Saturday, June 28, 2008

Jesus Is Our Blueprint

[Subversive Underground]

Jesus Is Our Blueprint
by Keith Giles

"Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world" - John 1:29

I've often referred to Jesus as our blueprint for living the Kingdom life because Jesus lived a Kingdom life for us to follow. He showed us how to humble ourselves and serve others, how to love those who are outside our comfort zones, and how to forgive those who hate us.

The life of Jesus was intended to show us that, in fact, it really is possible for us to obey His commands and live as He did.

This is what Jesus meant when he said "I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing" - John 14:12

If we trust in Jesus, if we really believe in what He taught us, we will put His words into practice and we will do the things we saw Him doing.

A few verses previous to this one, Jesus lets the Disciples know that all He has ever done is what the Father told Him to do- "The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work." v. 10

So, if Jesus accomplished all that He did by listening to Father, and doing what the Father was doing, then we also can, and will, do the things that Jesus did when we submit our lives to God in the same way.

A few verses later Jesus is asked a question: "Why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the World?"

The disciples are wondering why Jesus doesn't reveal His Glory to the entire planet at once. Here's what Jesus says in reply, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him." - John 14:22-23

Did you catch that? The Disciples want to know why Jesus only shows himself to the twelve and not to the whole World. Jesus answer? I'm showing myself to you and when you obey my teachings you show me to the World, then they will see me, and the Father.

Our obedience to Jesus allows the Gospel to be proclaimed in our lives each day.

The point of a blueprint is to read the plan and to duplicate it in the real world. Jesus death on the cross was intended to set us free and give us a new kind of life in the Kingdom of God, here and now, where we live and breathe.

His sacrifice gave us life. His death gave us access to the Kingdom. And now, our daily sacrifice not only allows us to follow after Him, it is intended to put to death our flesh so that He can live in us.

Because Jesus died, we can live. Because we die daily, Jesus can live through us.

Do people around you see Jesus in you? Are you daily taking up your cross to follow Him? There's still time to start living for the One who died to give you life.

"Behold, the Lambs of Jesus who die daily so that their Shepherd can live through them."

If you use ITunes be sure to download the new podcast sermon, "The Church Jesus Built" over at [Subversive Underground] podcast.

This is too good not to share.
Read it and bookmark it. It's solid gold.

James 4:17

17 "Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it."
-New Living Translation

17 "Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it. Unless, of course, you instead give money to some type of organization that will do it for you. In this way you will be absolved from all responsibility to do anything and can sleep at night with a clean conscience."
- Modern Church Translation


Thursday, June 19, 2008


The Church That Jesus Built
by Keith Giles

In 2 Samuel, chapter 7, we read where King David looked around his opulent cedar palace and concluded that it wasn't right that he should live in such splendor while God lived in a tent outside the city, hovered over the Ark of the Covenant.

When David tells the prophet Nathan that he intends to build a house for God the prophet enthusiastically tells David that he is certain God will be with him no matter what he plans to do.

That night God nudges Nathan awake and lets him know that it's usually better to ask God what He thinks before you just go ahead and endorse someone's impulsive idea.

God tells Nathan to let David know that He doesn't live in that tent, and that He can go wherever He wants, and that He has never asked anyone to build a house for Him. Not ever.

Instead, God tells David, in verese 11, to sit back and allow Him to build a house for David. "The LORD declares to you that the LORD himself will establish a house for you."

What follows is a beautiful prophecy concerning the Messiah. "When your days are over and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his father, and he will be my son." - (2 Sam 7:12-14)

I am amazed to see how God not only promised to build a house for David, but that this promised Messiah would be the only one to build a house for God.

Yes, we do know that Solomon was allowed to build a temple to God, but God was always clear that He did not reside in Temples built by men, nor did He require a special building to house His Spirit.

As I read this prophetic passage I have to wonder, "What house did Jesus build for God?" We know that Jesus didn't commission any buildings. We know that His Disciples didn't build any temples either.

The only thing that Jesus ever built that could qualify as a "House for (God's) Name" is the Church. This means that you and I are the fulfillment of this prophecy.

"Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him; for God's temple is sacred, and you are that temple." - 1 Cor 3:16

What is the purpose of a Temple? It's a Holy Place. It's where people can go to find God, to approach Him and to enter into His presence.

If you and I are now the Temple of God on this Earth, this means that whenever people come to you, whether they know it or not, they are standing in front of the Temple of the Living God.

"But Christ is faithful as a son over God's house. And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast." - Hebrews 3:5-6

Even though we often think of the Church as a building, it is not a building. The Church is a organism, not an organization. The Church is made only of living, breathing people who carry around with them the Holy Presence of the Living God in their hearts.

"In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit." - Ephesians 2:20-22

God lives in you. He has made His home in you, by your faith in Christ Jesus and the finished work of Christ on the cross. This is not a small thing. In fact, the ripping of the veil in Solomon's Temple, the cloth separating God and man, was ripped from top to bottom the very instant that Jesus accomplished His work on the cross.

"And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom." - Matthew 27:50-51.

God didn't wait even one second longer than necessary to remove the veil which separated us from Himself. Let's be careful not to hang up a new veil in its place.

We are the only House that God has ever asked for. We are the only Temple ever commissioned by God to house His Holy Presence. That's who you are. That's who I am.

The True and Living God has built for Himself a living, breathing Temple on this Earth and we are it.

Meditate on this today. Realize that this is who God has made you to be.

I've set up a new resource website/blog over at
Check it out


Thursday, June 12, 2008


[Subversive Underground]

NO COMPROMISE by Keith Giles

"If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember the words I spoke to you: 'No servant is greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me." - Jesus, John 15:18-21

Jesus promised his followers that the world would hate them, even as it had hated him. Resistance was to be expected. Living counter to the culture was an inherent element of God's Kingdom and the Gospel of Jesus was to be lived out in the midst of a society that was bent on snuffing the life out of it.

What happened to us?

How have we become a Church where the World doesn’t hate us the way it hated Jesus? Sure, some people do hate us, but many of those, at least in America, only find us horrifically annoying. They might hate being around us, but not enough to kill us. And those that do hate us don't hate us the way the Pharisees hated Jesus. They hate us because we're hypocritcal, hateful, intolerant and judgemental. The Pharisees hated Jesus because he was radically inclusive, spent time with the wrong sorts of people who were unclean and dirty and poor and sick and sinful. No one hates the Church for any of these reasons.

I know that Christians around the world are hated, and even persecuted and killed because of their devotion to Christ and the preaching of the Gospel. For those who endure this daily I offer my prayers for safety and for faith to continue sharing Christ in the midst of suffering.

Here in America, and most of the free, Westernized World, being a Christian carries no negative connotation or expectation of brutality other than being shunned by hipsters and perhaps mocked openly on prime time television.

Jesus said that the World would hate us because we "do not belong to the World". Perhaps the World doesn't hate us the way it hated Jesus because we're just like they are? Instead of being "In the World, but not Of it" we have become the Church who is "Of the World, but In it".

The Gospel of Jesus was subversive and controversial. It challenged the status quo of an entire society. It held up the mirror to the Church of the day and convicted the actions of Kings and exposed the injustices of self-seeking Government. In America our Gospel is not dangerous. It is safe, safe, safe for the whole family.

The earliest followers of Jesus were constantly persecuted because of their commitment to a Jesus way of life which cloned the subversive nature of Jesus and multiplied it across the fabric of society. They loved extravagantly, sharing all things in common with the poorest among them and held defiantly to the Gospel of the Kingdom which declared that God's rule and reign had indeed come to each and every one of their lives. When they were enslaved they served their masters respectfully, as if they were serving God Himself. When they were arrested and beaten for refusing to renounce Jesus the Messiah they did not fight back or demand their inalienable rights as human beings. Instead they went quietly to their deaths or sang hymns of praise to God for the blessing of martyrdom. They were a people who loved others so much they would rather die than shed another person's blood.

For over three hundred years the followers of Jesus, the citizens of "The Way", took it on the chin and held on tight to their faith with perserverance because they knew that the enduring of trials and difficulties meant that God was working in them the character of Christ Jesus and depositing a quality of faith that would not let go of God, even in the face of imprisonment, beatings, persecutions or death itself. They also knew that their uncommon, radical posture of love and compassion for others, even those who beat them, persecuted them and put them to death, was having an impact of nuclear proportions in the lives of those outside the faith. The power of their love created ripples in the fabric of humanity that changed hearts and turned the world upside down.

When Emperor Constantine lifted the persecution of the Church in 313 A.D. it came with a caveat: The Church would have to submit to his vision of what Christianity should look like and how the faith should be practiced. For the first time in history a person could claim to be a follower of Jesus and still take up a sword and strike a man dead. Under Constantine's new rules of faith the Christian Church would take on the pagan practices of the day, worship in their converted temples and submit to the authority of a select Clergy wearing the robes of pagan priests and adopting the language of paganism.

Some might wonder if the price we paid for escaping the sword was too high. Some might wonder if we had forgotten the promise of Jesus that those who followed him would be hated and persecuted because of how they were unlike the world. Some might say that the Church befriended the religious system and practices of pagan Rome in order to save themselves any further persecution, rather than remain loyal to the same Jesus who said that we were to be set apart from the World and its systems.

There were some within the Christian Church in that day who refused to comply with Constantine's compromise. They attempted to continue gathering together in their homes as they had done for over three centuries, but Constantine issued a new law that made it illegal to continue this practice. Their choice suddenly became crystal clear; they could either submit to the Emperor's rule or face further persecution. In effect, Constantine's compromise was a mandate, not a friendly suggestion.

Around the world and throughout history, as the Church has been persecuted she has flourished. Whenever threatened she finds her inner compass and that always leads her back home, to the organic nature buried indelibly in her DNA.

In Soviet Russia, or Communist China or oppressive Korean regimes the Church of Jesus has not only survived, it has thrived and exploded as it remembers to be the church and reverts to the home-based, family model of worship revealed in Scripture.

So, even as the Church shifted slightly under Constantine and adopted a more relevant and culturally acceptable format of worship, these instances of persecution throughout history have revealed what essentially makes us the Family of God. It is at these times that she remembers her original mandate and reverts to the form once assumed in the very beginning.

So what do we do about this today? How do we reconcile the promise of Jesus that the world would hate us because we are not of it as He is not of it?

Rather than focus on getting the World to hate us, perhaps it makes more sense to turn our energies towards being a people who love like Jesus loved. If we expect people to treat us they way they treated Jesus, I think it makes sense for us to do the things that Jesus did.

Whether or not you embrace the house church is irrelevant. You can be someone who follows Jesus with your everyday life whether you worship in a multi-million dollar building or under a tree in the park. The calling on you is the same as the one that is on me- to follow Jesus.

When we stay safely insulated inside our customized Christian comfort zone, our need for Faith is diminished. In fact, surrounded by hundreds of other Believers, from the safe vantage point of my padded pew, Faith is irrelevant. Faith seems to only be necessary for those who are in a dangerous place, outside their comfort zones, engaging the enemy, embracing the diseased, loving the poor, serving the least and the last. Faith is only necessary for those who choose to live a dangerous life outside their comfort zones.

Perhaps this is why Jesus wonders out loud if he will find any on the Earth who have faith when he returns? If we insist on remaining in our safe places, our zones of comfort, then our faith will grow weak and limp and useless. We can barely use it to generate personal wealth and unending health, much less to heal the sick, cast our demons, comfort the afflicted, or love the unlovely.

"You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God." - James 4:4

This verse doesn't intend to drive us into the monasteries or to seek refuge among our Ahmish Bretheren, nor does it compel us to create Christian version of this world with cross-emblazoned products and holy goods and services. We are not called to retreat from the culture or to create a better, private version of the world we're supposed to change. Those first Christians didn't retreat from society, instead they obediently lived lives of such love among the heathen that people began to change from the inside out (see 1 Peter 2:11-12).

Simply put, if we would consider it our daily practice to serve others we might start to resemble those people who were so much like Jesus that they began to be persecuted for living lives of astounding love.

Jesus made no room for us to compromise our calling to be a peculiar people. We have no right to surrender our calling to love others in exchange for a better, more comfortable life in this temporary existence.

"Remember the words I spoke to you: 'No servant is greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also." - Jesus (John 15:20)

I pray that the Church would rise up again and become the people who are known for the way they love others, even those who hate them and who would stand for Gospel of Jesus, no matter what anyone else may say about us, or do to us.

"If you have love for those who have love for you, what credit is it to you? for even sinners have love for those who have love for them." - Jesus, Luke 6:32

This five part series is now running every Thursday over at Be sure to drop by and check it out if you haven't already.


I'd like to invite you to join me on Sunday, June 22nd as part of a special joint service between our "Mission" House Church and Soul Survivor Church.
John Thomas, who lead worship for us at the Non-Con, will be our worship leader and I'll be bringing a message about what the Biblical concept of Church is all about. If you're in the Orange County area be sure to drop by!

The Mission and Soul Survivor Church Celebration
on Sunday, June 22nd at 11am
at Soul Survivor Church in Triangle Square
1870 Harbor Blvd., Costa Mesa, CA 92627
*Directly underneath the Edwards Cinema, on the corner of Harbor and 19th.
Parking is free inside the structure.

There's a google map over here:


"ELYSIANSKY" (AT) "HOTMAIL" (dot) "com"



Thursday, June 05, 2008


[Subversive Underground]

The Radical Church of Jesus
by Keith Giles

When Jesus announced his ministry and proclaimed his Gospel of the Kingom it was like setting off a bomb in the heart of the city. People got excited. The religious leaders of the day got nervous. The political leaders took notice.

Jesus entered a religious society that was permeated with Jewish tradition and influenced by Pagan practice.

Both Judaism and Paganism share three commonalities: The Temple, The Sacrifice and The Priesthood.

What is the Temple?
It's the Holy Place. It's where God's Spirit dwells. It's where those who are hungry to meet with God go to connect with Him.

What is the Sacrifice?
It's intended to atone for the sins of the individual and to provide access to God.

What is the Priest?
These are the ones who perform the sacrifice. They are the ones who are worthy to enter the "Holy of Holies" and approach God. They hear God's voice. They relate the message of God to those who are outside the Temple. They are concerned with the Spiritual health and education of the people of God.

When Jesus established the Church he did not build something with a physical temple or a daily animal sacrifice or a special group of elite clergy. The Church that Jesus built was out of the ordinary. It was radical. It was unlike anything that had ever come before it.

The Church Jesus built effectively destroyed all three conventions of Judaism and Paganism.

Take that in for a moment. Consider the implications of this fact. Jesus inspired and established the first system of religion without a physical temple, an animal sacrifice or an elitist priesthood. This was something brand new.

When Jesus came he told the woman at the well that the time was coming, and indeed had already come, when those who seek God would not worship Him in the Temple, or on the Holy Mountain, but in Spirit and in Truth.

Jesus told the Pharisee that if they destroyed the Temple he would build it again in three days. Of course, we know that he was speaking of the Temple of his body, but we also know that the actual Temple was destroyed in just a few short years following his crucifixion and it remains so to this very day.

On the cross, Jesus became the ultimate sacrifice for the sins of the world. There is now no longer any need for a daily sacrifice to be made, which is why the Temple was, and is, unneccessary to the one who seeks intimacy with God.

On the cross Jesus became the High Priest (see Hebrews chapter 4 and 10) who once and for all made the sacrifice for us and lives forever to intercede for us.

As Jesus suffered on the cross, an earthquake rocked the city and the veil (all 300 pounds of it) was ripped in two, destroying the Temple and rendering it obsolete.

Why did Jesus do this? He did this in order to announce a new Kingdom. A Kingdom where you and I would become the Temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 3:16; 6:19, 2 Cor 6:16; Eph 2:19-22).

He did this so that you and I could become the new priesthood (1 Peter 2).

He did this so that you and I could become the daily sacrifice (Romans 12, Luke 9:23).

In this new order, in this new organic, vibrant and thriving organism called "The Church", Jesus gave birth to something the world had never seen before. He said it would require new wineskins and that the old wineskins or systems of thinking and living would not be able to contain it.

If we are God's new temple what does that mean?
It means we are now the Holy Place. Our souls are now the place where God's Spirit dwells. We carry around with us the immediate presence of God where those who are hungry to meet with Him can come and connect with Him.

If you and I are the new priesthood it means that we are the ones who perform the daily sacrifice. We are the ones who are worthy to enter the "Holy of Holies" and approach God. We can hear God's voice. We have the honor of conveying the message of God to those who are outside the Temple. We now play an active role in the spiritual health and education of God's people.

If we are the daily, living sacrifice it means each of us have special access to God. Because of His ultimate sacrifice on the cross, our daily sacrifice bears witness to our desire to follow Jesus, surrender our lives to Him, and worship God with our entire being.

You and I are this same Church. We are the people of God. We are part of something more unique and fabulous than any of us could have ever imagined.

Who are you in Christ? You are a new creation. You are the Temple of God. You are the Priests of God. You are the daily, living sacrifice to God.

We are a people unlike any the world has ever seen or imagined before. We are the Church.

"Conversatio Morem!"

SPECIAL THANKS: I want thank Frank Viola for bringing this amazing insight into focus for me. See his book, "Pagan Christianity" for more inspiration.

My buddies Charles and Dirk are currently attempting to lead a traditional church into the house church arena. As you can imagine, it's not easy. Please join me in lifting them up in prayer as they humbly and obediently step forward into this exciting and uncertain new frontier.

My two dear friends Heather and Daniel Cosby are looking for families and individuals in the Seattle area who are interested in meeting together to form a new house church. If you or someone you know lives in or near Seattle, Washington and might be interested in joining them, please contact me with their info at:
"ELYSIANSKY" (AT) "HOTMAIL" (dot) "com"

I'd like to invite you to join me on Sunday, June 22nd as part of a special joint service between our "Mission" House Church and Soul Survivor Church.
John Thomas, who lead worship for us at the Non-Con, will be our worship leader and I'll be bringing a message about what the Biblical concept of Church is all about. If you're in the Orange County area be sure to drop by!

The Mission and Soul Survivor Church Celebration
on Sunday, June 22nd at 11am
at Soul Survivor Church in Triangle Square
1870 Harbor Blvd., Costa Mesa, CA 92627
*Directly underneath the Edwards Cinema, on the corner of Harbor and 19th.
Parking is free inside the structure.

There's a google map over here:


One of my mentors over the last several years has been a guy nanmed Todd Hunter. He is the former National Director of the Association of Vineyard Churches, the former President of ALPHA USA, and currently starting his own non-profit group - "The Society for Kingdom Living" which will also coincide with something called "Three Is Enough".

Be sure to go to the link below and read more about what Todd's up to and prayerfully consider starting a group like this in your sphere of influence.


My buddy Ken Eastman is the pastor of a series of six house churches locally called "The Well". His wife Ali started an astounding non-profit group called "With This Ring" where women are encouraged to donate their wedding rings, as she has done, to dig wells and provide safe, clean drinkng water for hundreds of impoverished children and families in Africa.

Find out more