INTERVIEW – Rob Rufus: How to Explore the Charismatic

In the previous segment of this interview with Rob Rufus, we focused on Word and Spirit. Today I begin by asking Rob what steps readers who are intrigued by the charismatic experience should take.

Adrian
One of the things I find is that quite a few of the readers of my blog out there—they love the Word, they are Reformed folk—but they are a little bit bemused to discover that there are a ton of us [charismatics] who love the Word in the same way. Actually, a lot of them are quite drawn in, but they just don’t know quite how to make that connection. Perhaps they don’t live in a town where there’s a group they can go to. Maybe they’ve even been burnt by some of these “charismaniacs” we’ve talked about. What would you say to them? They’re sitting at home and are a bit intrigued, a bit fascinated. They want more, but know they haven’t really connected with the Spirit in that way.

Rob Rufus
Yes. Well, I would say—stay with the Scriptures. Never ever dilute or compromise your love for the Word of God! That is our foundation; that’s the bedrock. Rob RufusThen I would just invite the Holy Spirit to come, the Spirit of truth, because he breathed the Scriptures! They are God-breathed by the Spirit himself. Ask the Holy Spirit to come and just touch you and begin to lead you. And He will, because he really is faithful and wonderful. And then with technology today, this access to speakers around the world like the New Frontiers guys who talk about the Holy Spirit, but from a wonderful biblical place. I mean, I don’t think this fear today that the counterfeit, that the devil—and [the Bible] does warn in the last days there will be counterfeit signs, wonders, and miracles—but it doesn’t say that the ONLY signs, wonders, and miracles in the last day will be counterfeit. So if there is counterfeit, it means that the genuine will be there, and we need to find the genuine. We really need to find the genuine.

Adrian
Thanks for that. Just going back a minute then. There you were, coming—Calvinistic, charismatic, or if you prefer, Reformed Charismatic. (I always think the term “reformed charismatic” is funny because it makes it sound like we’re kind of an ex-charismatic group, doesn’t it?) (Section unclear because of loud laughter.) But you obviously did become part of a family of churches—you’re not part of New Frontiers, but you’re part of something—I think it’s New Covenant Ministries? Have I got that right?

Rob Rufus
Yes, New Covenant Ministries International.

Adrian
And I guess that’s a fairly similar group of churches to New Frontiers? Is that right? That’s my understanding.

Rob Rufus
Yes, very similar. We’ve got so much that is so close. Our DNA is so similar that I feel like I’m at home. I’ve got to realize, okay, yeah, I’m part of the family, you know. It just feels so similar.

Adrian
So, how did New Covenant Ministries International come about? Tell us a little bit about the history of that.

Rob Rufus
Sure. It was back in the early 1980’s when God was really moving in ways, I think, across the world, and particularly in South Africa (we were based in South Africa). My friend who actually mentored me, and fathered and birthed NCMI—his church grew explosively. And whatever happens, you know, whenever you have some success, pastors around the country want you to come and tell them about it.

Adrian
So who was that? What was his name?

Rob Rufus
It’s Dudley Daniel. He started traveling around South Africa and teaching about what made his church grow. Then God spoke to him one day on the plane and said, “It’s wonderful what you’re doing—you’re blessing pastors and that, but do you want to spend the rest of your life just blessing, or do you also want to help pastors build the Church?” Because blessings are short-lived, but if you build well, you can sustain the blessing. And God began to speak to Dudley about finding biblical patterns—what are the biblical wineskins? How were churches really governed in the New Testament? He began to see that there were some traditions that we had inherited that were not in line with Scripture, done by very sincere, good leaders. So he began to relate this to some friends. He threw his home open on a Monday, and pastors that were alone, looking for friendship, started coming and relating. And out of that came a kind of a motto that we developed: “Friendship before function.” We have a function into the earth, but we want to be friends; we want to do it with friends relationally, like Jesus did with his guys, his friends. (Too much laughter to hear what is being said here.) God showed us that we are the offspring of Abraham, and that we are (unclear) forces—we’re the heirs of the world. And that from the seed of Abraham God wanted to make the blessing to all nations! So the Great Commission really just complements the oath God took to Abraham—God took an oath that all nations would be blessed. When you take an oath, it’s—what’s the word I want to say?

Tope
Binding?

Rob Rufus
Yeah, binding. So God bound himself to bless all nations through the seed of Abraham. So if the Church balks on that, or hinders it, or stands against it, then God will precipitate a crisis, like he did with Jonah to get the Gospel to Nineveh. So we realized that God was calling us to go to the nations, and we built—with a national team of friends, we developed a mixture of prophetic, apostolic evangelists, teachers, pastors, etc.

Continued in part 4 . . .

About Adrian Warnock

Adrian Warnock has been a blogger since April 2003, and part of the leadership team of Jubilee Church, London for more than ten years, serving alongside Tope Koleoso. Together they have written Hope Reborn - How to Become a Christian and Live for Jesus, published by Christian Focus.

Adrian is also the author of Raised With Christ - How The Resurrection Changes Everything, published by Crossway. Read more about Adrian Warnock or connect with him on Twitter, Facebook or Google+.

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