I believe the Lord is taking His Church back to the basics. Then once we are back at the basics we can go back to Acts. We have been majoring on the minors and chasing the latest and the greatest – personality, revelation, ministry, gifting, church, or book. And often none of these things make us better followers of Jesus. And, as believers these things we chase after have not helped us to be a good witness for the Lord nor have they helped us to win the lost.
The Church is being taken back to the basics of the faith. Hebrews 6 lists the basic 6 doctrines of the early Church and stresses the need to move on to more mature things. Earlier, in Hebrews 5:12, the author had written that the believers needed milk as they were not yet ready for solid food. I believe the Lord is saying that this is true once again – in our time and in most churches. This would be backed up by the latest surveys taken by Gallup and the Barna Group as published (in part) in the March/April edition of Outreach magazine.
The early Church was devoted to hearing, receiving (head), believing (heart), and then acting upon (hand) the Word of God. The early Church in the book of Acts was based upon and built upon ‘the apostles’ doctrine’ or teachings (Acts 2:42). Jesus promised to build His Church upon revelation of truth received from the heart of God the Father.
I’m afraid today we have built the Church upon programs, hype, personality and private revelation that is not judged nor are most of them biblical in substance or intent. People, leaders especially, are simply inventing something new to tickle the ears of the believers (true or false converts only the Lord knows for sure). Amos the prophet declared that this day would come and I believe it has.
“Behold the days are coming,” declares the Lord GOD,
“when I will send a famine on the land –
Not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water,
But of hearing the words of the LORD.
They shall wander from sea to sea,
And from north to east;
They shall run to and fro, to seek the Word of the Lord,
But they shall not find it.” Amos 8:11-12
I believer this is true today. And that the Lord is about to deal with those who do not preach the gospel of Jesus Christ which is the power of God unto salvation (1 Corinthians 1:18). This must be first and foremost. Then the Church needs to hear and heed the basic doctrines of the faith (the Apostles’ teachings) as this will form the foundation upon which the believer can build his or her life – the house built upon the rock that can withstand storms. And, the Church also needs to be built upon these apostolic foundations (Ephesians 2:20). Only then can the five-fold ministers begin to equip the saints for the work of the ministry.
Surveys prove that this is what is missing today in the lives of the Christian and in the Church. God’s Word states that in these last days there will be many false teachers (and apostles and prophets) and that many will be deceived and their love (agape) will grow cold (Matthew 24:12). I believe that is true and that the deception and falling away is the result of a lack of knowledge of the truth as contained in a proper understanding of the Bible. So, ‘believers’ will continue to look for people to tickle their ears (2 Timothy 3:1-5).
So, the famine for the Word is upon us – and so is a season of great change in the Church and then in the appetites of the believers who declare Jesus to be Lord.
Once the basics are reestablished then the Church will find herself in a situation that can best be described as “Back to Acts”. Here the Church will truly be built, once again, on the foundations of the apostles and prophets and the Lord will be the chief cornerstone (Ephesians 2:20). Then we will see believers – followers of the Lord Jesus – who know what they believe and are “rooted and grounded in love” (Ephesians 3:17) and in the Word of the Lord. This Church will then begin, once again, to do mighty exploits for the Lord for they will truly know their God (Daniel 11:32 NKJV). Miracles, signs and wonders will follow believers and many will come to know the Lord.
The Lord would say:
My Church is in a time of change and a tremendous shifting has already begun. That which was, will be no more. I am building MY CHURCH and I am building it My way. First, I must tear down what man has built to make room for what will be unmovable and unstoppable. My Church will see a tearing down and a rebuilding. The work will be done swiftly and there will be no doubt that it is Me, says the Lord. Big names will fall or be removed so that I receive the glory and the honour for what is about to – and has already begun – to happen. I will raise up apostles to work with My prophets so that the foundations can be repaired and extended so that My House will be built to My glory. Many will come to know Me. Some who have declared Me as their Lord will be seen to lack fruit that would indicate a lack of true repentance with godly sorrow leading to true salvation. They will come to realize that they do not know Me; they will repent and get things right and move on quickly in the things of the Lord. Others will simply walk away. But many will receive Me and walk with Me because My Church will, once again, have returned to the basics and will be built upon biblical truth. Then the miraculous will follow believers and My power and anointing will rest upon My Church in a fresh and more powerful way than ever before.