God is on the Move

God is doing some amazing things in His Kingdom today

God is accomplishing some very powerful things in the nations of the world

In nation after nation – in our nation

God is moving in supernatural ways in our nation

And in a number of lives locally

When God moves in His Kingdom and in the nations He always lets us know ahead of time

Amos 3:7 ““For the Lord God does nothing without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets.”

Of course, this means believing in prophets and actually listening to what is being prophesied

And being careful as there are many who call themselves prophets and they are not

And there are many false prophets who prophesy things that the Lord is not speaking

Making people feel comfortable and safe when this is not the case

Ezekiel 13:10a “Precisely because they have misled my people, saying, ‘Peace,’ when there is no peace…”

Often God does not need to speak about what He is doing because He has already stated it very clearly in His Word, this amazing book we call the Bible.

Listen to what He is doing and has been doing since the middle of the 1500’s… so for the last 466 years in the church and in His Kingdom…

Acts 3:19-21 “Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago.”

We are in a season within the Church Age when God is restoring everything that was taken from or simply lost to the Church that Jesus is building

RESTORATION – ADDING BACK THAT WHICH WAS LOST

AD 31 CHURCH BIRTHED AT JERUSALEM

AD 37 SAMARIA

AD 41-47 ANTIOCH

AD 47-49 PAUL’S FIRST JOURNEY

AD 50-54 PAUL’S SECOND JOURNEY

AD 54-60 PAUL’S THIRD JOURNEY

AD 60 PAUL, A PRISONER

AD 67 PAUL EXECUTED

AD 96 CLEMENT

AD 105 IGNATIUS

AD 110 POLYCARP

Creeds of what the Church believed (Apostle’s, Nicene, St. Athanasius)

Teachings standardized – Ethics encoded within the Church

New Testament Canon (established the 27 books of the New Testament)

Internal schism (two popes, two headquarters….)

Heresies arise – especially Gnosticism (salvation through knowledge and      enlightenment)

MAJOR ALTERATION IN THE BASIC LIFE OF THE CHURCH

Under the Emperor Constantine the Roman Empire was declared to be Christian and the Church became an institution – with structure and organization but soon no life…

Moved from an organism (Body of Christ with Jesus as the Head) to an organization (with a pope as the head)

BEFORE – – – AFTER

MINISTRY OF APOSTLE… MINISTRY OF BISHOP

SPONTANEOUS… STEREOTYPED PRAYERS, ETC.

PROPHETIC… PASTORAL

PRIESTHOOD OF ALL BELIEVERS… CLERGY (expert) AND LAITY (amateur)

AUTONOMOUS LOCAL BODIES… CHURCHES CONNECTED AND CONTROLLED

LOCAL ELDERSHIP … BISHOP/PASTOR

BODY LIFE… MINISTRY FROM THE TOP DOWN

CENTRALITY OF JESUS… CENTRALITY OF INSTITUTION

MINISTERING TO OUTSIDERS… SELF-PRESERVATION – ministering to believers

CONTINUED ONWARDS AND DOWNWARDS TO THE 1500’s LOSING VITAL ASPECTS OF LIFE…

100 YEARS INTERVALS

THEN

10 YEARS INTERVALS

Let’s look at a few so you get the idea…

Things began to disappear from the Church

From neglect

Stolen by the devil

By design … planned by man because we thought we knew better than God

The daily harvest of souls (3,000 saved, added daily….)

The great falling away – Love of many growing cold (Matthew 24:12)

An apostolic-prophetic people (supernatural and sent)

A heart for the lost

Apostle and prophets working as a team

The understanding of the Church as an organism / Institution

Ministry of the apostle

Ministry of the prophet

Fivefold ministry team (Ephesians 4:11-12)

Authority of God’s Word

Ministry of the fivefold teacher

The priesthood of all believers

The nine gifts of the Holy Spirit

Deliverance ministry

Healing ministry

Holiness in the life of the believer

The ministry of the fivefold evangelist

Baptism in the Holy Spirit – Supernatural gifts of the Spirit

Baptism of born again believers – adults – by immersion

Being born again – salvation (cultural / secular Christians)

Others: discipling, mentoring, prophetic prayer, spiritual warfare, inner healing, church structure (elders – deacons – fivefold ministry), worship, fellowship, body ministry….

As many as 150 things were lost, stolen, or neglected – disappearing from the life of the Church between 100 AD and 1550… a very specific order to the loss

Slowly at first … average of one per 100 years

Then more swiftly as the Church became more secular and like the world – average of one every 10 years

BUT, “God is on the move” and He is adding back the things neglected, lost, and stolen…  A time of restoration!

Acts 3:19-21 “Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago.”

And this restoring of things lost and stolen will not take centuries to bring the Church back to the biblical model…

Prophetic Word back in the 1960’s:

That which took ten years will take a year

That which took a year will take a month

That which took a month now done in a week

That which took a week – now accomplished in a day….

And the restoration is being done in the opposite order to the way in which they were lost

That which was lost last was added back first

That which was lost first will be added back last …

Restoring everything to its proper order

We are in “the time for restoring all the things…”

So, let’s look briefly at some of the “adding back”

1550’s Martin Luther – Salvation by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Not salvation by sacrament…

Now a relationship – no longer religion

Baptism by immersion

Fast forward through many “add backs”…

1901 and 1906 – The Baptism in the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues

1901 – Topeka, Kansas

1906 – Azusa Street, Los Angeles, California

Spread worldwide as the “Pentecostal Revival”

1940’s – The ministry of the fivefold evangelist

Aimee Semple McPherson, John Osteen, R.W. Shambock, A.A. Allen, Jack Coe

1940’s Holiness Movement

The Church of the Nazarene among others

1950’s – The ministry of healing (and evangelism)

Oral Roberts, Kenneth Hagin, Kathryn Kuhlman  among many

1950’s The ministry of deliverance

Roman Catholics – Exorcism… and others

1960’s – The Charismatic Renewal

Revisit to the baptism in the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues (mainline churches)

The nine gifts of the Holy Spirit begin to be practiced by leaders

1970’s – The priesthood of all believers

People began to minister to one another – “Body Life” / Ray Stedman – Gene Getzs, Full Gospel Businessmen, Women’s Aglow

1970’s – Prophecy added to the Church (along with public tongues and interpretation)

1980’s  – The fivefold ministry of the teacher / Kenneth Copeland

1980’s – The authority of God’s Word

1980’s – The fivefold ministry team  (Ephesians 4:11-12)

1980’s – The ministry of the fivefold prophet

1990’s – The ministry of the apostle

2000 – The establishing of an understanding of the Church that Jesus is building (Matthew 16:18) …

And the start of building that Church on the foundation of apostles and prophets

Still to come:

Apostles and prophets working as a team

A heart for the lost

An apostolic-prophetic people (supernatural and sent)

The great falling away (Cultural and nominal Christians)

The end times harvest of souls

Then Jesus can come back for His Church – His people

Acts 3:19-21 “Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago.”

We are near the end of the season of restoration and “God Is On The Move”

He is restoring the true Church to its true glory and power

He is bringing the true Church back to being a major influence in the world today

He is raising up the true Church to offer hope to the world – real hope

He is building the true Church in the midst of Christendom where we see:

Cultural Christians

Secular Christians

Worldly Christians

Institutional Christians

Internet Christians

Christians not connected to and involved in a local church (not biblical)

People who are Christians in name only

Believers who follow “another Jesus”

Those who are “fans” of Jesus but not true disciples

He is building the true Church in the midst of Christendom where we see:

Churches that have turned from the true faith

Churches that preach “another Gospel”

Churches that control and manipulate people through fear

Churches built in a non-biblical manner and so do not influence others

Churches that have lost the mandate to “go into all the world…”

Churches built as part of a person’s empire and not part of the Kingdom

As He builds His Church and restores those things that have been stolen by the devil, lost through neglect, and ignored for personal comfort and safety…

As He builds His Church and restores all things…

1> We will be asked by the Holy Spirit to make a lot of mental and spiritual shifts in our understanding of the Church … so as to come into line with the Bible basics of the Church and our life together as a local church

2> We will see the ways things are done change so as to be more in line with the methods and ways of the Holy Spirit …. Leading us into the realm of the supernatural more and more

3> There will be some serious foundational changes as God changes the shape of things so as to build His Church on the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Jesus as the true and only corner stone (Ephesians 2:20)

4> We will see “life” return. The very life and nature – essence – of God to the Church. His power, His presence, His peace will be experienced and felt when His people come together to honour Him

The emphasis will no longer be programs that attract people

The sign of success will no longer be buildings, budgets, and bodies

5> We will see many inactive believers return to the Church – drawn by the new life they see and the biblical foundation that has been laid that allows that life to flow and be experienced

6> “Business as usual” will no longer be acceptable … spinning our tires  – lots of action and being busy but with little to no results

The Holy Spirit wants to see progress and that all of our activity and effort are actually bringing the desired results … reaching the goals and fulfilling the task that Jesus gave us to do – seeking and saving the lost

Said another way: No longer just being ‘faithful’ but now changing and adjusting what we do and how we do it to so that we become ‘fruitful’

7> Churches will need to choose…

A> Stay as they are and continue what they are doing … without God’s presence and the Spirit … just as they are functioning today – until they simply die out

B> Continue to build man’s way with programs and methods … gathering more and more people so as to appear healthy and successful

Circus, crowd, church….

C> Say “yes” to the restoration of all things and the adding back of the missing elements of church life and watch the Holy Spirit do what He was sent to do

Being willing to let go of what we like and prefer

Being willing to give it all to Jesus and let Him do what He wants to do

Being willing to do what God asks us to do

Being open to change and more change as we come into line with the Bible

Being true disciples of Jesus and following Him closely as we fulfill His work her on the earth

The work of “going into al the world and making disciples”

These are exciting times to be alive in the Kingdom

A time of change

A time of adjustment

A time to grow personally and corporately

A time to become more and more biblical

A time to have a Kingdom perspective and see the big picture

A time to become soul winners and see many come into the Kingdom

A time to leave our comfort zones and walk by faith once again

A time to believe big and act on that faith …

A time to run the race that is set before us – and win!

And, some of you have been sensing these changes … the beginning of this adding back of things

Some of you over the spring and summer have come to me an shared your feelings – your sense – that there must be more

A sense of this -what we have – is not enough

A feeling that there is more and its just right “here”

You can feel it – you can taste it

A knowing that something is missing in your walk and in the life of the church

A wanting of “more,” “better,” “different…”

A deep hunger and dissatisfaction with what is

A hunger that does not go away – you can’t shake it

A thirst for more that is never satisfied

Welcome to the beginning of the next stage of restoring all things that once were

Welcome to the starting gate of the next leg of the race set before us

Welcome to the moving of the Spirit – that spiritual uncomfortableness

The Holy Spirit is telling us that “God Is On The Move” and we have a choice to make

Nominal Christianity or phenomenal Christianity … our choice!

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