From The Church in the Last Days
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Mt. 6:33)
This book is not about church organizations or structures. It is about the people who make up the universal Christian church of Spirit-born believers around the world. Get people personally connected to Jesus Christ, and He can then capably take it from there to produce the positive results we read about in the lives of the people of faith recorded in the Bible. A genuine reformation in the Christian church begins with repentance, prayer, Bible study, listening in the Spirit, and a heartfelt desire for genuine discipleship.
But a fundamental reality in the world is that not many people listen to the words of the true prophet at the moment the message is being delivered. This is primarily due to the vertical separation between the message of the prophet’s speech in the elevated realm of faith and trust in God, and how well people in-the-moment have the capacity for listening “in the Spirit” (Mt. 11:15; Acts 27:9-11).
Most people going about their normal lives have their vision focused horizontally upon day-to-day concerns, and are not contemplating the higher ways of God in their daily affairs (Isa. 55:8-9). But a true prophet of God is always trying to elevate people’s spiritual vision up into the higher realm of daily living combined with “walking in the Spirit.”
This is the location where faith and trust in God can produce divinely orchestrated outcomes coupled with profound character growth. This is also the area where resistance to change and the element of risk reside. This is why for many people the sudden introduction of the message of God through a prophet is often a jarring and unwelcome event. The prophet’s message can be a nettlesome intrusion into our otherwise normative, complacent, worldly sensible plans.
Israel historically revered their prophets in hindsight, and went to great efforts to accurately record, maintain, and pass along the sayings and writings of their prophets. But many of the biblical prophets were persecuted and rejected by their contemporaries at the time they delivered their messages (Jer. 1:19). It is a relatively safe exercise to look backwards in time in nostalgic appreciation for the purely intellectual component of the prophet’s message, conveniently removed into the history of centuries past. It is a relatively safe enterprise to endorse the ancient prophet’s fiery call for personal repentance, a heartfelt change in our lives, and the challenge to step up into a biblical-style adventure of faith (Mt. 23:20), as long as this message can be interpreted to apply to past generations of our wayward ancestors and not directly to us.
A Spirit-filled prophetic call to surrender all to Jesus today, in full consideration of the costs and benefits involved, can be just as sobering a challenge for us now as it was for the Old Testament Jews listening to Moses, Samuel, Elijah, or Jeremiah. The unique aspect of the final chapter of the Christian church in the last days is that there will not be a future time in human redemptive history to nostalgically look back upon the present-day words of prophets calling people to a higher and deeper experience following Jesus Christ. The second coming of Christ brings an end to this human redemptive period for all time.
This interaction between God and people set within the context of life’s events and circumstances, having mutual faith and trust as the bonding cement of the relationship is not found anywhere else in philosophy, religion, or human experience. The validating element of this arrangement is authenticated by the reality that the living God must actively take up His part of the relationship. Like playing catch with a baseball, someone real has to be on the opposite side to catch the ball and throw it back. In the case of a biblical journey of faith, the one true God invented the game and openly invites all to participate.
The entire Bible can be interpreted as God’s attempt to get us to release our faith and elevate our vision up into the realm where God can effectively work with us. This is actually a key aspect of the Bible that confirms its divine origin. The component of God’s active out-reach toward us is something that cannot be fabricated by human invention. The callings of God, and the ingenious and varied narrative stories that follow the enlistment of each person of faith recorded in the Bible, are totally outside the imagination and literary invention of man.