in God—by pressure from his friends and his own wife. Yet Job maintained his integrity. His words are revealing: “The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away.”

Yet after the evening—after the night—Job experienced his morning. God restored everything Job had lost and more. Job received double what was taken away (Job 42:10; James 5:11). He received more children. He received more wealth, more cattle, and more crops.

Not only that, but Job lived for 140 more years, and God blessed him during each one of those years.

I don’t know about you, but whenever I read that account, I think to myself: But what about those kids that are buried in Job’s backyard?

I have to believe that the Lord eased the pain and softened the memory somehow, and Job lived a peaceful, satisfied man the rest of his days. For comfort and peace are contained within the blessing of God.

Again: You and I have a God who takes away so that He may establish. And what He establishes is always better than what He took away. 

From Revise Us Again by Frank Viola, author

Pastor Jed

     Let me add a word about the psychological dynamics that occur when a person hears a message that challenges long-held beliefs and assumptions.

      There are essentially three responses. One is to reject it out of hand (which often entails attacking the messenger). Another is to embrace it by making the needed adjustments for which it calls. But the third is more subtle. It’s to embrace it in word, but reject it in deed. Let me illustrate with an actual event.

      There was once a pastor named Jed who began reading some “subversive literature” on church renewal and restoration. Pastor Jed had preached the Bible from A to Izzard. But the material in these books was entirely new to him.      

     They called into question virtually everything he believed and practiced about the church. They argued against a clergy system. They argued that the entire congregation . . . all of God’s people . . . should minister, should function as priests in God’s House, and should be responsible for carrying the burden of church ministry.

      Pastor Jed’s reaction was three-fold. He was shocked, alarmed, and excited. The excitement won out. So he began sharing these books with his fellow pastor friends in town. They too began devouring them and reacted the same way that Jed did.

      Six months later, Pastor Jed mounted his pulpit one Sunday morning and made the following announcement: “I have some exciting news to share with all of you. For the past six months, I have been reading a number of books that have shaken me to my core. They have shown me that Jesus Christ wants to be Head of His church. They’ve shown me that the Body of Christ . . . you . . . are called by God to carry out the ministry of this church.

      The day has come for clergyman like myself to step back and liberate the laity into ministry. In fact, there is no such thing as a clergy or a laity in God’s eyes. I have passed these books on to some of my fellow pastors in town. And they too have been ignited by reading them.

      We feel that God is speaking to us all, and there needs to be some major changes made. So two months from now, we’re going to be holding a very special conference to discuss liberating the laity and giving the church back to Jesus Christ, its rightful Head.”

      When the service ended, a young couple immediately walked over to the pastor and said, “Pastor Jed, you don’t know how long we’ve been praying for this. We think we know the books you’ve been reading; we’re so excited that this conference is going to happen. We don’t want to miss it. Can you give us the exact dates so we can mark them down in our calendar?”

      Pastor Jed smiled at the couple and quietly said, “I’m really sorry, but you can’t come. It’s a clergy only conference.”

      What happened? Pastor Jed had processed everything he read according to the grid that was firmly planted in his brain—a grid that was shaped by his own experiences and assumptions. And he was filtering everything he was reading through that grid. He only took away those things that “fit” that grid and was blinded to everything else. The same was true for the other pastors.

      Amazingly, you and I can hear or read something provocative, and in our spirit know that it’s true, yet our brains can work overtime to subtly filter out what we don’t wish to apply. I’ve watched this happen for many years. It’s one of the most incredible phenomena I’ve ever witnessed.

      That said, the book you hold in your hands was written to be more than an engaging discussion about an alternative way of being church. Consequently, if you are someone who is part of a traditional church, and you’ve been challenged to discover the church on the other side, I would like to recommend a number of other books for you to read. Know that there is another way of being and doing church, and it’s picking up momentum in this hour.

      On the other hand, if you are meeting in a non-traditional church, the lessons contained in this book are designed to be translated into a guidepost for group reflection and discussion. And more importantly, application.

by Frank Viola Author