REVIVAL AND PERSECUTION IN THE END TIMES

Both are possible and Jesus told us that this is what will happen before He returns, first to raise the dead in Christ and then rapture the Saints that are alive, before pouring out His wrath upon an unrepentant world.

Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.Matthew 24:9-14

I met Jonathan Cahn by chance at breakfast at the Leonardo Hotel in Jerusalem. I was ordering an omelette at breakfast when a voice behind me said, I will have one of those too. I looked around and could not believe I was looking at Jonathan Cahn. Surprised, I said, Jonathan Cahn! He replied that’s right. Wanting to keep the conversation going, I asked, what are you doing here, Conference? No! he replied, I am here on vacation, I have not been well. I was handed my omelette, so I returned to my table, but I immediately asked the Holy Spirit why had I met Jonathan at this time. Was there a purpose? Immediately, the Holy Spirit told me to share with Jonathan why I was in Jerusalem and what was happening at the Gathering that I was attending in the large International Convention Centre opposite the Knesset. Jonathan was sitting at a table with his wife and children so my immediate reaction was no, I should not interrupt them, but the Holy Spirit then added why I needed to tell him. He needs to know that 1500 of the 3000 at the Gathering are Chinese. So I went to the table and first apologised for interrupting their breakfast, but I said, that I believed the Holy Spirit wanted Jonathan to know what God was doing in Israel at this time. I then asked him if he knew that 3000 Christians were here in Israel for a Gathering – no speakers just to worship and hear from God. Jonathan said no, he was not aware of the Gathering and was surprised at the number of Christians attending. I then dropped the “bombshell” 1500 of the attendees were Chinese a large portion from mainland China. No way, was Jonathan’s response. 1500 Chinese came to Jerusalem to pray and offer their support to their Jewish brothers and sisters. Jonathan knows what God is doing in America, but had no concept of the extent of how God is using Chinese Christians to impact the world, even Jerusalem.

Jonathan is God’s prophet for America at this time issuing warnings that America needs to turn back to God or receive His judgement. His book The Harbinger warns America that God had already sent nine warnings to America starting with 9/11, the attack on the World Trade Centre and as America has not heeded those warnings further judgement is inevitable.

If you have not heard Jonathan before you will be blown away by his revelation of Biblical prophecies.

PRAYER AND FASTING FOR UNITY BRINGS REVIVAL

Wave After Wave of People, Broken Before the Lord’: TN Pastor Tells CBN News of Revival Sweeping His City

“There has been a 50-year history of intense prayer across our region and the last two years we’ve seen God lead cities of churches together to do prayer walks, crusades, and tent revivals,” he told CBN News. “Awaken Tennessee seems it has brought that extra Holy Spirit presence through prayer and fasting that we see exploding in church after church.”

Revival and Awakening Outpouring in Rogersville, TN (Photos: Provided by Barbi & Terry Franklin)

Revival is taking place in Tennessee after churches from various denominations partnered together in prayer and fasting, igniting a move of God’s Spirit that has transformed lives across the region.

CBN News has learned more about the revival that’s underway in Tennessee involving 1,000 churches across the Volunteer State.  It’s a part of “Awaken Tennessee”, a 30-day prayer and fasting initiative that launched on Jan. 26 and will run through Feb. 23.

The event is not about any one church or denomination. It’s been described by Pastor John Butler of the East Rogersville Baptist Church in Rogersville as a concentrated prayer effort across the state for true revival in our churches that triggers an awakening in local communities, the state, and the nation. The initiative started last year when Pastor Dave Clayton of Nashville’s Ethos Church was successful in getting 400 churches to come together to pray for every single resident of the city.  Awaken Nashville was a huge success, so this year Clayton and other organisers decided to invite churches in the entire state to participate. 

Butler said, “Every service for the planned conference was filled with God’s presence. People were getting serious about dealing with personal sin and people were coming to Christ for salvation. Thirty-year feuds were made right, relationships have been restored, and many masks had been removed. People made public confessions of sin, bitterness, and laziness about their involvement in God’s kingdom activity,”

THE CHURCH IN THE LAST DAYS

This article is taken from the book by John Burton – The Coming Church. It only confirms what I have been saying for a number of years now. The traditional institutional church must change if it is to be used by God in the “last days”.

 The Coming Church, by John Burton

“We need a church on fire today more than ever. The lost are being introduced into lukewarm, natural, Ichabod religion instead of a supernatural shaking that can only come from the Great I Am. They are convinced they are saved as they are assimilated into a community of like minded quasi-spiritual people who would love to see God manifest in their natural realm—yet have no interest in manifesting in the spiritual realm where the Holy Spirit broods.

My challenge to pastors is simple: Risk everything. Allow your church to dwindle, if necessary, to a few remnant people who will live, pray, walk and advance in the Spirit. The world is waiting for them. (Francis Chan is a living example of a pastor who has accepted the challenge.)

We soon won’t be able to define going to church the way we do now. God is coming to reform, to crush structures of old for what is to be introduced very soon. Our call isn’t to stand strong until the shift comes, it’s to prophetically sound the alarm and awaken those at risk! God is coming! The force from Heaven, the celestial asteroid, is going to impact the Church, and most pastors and people will resist with everything that’s within them. Man-made support systems will be removed. People’s financial and relational structures will be threatened by this strange new spiritual invasion. The human wisdom and natural common sense that have been involved in the development of the current church structure will not be usable in the new. Those who walk by sight are in danger.

I’ve met countless pastors and others who say they are focused on revival, but who are misguided on exactly what it is. Their focus is on attracting people to the church, on people getting “saved” and on other church growth strategies.

The problem? The foundational pursuit of revival has nothing to do with church growth or the lost. It has everything to do with the church awakening, contending in intercession and attracting the fire of the Holy Spirit.

The lost didn’t show up in the upper room. Marginal followers of Jesus were repelled by the upper room. Acts 2:1-3

Revival isn’t marked by a full house. Revival starts in a room that reveals the remnant. The revival that erupted in that roomful of remnants resulted in explosive church growth and kingdom advance.

The pure Christian message of surrender, repentance, holiness, intercession and rescuing souls from hell has been replaced by a self-centred gospel that boldly affirms a focus on benefits without cost, on personal gain without sacrifice, on freedom without consecration. The Church has been unapologetically and boldly focused on how to have faith to receive while forsaking the call to have faith to give. The spirit of the age infiltrated churches long ago—and now, all too often, that demonic spirit is the primary counsellor.”

CHANGE THE WORLD – POLITICS OR JESUS

Are Australian Christians committing the same sort of errors as our American brethren? Lacking the power of the Lordship of Christ many frustrated believers feel like they must do something to be useful to God in the midst of a dramatic decline of national righteousness. The power of the political sphere is the obvious avenue to bring change, even if Jesus’ Lordship operates in an exactly opposite way to the coercive power of legislation. I foresee the Australian Church losing one political battle after another, all the while being distracted away from her chief concern, the abiding life of Christ.

What disturbs me about “political Christians” is that their zeal for a cause often comes across as more intense than their passion for the Person of Jesus. Why is this?

We live in a day when everything is being politicised, and in the popular imagination politics stands for power. A recent example of this is when government registry offices were opened to gay people last week the agencies were all flying the rainbow flag of the LGBT movement.  So powerful has been the political success of this lobby that its core values have now become part of the identity of Australia as a nation. As with the earlier feminist-libertarian victory over abortion, we are now subject to “institutionalised lawlessness”

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And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” (Matt 24:12).

To think that politics shapes culture, rather than the reverse, is back to front. The de-Christianising of the West happened because densely networked anti-Christians took possession of the culture-making institutions of society, particularly higher education and the arts. Despite every good intention the average believer has no access to the more elite “clubs” from which social change is initiated. Unlike, for example, the wealthy, educated, aristocratic group that William Wilberforce drew together, few believers have influence in institutions that re-invent how people see reality. If there is no remedy for moral decline through the political process should we take more radical action?

There is another way forward for the re-discipling of our nations but it will require unprecedented humility (Matt 28:18-20).

Recently, 14 of Australia’s most senior Church leaders publicly appealed to the PM and Opposition leader to make good on their undertakings to uphold religious freedoms. This political act is as completely unsurprising as it is hypocritical. How often and how loudly have our spiritual leaders been speaking up, inside and outside the Church, for the cause of our persecuted brothers and sisters in other nations?  Why should a national Church which has so blatantly sinned against the Lord by failing to pray and advocate for our afflicted brothers and sisters (1 Sam 12:23) expect God to hear appeals for our rights? Do we secretly believe our long Christian history entitle us to some sort of preferential treatment? Perhaps in God’s good purposes we need to be oppressed in order to be revived (Hab 3:2)? Songs sometimes speak of a “near revival”, but is this actually imaginable? The answer is “Yes”, but not in the mode of power many selfish Christians are seeking.

When Hillsong and Sydney Anglicanism put their resources into the “No” campaign against SSM this signalled that political causes have the power to unite polarised Christian traditions. But contemporary Pentecostals and Evangelicals have lost touch with the source of real power. They have drifted far from their roots in great revival movements that transformed the character of Western Christianity.

It is idiocy to imagine that the Lord would send revival through the organised Church whilst it has its own elites and clubs who exercise political power inside the churches in a way that does not look like Christ crucified. Institutionalised Christianity can never defeat institutionalised evil.

Jesus said to the politically savvy Pilate, “my kingdom is not of this world” and went on to show the true  character of the divine rule, by death, resurrection and visiting people with the Spirit of repentance, joy and a radical change of lifestyle (John 18:36; Acts 2:37-47). The mass of comfortable middle class church leaders and their members do not really want to lose control of their life options. There is a market in peddling worldview programmes as a remedy to the spiritual decline of the West, but Jesus is not a set of mental images you can learn, cultivate and studiously apply. The power of the presence of the risen Christ cannot be contained in any wine skin, within or without Christianity. When we are broken enough to accept this and renounce any hope we have placed in politics perhaps the Lord will visit us with his mercy (Luke 1:78).

When the Australian Christian Lobby recently called on the “standing army” that had formed to oppose gay marriage to prepare for bigger battles ahead they reinforced the feeling amongst many Christians that something must be done to save Australia. Political engagement however is not the kingdom priority our nation needs if there is to be any remedy for lawlessness in the land. We need the powerful presence of the Jesus in his compassionate wisdom in all the culture making spheres where “Christianity” has been so soundly defeated (Eph 3:10). This does include politics, as well as education, the arts and other dimensions of culture. A Church compromised by political and other powers will never experience the limitless power of God that can change the world. We need to return to be seeking the Holy  Spirit power which took hold of our lawlessness and defeated at the cross and went on to raise Jesus in perfect righteousness (Rom 8:11; Heb 9:14). Only by abiding in the life of Christ can there be any transformation of our cultures. This is happened before, and can happen again, but only if we humbly submit to the final reality about divine power; “If Christ is not Lord of all, he is not Lord at all.” May God turn our hearts to Jesus before any other power.