The morning sessions each day of the college training corresponded to the “Keys” section in our Jubilee handbook – the overall section of these messages were referred to as “The Keys to the Experience and Reality of the Jubilee”. These five messages dissected each section of a key verse:
This verse reveals the items of the blessings of the jubilee. Each blessing is explored in each message, which have been summarised below:
Message 1 Having Our Eyes Opened
As we opened this word, the title of this message was brought to our attention – “Having our eyes opened”. Once our eyes have been opened, we will be able to just speak forth God, and then others’ eyes can be opened by us.
The first blessing in Acts 26:18 is the opening of the eyes of those who are fallen, and turning them from darkness to light so that they may see the divine things in the spiritual realm. As sinners, we were all born blind; we are blind by nature. In order for us as young people to fulfil the work of opening the eyes of this generation, we ourselves need to have the vision and see the heavenly riches. Though this sounds difficult, the Lord is so ready to reveal Himself to us – we just need to ask Him! Seeing light and receiving revelation is not through our own efforts, but are fully dependent on the Lord’s mercy.
“Oh, Lord appear me today!“
As the blind man in John 9, we need to receive the Lord’s anointing of our blind eyes with the word of life (the Lord’s spittle) mingled with our humanity (clay).
Immediately after we receive the Lord through His Word, there is the anointing of the Spirit of life. Anointing is essentially the Spirit – when you touch the Spirit with your spirit, you’ll get the anointing. The blind man went and washed, meaning he obeyed the life-giving Word of the Lord; he received sight.
After we receive the Lord in His Word and have His anointing, He puts us in the position of being sent; we must now be obedient to His sending. If we don’t obey, despite the fact we have all this experience of God anointing our eyes with clay, we will not receive the washing and we will remain blind.
Once we obey the living Word, saying, “Amen, Lord Jesus,” we will immediately have the sensation that something has fallen off our eyes and we will have light!
Prayers we could pray in order to receive such vision were suggested:
“Lord, open my eyes. I don’t need knowledge, Lord. I need my eyes to be opened.”
“Lord, show me something by appearing to me. Lord, You appeared to Paul and he saw something, and You told him that You would show him more through Your appearing to him. Lord, appear to me so that in Your appearing I may see something and then tell people of that I have seen.”
“Lord, I want to have my eyes opened like they have never been opened before. I don’t want to be opaque.”
(To be opaque here suggests that we have no ulterior motives, no trickery or anything hidden – we purely just shine.)
Message 2 Turning from Darkness to Light and from the Authority of Satan to God
In the jubilee, we are turned from darkness to light and from the authority of Satan to God. This turn is a transfer – a transfer from darkness to light, and a transferring from the authority of Satan to the authority of God.
Darkness is a sign of sin and death and the authority of Satan, whereas light is a sign of righteousness and life, and is God Himself. Therefore, when we are in light, we are in God!
By being delivered out of Satan’s kingdom and transferred into Christ’s kingdom, we have been qualified for a share of the portion of the saints.
In our lives – we need to ask ourselves how much we are still under the authority of darkness. Darkness is not only evil things like gambling, stealing, and fornication but it is a great deal more than this. Every university, every aspect of society, including Christianity, is in darkness; do not think that darkness is found only where there is evil. We may find that actually many of us are still under some form of control established by the self and carried out by the self; this kind of control is the authority of darkness.
The more we tell the Lord that we love Him, the more we are freed, and simultaneously, the more we are restricted and ruled.
We were given three practical main points that maintain our presence in the light and not under the authority of darkness:
You need to have a clear vision of God’s economy.
You have to be in the Word of God. (Psalms 1:19, 105, 130)
You have to learn to deal with the self – this is through:
Fellowship with the Lord – this will expose our self
Being with others – we will find new parts of our self that need to be dealt with.
Have spiritual children – we should care for others, and feed them, and this will also benefit us.
Message 3 Receiving Forgiveness of Sins
4 points were outlined for us:
Forgiveness – not man’s, but God’s
The blood of Jesus – it’s preciousness and power
The way to receive the forgiveness of sins
Thorough – we need a thorough receiving of the forgiveness of sins
Forgiveness means that we are not condemned by God; God blots out our sinful record, and spares us from judgement. It means God sends away from us the sins we have committed, and it results in God forgetting our sins, removing them from His memory. Man’s forgiveness is not so pure and deep – we may forgive but we never forget. We need God’s forgiveness – it is the base of all the blessings of the New Testament jubilee.
The basis of our forgiveness is the blood of the Lord Jesus; it is the means by which our sins are forgiven; apart from the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins. Our God is a righteous God, and His righteousness demands that whoever sins must die. The Lord Jesus Himself died, shedding His blood on the cross, and this satisfies the righteous requirement. This enables God to forgive us our sins justly and legally, and we do not have to pay such a price.
We need to see the way to receive forgiveness of sins – the way for a sinner to obtain forgiveness is to repent and believe. To repent indicates a changing of their minds to turn back to God from being away from Him, and believing indicates we receive forgiveness from God by faith.
The way for a believer to obtain forgiveness is to confess his sins and iniquities to God. We should not think that once we have been saved we no longer need God’s forgiveness – we need to go to the Lord continually so His cleansing blood can be applied to our actual situation. God’s forgiveness is continuous, and we need it moment by moment.
“Lord, grant me a full and thorough forgiveness of all my sins, I want to have a clearance of sins from the top to the bottom. I would leave nothing that has not been dealt with. Grant me a thorough forgiveness of all my sinfulness.”
Message 4 Enjoying Our Divine Inheritance
Here, we see there isn’t much of a mention of the freedom, rather, we focus on being brought back to Christ as our portion – although freedom is amazing, the returning to our inheritance is even more amazing! In the jubilee, we can enjoy God as our divine inheritance!
Our inheritance is the Triune God with all He has, all He has done, and all He will do for us. Material prosperity, and anything other than God, is vanity. We should take only God Himself as our portion! We can find everything in Him, and we have absolute enjoyment in Him. In our college years, we must become persons with a definite direction in our human life, and this direction should be God Himself.
How can we enjoy God as our inheritance?
Through the Spirit, and through the Word! After all, God works through speaking. When we come to the Word, we need to look at our hearts – if we come to the Word with a heart that is full of blockages, we will find the Word to be very dry. To gain and enjoy our inheritance, our hearts need to be looked after. The heart is made up of four parts: our mind, emotion and will, and conscience, and each part needs to be dealt with for our heart to be healthy.
Mind – purified
Emotion and will – sanctified
Conscience – cleansed
Our spirit, too, must be cared for. Nothing will become real if we don’t exercise our spirit. We can exercise our heart by turning our heart to the Lord, believing in Him, and loving Him, and we can exercise our spirit by calling on the Lord’s name, rejoicing always, praying unceasingly, giving thanks in everything, fanning our spirit into flame, and not quenching the Spirit.
Practically, when we read the Word, we can enjoy God as our inheritance by:
Exercising our spirit to pray-read
Musing on the Word
Singing and psalming the Word
Message 5 Being with Those Who Are Sanctified
The Christian life is not an individualistic life. We touched on Acts 2:46-47 as having some practical points on being in the church life:
46 And day by day, continuing steadfastly with one accord in the temple and breaking bread from house to house, they partook of their food with exultation and simplicity of heart, 47 Praising God and having grace with all the people. And the Lord added together day by day those who were being saved.
“day by day” – this is the church life. We need to see and feel the church life every day! “one accord” – this indicates harmony. Amongst us all, there should be one goal, one vision, and one direction. “in the temple” – this represents the Lord’s table meetings. When we all gather at the Lord’s table, we are all ‘in the temple’. “partook of their food with exultation” – eating is the way! We feed each-other with wonderful food both literally, and spiritually, and we should eat with exultation! “Praising God” – simply, we need to praise God whenever we are together!
We cannot live our life by feelings – this is very dangerous. We will not always feel high, but we cannot afford to distance ourselves from the Lord or the church life whenever we feel low. We need to live by faith!
If we live by feelings, we will find ourselves skipping the Lord’s table often, but this is not how we can live. The Lord’s table is the Lord’s – it is for the Lord, not just for us! We cannot be selfish and say we don’t want to go just because we don’t feel like it – it is a meeting for the Lord Himself.
The church life is a meeting life, and we should never stop meeting. Not going to the meetings is equivalent to cutting off our life supply. We should meet to such an extent that it becomes a habit, thus producing a meeting life.
One of the best ways for the young people to experience Christ is to find at least two or three companions in the Lord. Finding spiritual companions means we have people to open to, and we can help one another, and solve one another’s problems. If we come together regularly with our companions, our weaknesses will be swallowed up, our problems will be solved, our spirit will be strengthened and refreshed, and our love for the Lord will be more fervent.
There are 3 main principles for finding spiritual companions:
They should be believers (2 Cor. 6:14-18)
They should be those who can be of mutual help
We should have 3 kinds of companions: 1. Companions at our spiritual level, for mutual spiritual help 2. Companions more experienced in the Lord who can lead us 3. Companions who are younger and weaker whom we can help and lead
Within our companionship, we need to fear God, respect one another, and reject natural affection – our nature will always come with sin and death. If we love each other with a spiritual love, death cannot penetrate and defile our relationships.
Together, we can flee youthful lusts and pursue Christ as righteousness, faith, love, and peace!
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champign accommodated 2800 trainees during the NACT in two different university housing complexes, Ikenberry and Florida Avenue Residence (aptly acronymned as ‘FAR’).
The majority of the European saints stayed in Ikenberry. Ikenberry had seven different halls available to the saints: Hopkins, Bousfield, Snyder, Scott, Weston, Oglesby, and Trelease halls.
Like typical American university halls, many of the rooms had two single beds and storage space, and corridors had shared bathrooms. In some halls, the rooms were arranged in suites with two to four rooms sharing a bathroom and sometimes a common area. We used the common areas near our rooms for our small group fellowships during the week.
During the college training, we were arranged into five different cohorts, which corresponded to the colour of their badges: light blue, medium blue, dark blue, pink, and red. Each cohort ranged from around 300-700 trainees and had the morning sessions in five different meeting rooms.
Throughout the day, each of the five cohorts also had a different schedule from one another! This was mainly so that the mealtimes could be staggered and we could all eat in a timely way. The saints coordinating the NACT ensured this college training would go smoothly in order for all the students to make the most out of the training and to gain Christ every moment. Thank You Lord for their service to You!
There were three meetings each morning (the grey boxes on the schedule): morning revival fellowship, a morning session on the keys to experiencing the jubilee, followed immediately by a special fellowship meeting, and then each evening all the trainees gathered for the evening session in the State Farm Centre. Aside from the meetings, there were assigned times for memorising verses, Bible reading and ministry reading, recreation, small group fellowship (in groups of about 10 trainees), and evening room time, and of course three meals a day at the cafeteria.
It was really helpful to have a detailed schedule during this week. In order for the Lord to work Himself into our whole being we must redeem the time we have in our day. We should pray to allow the Lord to flow into our spirit moment by moment. We can enjoy Him as the Jubilee when we eat, rest, do activities, in the meetings, and in the mornings and evenings! Praise the Lord He is so available to us!
In this post, we will also share a little more about the morning revival fellowships. Each morning started with a lot of enjoyable and releasing singing, encouraging us to turn our hearts to the Lord. Then some brothers shared with us some principles related to spending time with the Lord in the mornings.
‘But you, when you pray, enter into your private room, and shut your door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will repay you.’
When we wake up to a new day, we must build up a habit and set a time to be revived and meet with God. Having a personal time with the Lord removes any barriers we have between us and Him. He deals with the blockages in our heart and our growth in life increases! When we have an intimate time with Christ, we can enjoy Him and His word in a deeper way.
We learnt how to build a more intimate relationship with the Lord (EAT!):
Early – rise early in the mornings to find the Lord. This can be 5, 10, 30 minutes earlier than the time you usually wake up.
Audible – speak! This is where our being goes. Our mouth is connected to our spirit and the Lord wants to hear our voice (S.S 2:14)
Tethered – our mind should be tied to something solid, as our mind tends to wander. If our mind is tethered to our spirit and the Word, we can focus on the Lord and look fully unto Him.
Each morning after this fellowship, we would find a spot around the campus and spend 30 minutes for personal morning revival. Some days we might feel tired, some days we might find our mind wandering, but every day we are practicing to build up this private, intimate, and spiritual time with the Lord!
Hymn 643 – stanza 2
Take time to behold Him, The world rushes on; Spend much time in secret With Jesus alone. By looking to Jesus Like Him thou shalt be; Thy friends, in thy conduct His likeness shall see.