Revival Part 2

Attaining the Fifth Restoration Revival

For a Church to Attain the fifth restoration revival, there are seven important areas the church will have to focus on which will be explored in detail below.

1. A knowledge of Yeshua

If a person has committed their life to Jesus, it is a great first step, they are then required to take a journey with Him, to develop their relationship with Him and to get to know him intimately. The new believer becomes a disciple of Jesus, Yeshua was a rabbi (teacher), and those who learned of Him were His talmidim (students), they diligently studied their Rabbi’s teachings. The talmidim of today must also study Yeshua and His teachings, but not just to accumulate knowledge. The study of God’s word is worship for the Hebrew mind: “Greeks study in order to comprehend; the Hebrews study in order to revere” (Abraham J. Heschel).

Knowing Jesus requires an understanding of the culture of the times Jesus was living in, as it provided the context for His life. Yeshua is a Jew, who grew up going to a synagogue and following Jewish teachings and traditions. He was a Jewish Rabbi with disciples, who taught using the methods and style of the Pharisees; the Pharisees and Jesus had conflicts because they had become proud and corrupt. To understand Yeshua, we must understand His Jewishness; Judaism is the God-designed culture that the Church is grafted into (Romans 11:17-24), we need to draw on the sap of the olive tree that is the culture of the Bridegroom. This does not mean we become legalistic, being bound to the law, but rather that the Church understands its Jewish heritage and therefore has a better knowledge of its Jewish Messiah.

Knowing Jesus also requires that we understand the claims that He made concerning His identity, all which are recorded in the Gospels. Throughout His ministry Jesus kept pointing the people to Himself – He was “the Way the Truth and the Life” (John 14:6). The true Bride needs to become like her Bridegroom. Jesus as the cornerstone of our faith, must be studied, for it is upon Him the Church is built. A study of Jesus enables a person to become mature as a believer, and develop the mind of Christ, which is eternal, focused on the fulfilment of the Kingdom promise.

The Bride of Christ must have the mind of Christ, which means to be eternally minded, her focus being on growing the Kingdom and preparing herself for the arrival of the Bridegroom. She obeys the instructions given her which are a part of the marriage contract. She cleanses herself of her old life and prepares herself for her soon coming Bridegroom – she believes His return is immanent, so she is expectant, she watches and prays. She also understands she is marring into the culture of the Bridegroom and rejects the wisdom and philosophies of her own culture, for they are inferior to her Bridegrooms and will ultimately contaminate her relationship with the Bridegroom.

The Church (Bride) has a responsibility to fulfil the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20), to evangelise the lost, seeking the salvation of the unsaved. Then to disciple them into becoming mature followers of Jesus, teaching the full gospel message, which includes not just personal transformative development and evangelical/missionary activities, but also: Supporting and equipping believers during their walk with the Lord – studying the Word including Bible prophecy and instilling an eternal mindset, which involves discerning their gifts and talents (Ephesians 4:11-16; Romans 12:6–8; 1 Corinthians 12:8–10). Thus, each individual will perform a significant ministry, becoming a building block that is laid upon the Cornerstone which is Jesus, and then becoming a functioning organ of the body.

To instil a desire to obey the calling given to each individual by God is a duty of every church. Elders of the Church should anoint and pray for each and every person that becomes a part of their church, seeking the Holy Spirit gifting upon that person’s life and guiding them into a closer walk with their saviour, which will be revealed through the role they will fulfil within the body. If a person wants to draw close to Jesus, they must commit their lives to service and the Holy Spirit will become their mentor every step of the way. Just as Jesus gave His life to serve others, so should we:

“The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).

So, every believer must be encouraged to seek the mind of Christ, which may be simply defined as committing to a life of service, become a disciple of Jesus and picking up their cross and following their saviour. A life of sacrificial service will result in an eternal life filled with abundant rewards.

A further recommendation is that every believer understands the full significance of the Jewish feasts. The Hebrew word for “feasts” (moadim) means “appointed times” (Lev. 23:4) and constitutes God’s agenda with His redeemed people. The feast days are not only a historical record of the Jews’ relationship with God but they also reveal God’s prophetic plan (appointed times) for mankind, which would involve God’s redemptive plan through the work of His son Jesus. There is then a twofold benefit for a church that follows the Jewish feast calendar, they attain a greater understanding of Old Covenant Scripture, and they draw close to their Messiah through the typology of the feasts, which celebrates what He has done, and look expectantly to what He is going to do.

2. God’s Word

The Church has the great responsibility of equipping God’s people for service: To seek the spiritual growth and maturity of every believer through disciplining, teaching, preaching and exhorting from the Word of God. Every member of the church needs to be rooted in God’s Word. A function of this responsibility is enabling members to become doers of the word by creating unique opportunities for service to the Kingdom of God.

Every aspect of the church must be closely tested by the Word of God for its acceptability as a mechanism for spiritual growth and discipleship (Ephesians 4:11-12; Acts 20:28, 32; I Peter 5:2). The reading, teaching and preaching of the Word of God should be held supreme in the Church, no other activity should surpass it.

The teaching of the Word should be supported by a Bible School within the Church. Classes may be designed on a three-tier structure, beginner, intermediate and advanced. Beginner classes are discipleship based where the new believer has a mentor who leads the person into understanding the tenets of the Christian faith.

Any individual before being appointed as a deacon or an elder should be required to attain a recognised standard in the Bible School classes before taking on leadership roles within the church: “He (elder) must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it” (Titus 1:9). Then an essential part of the Elder’s work is to pour into others what God has committed to him, that they become able teachers of God’s Word. An elder must be a mature believer who has endured hardships as a good soldier of Christ and is able to train up other leaders not only for the needs of the congregation but for the Kingdom of God in general, men who will be able to go out into the world and plant their own churches.

With the rise of globalisation, with its liberal agenda, conservative Christians are going to be targeted as being fundamentalists who are intolerant. Pastors and Elders are going to be arrested for their stand on the Word of God in opposition to liberal laws. The Churches that have trained up their congregations will not miss a beat should their enders be targeted by liberal authorities. Those churches that are totally dependent on their leadership will collapse (the next blog on 2 Timothy covers Paul’s instructions for the Church in a time of persecution).

3. Israel

An important requirement of the Church is to be grafted into the Olive Tree (Romans 11:17) and to come to the full understanding of the Jewish roots of Christianity. We Have a Jewish Messiah, a Jewish Bible, a Jewish marriage ceremony, and a prophetic future which will see our Lord establishing His Kingdom, restoring the Promised Land and sitting on the throne of David in Jerusalem. This also means that the Church has a responsibility to be an active role player in what the Lord is doing in Israel.

A further important note is a requirement to make the Jews envious, which is recorded in Romans 11:11 – the better translation would be Jealous, rather than merely envious. Paul writes that because of the “transgressions” of the Jews they fell away, which opened the door to Gentiles. Paul then stresses the need to complete the circle, Gentiles now have the responsibility to assist the Jews in returning to their Messiah by making them Jealous. This requirement cannot be achieved when the Church is involved in pagan activities and is not drawing on the sap of the Olive Tree. There will also be important consequences of warning of End Time prophecy for the Jew, because at the rapture, the knowledge for Jews that their hardened hearts caused them to miss the rapture will certainly cause envy, but more importantly motivate them, as people of the book, to be effective members of the Tribulation saints.

God is not finished with the Jews; they are a covenant people and God has not forgotten His promises to them. His restoration of the Jews to the Promised Land is an important part of the End Times narrative, which will include the restoration of the Jews in their relationship with Him. End Times prophecy is centred on the nation of Israel and the Jews, so God has His hand on the nation, protecting Israel in miraculous ways. God has been using Churches that hold to pre-Millennism to fulfil His plan and purpose for Israel and He requires that the True Church continues to support Israel. The Churches that bless Israel will in turn be blessed (Gen. 12:3).

4. Praise and Prayer (which may include fasting)

Every Church needs to have a number of gifted worship leaders, skilled at guiding the congregation through corporate worship. The aim is to exalt God through worship, and prepare the hearts and minds of the church for the message. The worship should be focused on God, and have a didactic content, guiding each person into both a deeper relationship and a deeper understanding of their God. The worship should not be self-centred, only including popular tunes, or mantra chanting repetitive music more designed for “experiencing” the Holy Spirit through group hypnosis, rather than developing a relationship with God. A Church with an anointed worship team will also inspire individuals to have daily private worship (Ephesians 5:19-20; Hebrews 10:25, 13:15).

The church must recognize the worship of God involves more than the signing of worship songs. This is made clear in the first psalm of God’s hymn book, which is a wisdom psalm, more suited one would think for the book of Proverbs, having words such as counsel, way and prosper. Furthermore, the first psalm speaks of two clearly distinguishable paths, one for the righteous and one for the wicked. The reason is that the psalm reaches the core of God’s philosophy for us; in God’s eyes, obedient, scripture-focused living is the highest form of worship, placing God’s wisdom above our own selfish, sinful will. This understanding is to guide us through the rest of the psalms. An important lesson that needs to be understood in the modern emotionally focused and entertainment-driven goal of today’s worship services. Worship must be firstly a lifestyle, and only secondly an event, for the lifestyle gives credibility to the worship! 

A further responsibility of the church is to edify the body through prayer:  To seek to build up and support every aspect of the church’s life and membership through spirit-directed prayer and intercession. Prayer is the foundation of a relationship with God, it delights the Lord when we converse with Him (Prov. 15:8b). Through prayer we grow in our relationship with God, and prayer glorifies God (John 14:13). A Church of prayer will not only accomplish amazing results but also be assured of God’s continued guidance and direction.

Prayer is a major weapon against the enemy, Paul in directing the believer in putting on the armour of God for spiritual warfare (Eph. 6: 10-20), leaves out prayer in his metaphor. There was nothing in the Roman soldier’s weaponry that could match the power of prayer. So, Paul adds prayer at the end of his dialogue on the armour of God, and emphasizes its importance. Modern technology with laser-guided weapons comes close to the effect of prayer on the enemy – our prayer goes up to heaven and then reflects from Jesus back down to earth hitting its target. Effective pray of the saints is powerful, accurate and devastating to the forces of darkness (James 5:16). Prayer should therefore be encouraged in every aspect of the church, and cover every aspect of the church.

A much-neglected aspect of prayer is that the Church is required to pray into prophecy. There are key scriptures in the Bible that emphasizes to all believers the requirement by God that we pray into prophecy, which this study will reveal. There are six key scriptures that need to be analysed to discern the full truth of the matter:

  • Daniel chapter 9 starts with Daniel’s reading Jeremiah’s writings and praying into the prophecy revealed within. The Church needs to understand that prophecy is for participation, not for passivism – a study of Daniel 9 makes this clear.
  • “Come soon Lord Jesus,” is an often-said phrase at the end of a prayer of concern over the problems of the world. It is said in recognition that Jesus will stop all things wrong, and put all things right on His return to earth. This is about the only prayer I have ever heard Christians pray regarding prophecy, which is an appalling indictment against the Church, which has been commanded by our coming King to be alert for the signs of His return. We should hope for His return, we should expect His return, and pray for His return!
  • “Watch and pray,” the Biblical command to watch is combined on a number of occasions with the command to pray in Scripture. Just as prayer is important, so too is the need to watch, understand prophecy, and be vigilant to the unfolding of world events. When Scripture commands us to “watch,” it means that we are to stay awake, metaphorically meaning we are to be continually alert. When Jesus said to Peter in the Garden of Gethsemane, “Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41). Jesus was emphasizing that it is spiritual watching combined with prayer that gives an individual the strength to survive attacks from the enemy. Paul equates being awake to righteousness, with not falling into sin (1 Corinthians 15:34), as a warning that even committed Christians can be spiritually asleep at times. With the End Times drawing near, it is time that the Church woke up out of its slumber and started to pray into God’s revelations for the Last Days Church. The more time that passes and the closer we get to the return of Jesus for His Bride, the more urgent it is for the Church to be awake: “know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed” (Romans 13:11). If there was ever a time for the Church to awake, that time is now! “Blessed are those servants whom the master when he comes, will find watching ” (Luke 12:37).

They say a picture paints a thousand words!

  • Believers are required to pray for the future Millennial city of Jerusalem (Isaiah 62:1).
  • The Lord’s prayer starts by praying for the future Millennial Kingdom – “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:9-13).
  • In Revelations 8 an “angel” performs the High Priestly duties of offering the incense (most likely Jesus our High Priest). He is given “much incense” to offer, by the 24 elders, which is placed on the Golden Altar of incense before the Throne of God. The smoke of the incense, is the prayers of God’s people, a sweet-smelling savour before the Lord, which goes up to God seated on His throne of authority and judgement. The message should be clear to all believers, God requires us to pray before He acts, so it is essential that believers pray into prophecy. These prayers of the saints are offered up to God before the trumpet and bowl judgements commence, indicating the judgements that are an important part of the final preparations for the Lord’s return to establish His Kingdom on earth.

To conclude, times of Prayer and praise may be combined where the church comes together in shifts over an extended period of time, to rejoice in the Lord and draw close to Him. Through this process of bonding with God, a church founded on the Word of God will receive the Lord’s blessing, guidance and direction.

Fasting 

Fasting is a sound discipline that all Christians should develop, and is done when a believer feels the need to draw closer to God, or discern His will on a matter, or look to God to answer a great need. Biblical fasting is the decision by a person to abstain from food for a period of time, those believers that are over sixty may need to follow a liquid fast, where they abstain from food, but they allow themselves juice to be able to sustain their fast.

The point of a fast is to bring the body under submission to the spirit and humble oneself before the Lord, so those who say they fast by not watching TV, are not fasting. Anyone who is fasting should avoid the influence of secular TV as it would defeat the point of the fast, watching the News, Christian programs, and documentaries would be acceptable.

Fasting has been included with Prayer and praise as fasting is done by a believer to demonstrate to God their desire to develop their relationship with God, which is a goal of prayer and praise. Throughout the New Testament fasting and prayer are often mentioned together, and then Luke records in His Gospel (2:37) that a widow worshipped day and night fasting and praying. The three elements of worship go well together as they all draw the individual out of the world into a close walk with God.

5. Eschatology (Pre-millennial, Pre-tribulation)

The teaching of the correct end-times interpretation is extremely important for the Church, as there is only one Truth – pre-Millennialism, which is established upon a literal interpretation of scripture, and holds Israel as the key to understanding End Times prophecy. The other end-times theories have developed out of Replacement Theology which interprets prophecy allegorically and rejects the role of Israel in End Times prophecy. Satan effectively muddies the waters of prophecy with numerous End Times theories which result in churches avoiding teaching prophecy, as it is perceived as being divisive. The Bride of Christ is exhorted by Jesus to “watch and pray” (Matt. 24:42; 26:41) The Church has a vital participatory role in the End Times, to warn the unsaved, to pray over God’s plans and purposes for mankind and to combat the contamination of God’s Bride. Churches that do not hold to a pre-Millennial End Times, do not interpret scripture literally, and therefore place man’s wisdom upon God’s word by spiritualising Scripture. These eschatological views are anti-Semitic, rejecting that the nation of Israel is part of God’s plan and purpose for the restoration of His Kingdom. Israel as a nation then is viewed as being rejected by God which allows for the rise of anti-Semitic views and actions. Thus, these churches are working in opposition to God’s divine plan for mankind! The consequences of this will be God’s judgement (Gen. 12:3). The judgement appears to be that these churches fall deeper into deception and error, being drawn ever deeper back into the clutches of the apostate church. Conversely, those churches that are Pre-millennial, and bless Israel, will themselves be blessed (Gen. 12:3).

The enemy has an agenda, which is that Satan wants to be like God, which is clearly revealed in the five “I will” statements by Satan in Isaiah 14:13-14.  Satan counterfeits that which is of God and his plan is to have an unholy trinity ruling over the earth: Satan, the Antichrist and the False prophet. The time is soon coming when God is going to run out of patients with mankind, we have had two thousand years to accept Jesus as Lord, and the majority have failed to do so. Because mankind has generally hardened their hearts to the Lord’s gift of His Son, God is going to harden the hearts of mankind and give them what they want – the Antichrist (2 Thess. 2:10-12). The Church has a great responsibility as the watchman for mankind, to warn, to educate and to pray.

The providing of an understanding of End Times events may be done through a church following the Jewish Feasts and through a detailed study of prophetic books of the Bible such as Joel, Daniel and Revelation. These End Times writings attain greater clarity when the Roman Catholic Church is accurately identified as the “Mother” of the apostate churches. Understanding the pagan influences of the Roman Church assists the Bride in separating herself from those traditions of men, and gives clarity to the forces behind them. Recognizing the Roman Church as the “Mother” of all false religions is vital for the End Times Church to track the plans of the enemy. This knowledge also enables well-aimed prayer to break down the queen of heaven strongholds over communities.

I attended a church service recently where the pastor gave a detailed sermon on the Abrahamic Covenant and the New Covenant. However, the sermon only covered the past and present, it did not cover the future aspects of the covenants. This is a major problem in the Church, the end goal of God’s plan for mankind is continually ignored. We study the origins of the covenants and how they apply now, but we do not look to the future and where God is taking us. 29% of the Bible is prophecy, God wants us to know that He is in control and He is directing world events to a pre-determined goal – Jesus, the Son of David, seated on the throne of David in the Millennial Kingdom. The desire to see Jesus attain His rightful place as King of Kings should be in the heart of each believer, the much-maligned and rejected Messiah, welcomed by His chosen people and elevate to the position of Lord of lords and King of kings.

The Importance of prophecy:
  • It is a revelation that God is the true God and His Word is the truth: “I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please” (Isaiah 46:9-10).
  • Prophecy shows God’s power and authority, He does what He pleases and continually fulfils His will
  • Prophecy is the full gospel message – we are all commissioned to be watchmen
  • Prophecy helps us interpret world events
  • Prophecy focuses our prayers – prophecy is for participation not for passivism.
  • Prophecy assures us that unjust persecution of the righteous will be avenged by God
  • Prophetic material equips the saints to refute those who mock the Christian faith.
  • Prophecy is a tool for effective evangelism.
  • Prophecy gives motivation for holy living (eternally minded).
  • Prophecy is a source and hope for Christians (Titus 2:13).
  • The study of prophecy encourages patient endurance in the midst of trials.

Lastly, prophecy is important for an expectant watchful Bride, eschatology warns that the time is short before the return of the Bridegroom and a worldwide Judgement.

6. Gifts of the Holy Spirit.

“Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you” (1 Timothy 4:14).

A much-neglected aspect of churches is the laying on of hands for the purpose of imparting spiritual gifts. Elders are required to lay hands on those under their care and pray for the Holy Spirit to give the gift that He has for that person to function as part of the body. The Holy Spirit is a gift-giver. “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them” (1 Corinthians 12:4). The spiritual gifts that believers possess are given by the Holy Spirit as He determines in His wisdom. Committed prayer is required, in order for God will reveal to us our gifting, so that we may then use our spiritual gifts for His glory.

With an emphasis on each member finding out their spiritual gifts for service, the church is engendering an eternal mindset, where the individual is committed to giving of themselves to serve as part of God’s Kingdom plan.

7. Countering the Works of Satan and the Apostate Church.

Satan is the Adversary of the Church, opposing all that is of God, and desiring to impose his will on mankind. The war against the enemy is real, and the role of the Church is to not only deliver the unsaved from the darkness of lies and deceptions, but to actively combat the will of the enemy taking root in their community. This means not only Identifying and praying against strongholds in the community, but also informing and warning their community.

Satan is the god of this world: “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not…” (2 Corinthians 4:4). Paul uses the above phrase because Satan is the source of the world’s way of life. The influence of Satan encompasses the world’s philosophies, education and commerce. The worldly ideologies and false religions are under his control and have sprung from his lies and deceptions. It must be made clear that when Paul names Satan the “god of this world,” he is not saying that he has the ultimate authority – God is still sovereign. But it does mean that God, because of the fall of Adam and Eve, has allowed Satan to operate in this world within the boundaries God has set for him. Mankind must make a choice – Satan has been allowed to impose his will on unbelievers and they can only be set free by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

The final goal of Satan is made clear in scripture, a worldwide rejection of God, under His false messiah, the Anti-Christ. Satan’s deception is that this one-world unity of man is good, only pre-Millennialist Christians recognise it as evil. Therefore, it is the duty of the pre-Millennial churches to cleanse themselves of the philosophies of men and the deceptions of Satan, so that they become the pure Bride. It is these churches that will receive the revival, and be the template for other churches to copy, in this way the revival will spread from its origin, hopefully to all nations of the world.

The Church must remember the origins of what they are facing now, began with the rebellion of Nimrod and the establishment of the Tower of Babel. The Babylonian ideology which is resurfacing once more is based on:

  • The authority of man.
  • The word of man.
  • The works of man.
  • The law of man.
  • The traditions of man.

The globalist agenda is aimed at bringing about a one-world government, a one-world religion and a one-world economy. Ultimately it will be the Last Days Nimrod who establishes this total and complete rebellion against God by mankind – the Antichrist. It is the duty of the Church to recognise the works of Satan in restoring the Babylonian ideology and to sound the warning to a world that is fast heading towards the greatest judgement from God mankind will have ever experienced – the Great Tribulation judgements.

Conclusion

Revival part 1 looked at the definition of a revival in the Church, and revealed the process of cleansing that has been taking place within the Church since the Reformation, through a series of revivals, termed “restoration revivals,” that God through His grace has instituted. The last “restoration revival” before the return of Jesus for His bride will require the Church to rid itself of the last vestiges of the Dark Ages and focus on the seven points covered in this document.

It is worth noting that the main characteristics of the early Church, who referred to themselves as “the Way” (Acts 9:2), match very closely with the five requirements listed in this document:

  1. They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching – studying the word of God.
  2. They were devoted to fellowship.
  3. They were devoted to the “breaking of bread,” celebrating the Lord’s Supper regularly.
  4. The early church was devoted to prayer.
  5. The early Church were fiercely protective of their faith, being willing to die before denying Jesus and allowing paganism to contaminate their relationship with Him.
  6. The early church continually looked forward to the return of the Lord, greeting each other by saying “maranatha” (the Lord is coming).

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