Theology Thursdays: About Zoe Ministries And The Ministry of Bishop Jordan
The Scriptures declare that:
“Without a vision, the people will perish”
God has ordained that His children should have both vision and purpose. It is with this in mind that we articulate the vision and philosophy of ministry held by the brethren at Zoe Ministries.
We firmly believe that Jesus Christ alone is the Head of the Church, and that He has placed delegated authorities in the earth, such as parents for children, and husbands for households. The five–fold ministry (i.e. apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers) has been set in the earth as authorities for the Church.
However, the Kingdom of God is not in full force until the authority of the Kingdom is established. Jesus has ordained and given authority to each part of His body for the purpose of performing certain functions and ruling over specific areas.
This is exemplified in the book of Genesis, where God placed a man named Adam into the Garden of Eden with the commandment to dress and keep the Garden; thus illustrating that people must take responsibility for the land or the land will remain incomplete. The greatest expression of authority in the earth is manifested when the Body of Christ is obedient in fulfilling the purpose of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The history of Zoe Ministries reflects the necessary phases of relocation that has exemplified its attentive ears to the Voice of the Lord.
God made a sovereign promise to Israel, crowned them with His favour, and designated them to possess the promised land of Canaan. When the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they had to move with God in order to survive the elements. In like manner, Zoe Ministries stands in covenant with God, and has been called to apprehend the promise of God through the leadership of His Hand, settling first in New Jersey, then pulling up stakes to move with Him into New York, apostolically planting stakes first in Manhattan, and possessing the first official church building in Brooklyn which was the fulfilment of one of the promises God gave to us prophetically. From this initial step of destiny, Zoe Ministries was launched into an incremental possession of land that has currently placed us again in Manhattan, at The Eagle’s House.
We have understood these moves to represent crucial times of preparation and adjustment needed to align us to the will of God, for each stage brought forth a new image, which thrust us into a new realm of transformation.
From its inception, Zoe Ministries has placed great emphasis on raising up intercessors within the Body of Christ; inspiring men and women who would faithfully stand in the gap between God and the people, between God and the hurting, between God and the wounded, and between God and the nations. The intercessors must faithfully implore and cry out to God for the bridges of separation to be repaired, and for a highway to be created that God may move as He desires in the earth.
As Zoe Ministries continued to mature and grow, the prophetic office of Bishop Jordan continued to expand, impacting the Body of Christ in a most remarkable manner. God continues to validate the prophetic calling of Bishop Jordan, and because of the transference of his mantle, the ministry itself has developed strong prophetic overtones that consistently echo through every facet of ecclesiastic service.
The School of the Prophets
The Scripture indicates that prophets were not only called of God, but they received training at the hand of a mentor who developed their ministry. The first instance of a group of prophets undergoing training is found at the hand of the prophet Samuel. Samuel stood as the instructor of the first known company of prophets; and various sons of the prophets, including Elijah and Elisha, carried on his work. The prophetic ministry has always been met with resistance by the established religious order, yet it is traceable throughout church history. It remains elusive and controversial even today, as the mantle for the School of the Prophets is revived in this generation.
Fueled by a knowledge of these Biblical truths and a strong belief in I Corinthians 14:31 which says “Ye all may prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted,” the School of the Prophets came into existence in September, 1985. This School is not solely for the prophets, but for every member of the Body of Christ, recognizing that every member is able to flow and minister under a prophetic anointing.
God has promised that the School of the Prophets will expand in all areas. However, we must first understand the purpose for expansion. Even as a seed is planted, and one day sprouts roots which begin to grow and take possession of the earth around it, so shall the students of the School of the Prophets learn to flow with the Spirit of God and possess their portions of the earth.
More specifically, they will become mouthpieces for God, pointing individuals, institutions, families, governments and the Body of Christ towards God. A people will arise out of the School of the Prophets who will be like the children of Issachar; they shall possess an understanding of the times.
An Eschatology of Dominion
The destiny of any people rests upon their eschatology; their vision for the future. Before God broadened Zoe’s vision, He first renewed our minds to certain truths:
We must rid ourselves of an escapist mentality. We are not to live as though “The Rapture” of the Church were about to happen in our lifetime. We are not to allow the promise of everlasting habitations to supplant our obedience to Christ’s command to occupy until we “grow up” because the Lord is not going to marry babies nor marry outside His species. We have a mandate to establish the Kingdom of God upon the earth, and to represent Christ as His ambassadors in the earth.
The Church must move from a state of isolation to one of infiltration. We are the salt of the earth and as a city built on a hill, which cannot be hid. We, as a Church, cannot remain passive and lethargic in our approach towards life, but we must occupy. The word “occupy” in the original Greek, carries an inherent meaning of trading, as in commerce. In other words, we must become business minded until Jesus comes, that we may present to Him the areas we have occupied as good stewards of the gifts and talents which have been entrusted to us.
With these truths in mind, our plan is to be obedient to the Word of the Lord by occupying positions in the political area and the world of free enterprise by permeating the educational and social structure. Rather than becoming subject to the influence of humanism, we are to exert the influence of Christ in the earth. “For the kingdoms of the world are and shall become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ” Revelation 11:15.
We stand in direct opposition to the traditional religious thought that has discouraged active participation by saying, “Politics are dirty, business operates by unethical principles, and the educational system is failing to fulfill its purpose.” We feel that these excuses are guarding a lie of failure to take a stand in the face of opposition. We submit that these areas are dark with evil intentions of unregenerate men and exist because we, the light of the world, have not become the beacon of truth in those arenas. When we remove ourselves from the aforementioned areas, the light can only be seen from afar and has little effect upon the cloak of darkness. When we fail to infiltrate and occupy these areas, we remove the most Successful Businessman, the Master Teacher, and the Wisest Ruler to ever walk this earth, the Lord Jesus Christ.
If we fail to take over these areas, we fail to demonstrate the dominion of the Kingdom of God. Our assignment will then fall to succeeding generations. When the children of Israel doubted God’s promise to give them Canaan, that generation was not allowed to see the fulfillment of the promise. Succeeding generations were granted that privilege. This will not be the testimony of Zoe Ministries.
There is a correlation between men in the church prophesying less frequently than women and men failing to lead in the home. Men in the House of the Lord must be aware of the fact that God does not send women and children to war. Therefore, the men must seek the Lord and take hold of a vision for their families. Our goal is to have every man related to Zoe Ministries involved in some form of entrepreneurship by the year 2005; this includes organizing, managing and assuming the risks of a business enterprise. This will be done while a man’s wife is at his side and their children are being raised in the business.
This establishment of men in business will also help direct their wives’ loyalties toward the family. We have learned that when a mother works outside of the home she gives a degree of loyalty to her employer, which she is unable to give to her spouse and family.
People from the full spectrum of society, including welfare recipients will be members of Zoe. We desire to see every welfare recipient of the government system and on to God’s system of “faring well”. By applying biblical principles of finance, we will learn to not depend on the government of men for support, but upon the government of God.
The principle of financial independence reveals that one can be free from the bondage of credit and credit cards by only buying appreciable items, that single women can establish their inheritance, and that children can be raised working in businesses with their parents. The same children can be brought to a point of understanding their covenant with God and realizing that being successful does not necessarily mean going mainstream for employment. They can be taught to understand that because of their covenant with El Elyon (the Most High God, the Possessor of Heaven and Earth), God can prosper them in business to be the head and not the tail, (Genesis 14:19, 22).
We have learned that knowledge of the Word increases the effectiveness of body ministry, as each member of the Body of Christ is illuminated as to his or her purpose and function. We are no longer lively stones that are simply gathered together, but rather, we are stones assuming our proper places within the temple of the Lord. We become joints properly placed in the Body of Christ, where all may supply what God has ordained.
When the Scripture says, “forsake not the assembling of yourselves together” (Hebrews 10:25), it means much more that the parts of the body gathering together by coming to church. Rather, the Scripture requires that we, as individual parts of Christ’s Body, must allow ourselves to be properly assembled with the rest of the Body, not just laid out next to each other, but assembled together. For the Lord does battle as one man, not many.
Often in the process of assembly, friction can occur. We, at Zoe, have found that discipline is occasionally needed to insure that the stones of the temple remain intact. There is an inherent problem with lively stones; they can move themselves out of position or refuse to take their position and thus weaken the structure of the House. The Bible is clear that slander, backbiting and rebellion have no place in the temple of the Lord. These destroy the mortar of agape love that holds the House of God together. The following is a recipe for a church split. We pray that none of us will ever have a hand in preparing it:
A Quick Recipe for A Church Split
Take two good rumors, add a little spice, beat in several old accusations, pour in several dissatisfied church members, season to taste and then beat until firm. Spread out the mixture as far as possible throughout the church (the fact that it is thin is okay). Bake at a high temperature until you think it’s done. Serve when ready.
This is a meal that should never be found upon our plate.
God has given us a vision for a Christian school. In the Scriptures, we are told to continuously meditate upon God’s Word, both day and night. Presently, our children who are attending public school are under attack, battling the force of humanism, which poisons their minds for the greater part of the day.
The alternative is to first train the children in the home in the way they should go and then release them unto Godly teachers in a Godly environment to be taught Godly lessons. Our goal is to educate our children in Christian principles from kindergarten through college and even graduate school.
We know the cost of developing this educational system will be high, but we are willing to pay the price. The cost of ignorance is far greater. Moreover, knowledge brings prosperity by providing the creativity and/or resources needed to create wealth. “Wisdom dwells prudence and finds out knowledge of witty inventions.” (Proverbs 8:12)
One of the greatest channels of influence in the earth is the area of media. In understanding its impact upon the minds of men, it becomes clear that if we are to seriously undertake to preach the gospel to all creatures, then we must invade the realms of television and radio where the message can reach the masses by the millions. In July 1991, Zoe Ministries first began to encroach upon the traditional milieu of religious programming by presenting “The Power of Prophecy” telecast, a program that is radical and aggressive in its approach towards the mental deliverance of a people bound by the lies of racism, inferiority and poverty of body, soul and spirit. Flagrantly attacking the lies, which have kept a people in captivity. The "Power of Prophecy" has televised not only teachings which motivate one to excellence, but also televise the moving of the Spirit of God through the ministry of the prophet, as the prophetic word is ministered to His people. Viewers are exposed to the pinpoint accuracy and the effect of God’s Word, along with testimonies of the miraculous results that take place after a prophetic word has been declared. The effect has been startling, for those who have been hungering to discover the gift of God within themselves, respond to the call of destiny, and sit at the feet of the prophet that they may be taught the ways of God. Others who are bound by the cords of tradition and error have protested and challenged the theological basis of the teachings, yet must acknowledge the truth and the anointing of God, which does destroy the yoke.
The power of television is that it places an image before the eyes of the people. This principle is Scripturally delineated through the story of Jacob; how he placed speckled wood before the eyes of cows that absorbed the image until they produced offspring as speckled as the wood they beheld. It is with this same principle in mind that the image of the Power of Prophecy impacts the mind of the people. Children’s programming must also be designed to imprint the Kingdom of God upon their minds in order to counteract the negative images portrayed by the world that are in opposition to God. We have a responsibility to our succeeding generation to leave a legacy for them to follow. By utilizing media to its fullest potential, we will place an image of the true Kingdom of God to be imitated until He comes.
The “Stepsisters” serves as a facet of our prison outreach into the S.T.E.P. Program of Riker’s Island. Zoe Ministries provides motivational teaching to impart Scriptural principles, as well as providing work experience in an office setting, thus giving the inmates a vision for productivity and advancement upon their release. The Biblical principles delineate the laws of God that are universal in their immutability and application for fruitful life upon the earth. The Lordship of Jesus Christ is also stressed, addressing erroneous concepts about Christianity through question and answer forums, thus dispelling numerous reasoning’s that prevent many from reaching the place of commitment to a Godly lifestyle. The Stepsisters program is just the beginning of a vision to permeate the prisons walls with the gospel, and bring a message of change within. We believe that while jails are necessary, they are not accomplishing anything if rehabilitation is not the fruit. The recidivism rate is proof that the present system is ineffective. The answers are found in Jesus Christ, and it is the responsibility of the message of deliverance and healing that will bring the inmate to a place of changes…for the heart can only be changed through Christ and the dividing power of the Word of God, and not through governmental programs based on humanistic philosophy. It is through the recognition of the purpose of the local church that reformation can be wrought.
By assessing the rapidly growing homeless population, one comes to the obvious conclusion that action must be taken to restore the dignity, motivation and determination of those who have fallen into various degrees of misfortune. Again, this can only come through the realization of the Lordship of Christ and the Work of God. In November 1992, it was decided that our first outreach into the homeless community would be a turkey giveaway that blessed one thousand people with turkeys and a Bible, thus ministering to their natural needs as well as their spiritual need. After the overwhelming success of this venture, it was decided to attempt a very special banquet for homeless mothers and their children for Mother’s Day, thus giving them a sense of family, cohesiveness, and dignity. Bishop Jordan wrote a very special book of Godly principles that imparted aspects of character and practical wisdom that when applied, would thrust them out of their present situation from desperation into the realms of achievement and success.
The principle of mentoring becomes essential to the effective growth and development of children’s ministry. It is imperative that the youth are impacted with the "Vision of the House" in terms that are easily understood according to their age groups. The Children’s Church will duplicate both the pattern of ministry that the adults follow, plus encourage and nurture the creativity of the children that will build upon the image to which they are exposed. By thinking generationally, we can impart the principles of God that many of us were ignorant of until adulthood, thus breaking the patterns of defeat that plague so many while robbing them of precious time and energy that could be productive rather than destructive. This is seen as we discover that most adults do not attain a level of stabilization or maturity, and lack the principles necessary to pursue and fulfill realistic goals. Most become enjoined to a “job”; working to get paid and developing a slave mentality that creates autonomous boundaries that kill the dream of success inside. If children are given the principles of God at a young age, and are encouraged to fulfill their potential, they will enter the unfamiliar realms of life with anticipation rather than be bound by the insidious hand of paralyzing fear.
Culturally, through examining the prevailing state of young African-American men, it has become glaring evident that society had failed to instill the essential qualities that would build their self-image and explore their potential. The perfidious effects of racism have taken their toll for generations, destroying the dreams of millions by imprisoning them behind walls of dereliction and suicidal imprudence. It is our belief that God has the key of deliverance, which can sever the curse of poverty and death, and thrust them into covenant with God and the cognisance of all His benefits. In examining the deficiencies that become evident in the preparation of youth for adulthood, one finds that there must be an established time to celebrate the transition from childhood to manhood at the age of 12-13 years. Entitled “Rites of Passage", this group will consist of African–American men who will embrace the role of fatherhood over the fatherless and present an image of manhood and responsibility that will affect every area of their lives; physically, emotionally, financially, and spiritually. Modelling principles of excellence, these men will mentor those under their tutelage in their various areas of expertise so that the young men will have creative channels to expend their energies, have a full understanding of the consequences of their decisions, and stretch themselves to realize the fulfillment of their dreams and goals.
While not ignoring the young girls, another group shall be formed to address issues pertaining to womanhood, so that young girls are not carrying the burden of frustrated expectations or the weight of generational lies, but can wholeheartedly submit to their husbands and embrace their God-ordained role as women that they may labour to be an helpmeet for their husbands, and not a competitor with him. The danger of “liberation” is that it implies that women are entrapped, creating a distrust and resentment and destroying the fabric of the family. It is imperative that the sense of family be restored within the African-American community, which can only cone as we aggressively target the next generation and infuse them with an image of the Kingdom of God.
The Double Diamond Men’s Fellowship and Outreach of Zoe Ministries
The Double-Diamond Men’s Fellowship and Outreach of Zoe Ministries purpose to have the men come together in unity, achieving goals of excellence together in order to become strong support to the Bishop. Our men are “double diamonds,” for they must endure a double portion of pressure from a societal system that instigates their failure. They are called not to avoid or grieve, but to embrace the pressure, to become restored, replenished, reconciled, renewed, re-established and rebuilt in Christ Jesus. With this transition, we can move forward into the mantle of patriarchy ordained for their lives. It is our intent to combat the insidious genocide that affects the African-American male that erodes his self-esteem and corrupts the essence of his dream. One must understand that it is only through a covenantal relationship with Almighty God, plus knowledge of the principles of God’s Word that one can combat the pervading racism within this world system. The Double Diamond Men’s Fellowship will impart the principles of God, and be used as a network to strengthen the men in their pursuit of their dream.
The Queen’s Chambers
The concept of the Queen’s Chambers is to recognize the royalty that is within each and every woman of the Kingdom of God. The Queen’s Chambers is the womb of preparation; the embryo of purpose and destiny that is embodied in the beauty and grace of Godly womanhood. Issues that are pertinent to women, whether emotional, physical or spiritual, are explicitly discussed to bring a Biblical perspective to the things that matter most to women. The Queens Chambers is a place where the worldly image of womanhood is refined and adjusted to reflect Jesus Christ. Those who suffer from low self-esteem receive a tremendous deliverance as they are confronted with the reality of their identity through Christ Jesus. Through this process, the women are allowed to explore the potential of the seed of greatness that lies within, for the Queen’s chambers is the place of healing for many.
Parables Publishing House
Parables Publishing House was formed in the midst of repeated rejections by other publishing houses of the premier book by Bishop E. Bernard Jordan, “Prophets of God’s Kingdom.” Rather than retreat at the lack of validation from established publishing companies who could not embrace a new writer, the decision was made to form a publishing company that could produce books with an authentic message for the Body of Christ. As of May 1996, over 40 books have been produced thus far, with many others awaiting the day of their unveiling. Several books, such as “Mentoring”, are in their second, third and fourth printing. Mentoring has also been printed in Korean and Spanish, and is circulating in other countries as well. “Spiritual Protocol” has become a standard workbook utilized by churches around the world to instill principles of authority within leadership training classes. Future plans include publication of a monthly magazine, newspapers, and other new authors whose message needs to get out to the Body of Christ.
The School of the Arts
Zoe Ministries welcomes the full restoration of the worshipping arts in the House of the Lord. We believe that the arts, such as music, dance, mime, and drama, are to be utilized in the articulation and demonstration of the Word of God. The arts bring emphasis and clarity to many messages, which may be lost through the singular art of oratory. Understanding that people retain more of what they see than what they hear, the purpose of the arts becomes clearer as they enhance the memorization process that imparts the truth of God’s Word to His people.
Each move of God is accompanied by a sound of music that is declarative of the message of the hour. It is essential that the music of this generation proclaim what the Spirit of God is speaking, for the Church remains stagnant if it is singing prehistoric music and attempting to preach a current message. While the songs of the past are not being discarded, they are to be seen only as landmarks on the highway of progression. The music must articulate that which is being spoken and echo in the ears of this generation. Music has the innate power to plant the seed of faith for the current move of God. If the music echoes a message contrary to what is being believed for, then the music actually robs one of faith, erroneously undermining expectations and underscoring traditions that need to be broken. How can one see oneself as an overcomer, planted in the earth to take dominion and become an establisher, while singing songs such as “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen” or “I’m Climbing Up the Rough Side of the Mountain”? If your focus is upon your problem and the pain of your experience, what is building your faith to overcome? How will anyone obtain a vision to occupy until Jesus comes if the only tune echoed in their ears is “Going’ Up Yonder” and “When I Get to Heaven?” It is with this in mind that we shall develop music that willl strengthen the hearts of God’s people, that they may be able to grasp the vision of dominion and uproot the blight of passivity whose crippling effects have come because of a wrong sense of eschatology.
In accepting the challenge of the restoration of the arts, we will also see the Levitival priest emerge amongst the ministers of the arts; those who shall be yoked to the work of the Lord and consecrate themselves to the building of the local church. Yet, we shall see others who shall be raised up as arrows to penetrate the world system through the anointing, bringing a message that shall invade every man’s world with the gospel. We expect to see the evangelistic thrust of the arts manifest through Broadway productions, television, radio, concerts, albums, videos, and through any other vehicle that is available. The worshipping arts are God’s drama troupe sent to herald and demonstrate His Word before men.
Understanding the significance of the arts, it will be necessary to assess and develop the artistic gifting within our children at an early age, that they may transcend the mundane and develop ministries of excellence, as well as a deeper understanding of the spiritual implications of their unique form of artistic expression. Zoe Ministries’ vision is to establish a School of the Arts where both adults and children will learn the timing of music in the natural and the timing of the Lord in the Spirit. The yoke of traditionalism shall be broken, and the creativity of God shall be made manifest as the arts enter the full measure of expression as ordained of the Lord.
If the Lord tarries, we are planning to see the fulfillment of a 50-year vision, to pass the baton from one generation to the next, that they may continue to run the race that has been committed unto our hands.
This appears on the website of Bishop J. Jordan and Zoe Ministries.
Thursday, June 15, 2006
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