“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled.”Matthew 5:6
How It Started: The Asbury Collegian reported that it began during a call to confession on Wednesday, February 8, when at least 100 people fell to their knees and bowed at the altar.
Since then it has turned into a Holy Spirit outpouring that has only grown larger and larger each day with visitors pouring in from around the U.S. and the world.
Asbury President Kevin J. Brown, Ph.D. posted a four-minute video update posted to Twitter calling these last few weeks at the Christian school, “unlike anything I’ve ever seen in my life.” “Whether you call this a revival, a renewal, an awakening, or an outpouring, what we have experienced on our campus these last few weeks is unlike anything I’ve ever seen in my life,” Brown said.
Brown said he believes Asbury is not the keeper or source of this movement, saying it has already gone to other campuses across the U.S. “People are hungry for something more,” he said, quoting Jesus in the New Testament’s Matthew 5:6. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled.” “We look to other schools, other churches, or ministry communities as co-commissioners in this movement that’s taking shape for us,” Brown said.
“Whatever happens from here, our deep desire is to see a life-transforming renewal of our younger generation to faithfully serve their communities, their schools, their churches, and their professions. To see them go into the difficult and dark places in the world and to be light.”
In closing, Brown thanked people for praying and asked them to continue to pray that what is happening at Asbury would continue to move across states, countries, and continents so that all may see Christ” he said.
Men see the strength of a nation in its wealth, population, armaments, technology, and knowledge. But where does God look? “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.” Proverbs 14:34. The Bible reveals that the cause of the rise and fall of nations is moral and spiritual. No nation can rely on its strength, power, human intelligence, social programs, and wealth to save it from the devastating effects of moral decay. Just look at history to see how this has played out relentlessly.
Since Israel had forfeited her privileged status, God promised to destroy her as He destroyed the Amorites and the Egyptians (Amos 2:9-10; 4:10,12). The people of Israel had gone so far that God expected no repentance from them. Israel’s opportunity to repent had faded away. It was too late!
As He had fought their battles for them in the past, now God would fight against them. Whatever their courage or expertise, nothing would go in their favor. The things that had formerly given Israel strength in war would be turned against them.
Most Western nations have been built upon Judaeo Christian principles but are now turning away from God just as the Israelites did and they are already starting to see the judgement of God coming upon them.
To heal a person and to heal a nation requires God’s Solution in His Eternal Word. Both require humility, prayer, seeking His face, and turning from their wicked ways. Itcould not be more clear.
“When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7: 13-14
The prophesied time when God pours out His wrath upon an unrepentant world with the trumpet and bowl judgements is fast approaching.
“When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood, and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale. The sky vanished like a scroll that is being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”Revelation 6:12-16
The Scriptures make it clear, particularly Romans 1:18-32, that God’s patience with people’s rejection of Him clearly ends. The following Scripture then describes what He does to them.
“God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonouring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.” Romans 1:24-25
The next Scripture describes what we see playing out in the world today as it rejects God and His values.
“For this reason God gave them up to dishonourable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.” Romans 1:26-27
“They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.” Romans 1:29-32
Finally, the Scriptures make it clear that God’s wrath will be poured out on an unrepentant word. Also, Jesus has revealed in His Word the events that will take place prior to His wrath being poured out on the world with the Trumpet and Bowl judgements. What is happening in the world today, remarkably lines up with these prophesied “last days” signs.
“But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.” Romans 2:5
We are told the intensity of God’s judgements increase as His wrath is poured out first with the Trumpet judgements.
“The first angel blew his trumpet, and there followed hail and fire, mixed with blood, and these were thrown upon the earth. And a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up. The second angel blew his trumpet, and something like a great mountain, burning with fire, was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood. A third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed... ” Revelation 8:7-9
With the Bowl judgements the wrath of God further intensifies and I would like to think that some people who read these “end times” Scriptures will repent and ask God to forgive them for rejecting Him and His values. Jesus has made it possible for all of us to get right with God, our Father. If only they will repent and accept Him as Saviour and Lord. Only then will they escape the coming wrath of God spelled out so vividly in the following Scripture.
“Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and amazing, seven angels with seven plagues, which are the last, for with them the wrath of God is finished…. Then I heard a loud voice from the temple telling the seven angels, “Go and pour out on the earth the seven bowls of the wrath of God.So the first angel went and poured out his bowl on the earth, and harmful and painful sores came upon the people who bore the mark of the beast and worshiped its image. The second angel poured out his bowl into the sea, and it became like the blood of a corpse, and every living thing died that was in the sea...” Revelation 16:1-3
God’s people will not experience the coming wrath of God. They are taken up to heaven, first the dead in Christ and then those that are still living here on earth.
“Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrathof God.” Romans 5:9
“Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth. I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown.” Revelation 3:10-11
“And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.” Philippians 1:9-11
Christian growth is built on the foundation of God’s love. This love is the sacrificial love that God showed when He gave His Son to atone for our sins. It is the same love Jesus showed when He went to the Cross on our behalf. It is a sacrificial and giving love. To enable us (believers) to share this love with others God sent the Holy Spirit to indwell our Spirits.
“The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all his innermost parts.” Proverbs 20:27
A lamp requires oil to function. Our Spirit was always meant to be the vessel for the Holy Spirit. At the Fall, the Holy Spirit departed from Adam and Eve. They died spiritually then, their bodies died almost 900 years later.
Notice also that Paul prayed not only for abounding love but discerning love. The heart and mind need to work together so that we have discerning love and loving discernment. This a major mark of maturity and evidence of the fruit of the Spirit.
As well, Paul prays that our love may abound with knowledge particularly of God’s Word that we may have spiritual wisdom and discernment. Only then will we be able to walk pure and blameless. To approve the things that matter, to decide the priorities, to spend time on those things that have eternal consequences, to do good works – to live eternal now.
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” ~ Matthew 7:13
This is a sobering verse and it is obvious that there is only one gate that leads to eternal life. The answer Jesus gave to Thomas makes it crystal clear there is only one way our Heavenly Father provided to break the curse of death that Adam brought on mankind.
“For our sake He (God the Father) made Him (God the Son) to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21
Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.
It is very significant that David was given a vision of the gate even before Jesus paid the price of his and our salvation – “you have become my salvation”.
“Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the LORD. This is the gate of the LORD; the righteous shall enter through it. I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation.” Psalm 118:19-21
“I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the LORD. The LORD has disciplined me severely, but he has not given me over to death.” Psalm 118:17-18
Do not grieve the Holy Spirit that now indwells your Spirit but strive to do as Jesus did and pray daily to the Father “not my will but Yours be done.” God the Father will answer that prayer ensuring that the Holy Spirit directs your steps and you are an instrument of righteousness to God.
Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.”Romans 6:11-13
“By this we may know that we are in Him: whoever says he abides in Him ought to walk in the same way in which He walked.” 1 John 2:5-6
“Holiness is the royal road to happiness. The death of sin is the life of joy.” Charles Spurgeon. Indeed, holiness is exactly what secures our happiness.
To be holy is to see God as He is and to become like Him, covered in Christ’s righteousness. And since God’s nature is to be happy, the more like Him we become in our sanctification, the happier we will be. Forcing a choice between happiness and holiness is utterly foreign to Scripture. If it were true that God wants us to be only holy, wouldn’t we expect Philippians 4:4 to say, “Be holy in the Lord always” instead of “Rejoice in the Lord always”?
The Puritans, Jonathan Edwards, Charles Spurgeon, and many others used the words happy and happiness frequently in biblical, theological, and Christ-centered contexts. When they called on believers to be happy, they weren’t speaking of happenstance or chance, but of enduring delight and pleasure and good cheer in Jesus.
Sadly, Bible teachers such as Oswald Chambers saw people trying to find happiness in sin so they came to think that pursuing happiness is sinful. Chambers said, “Joy is not happiness,” and continued, “There is no mention in the Bible of happiness for a Christian, but there is plenty said about joy” (God’s Workmanship, and He Shall Glorify Me, 346). I respect and have been blessed by Oswald Chambers publications such as My Utmost for His Highest, but statements like this are misleading. It simply is not true. In the King James Version, which Chambers used, Jesus tells his disciples, “If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them” (John 13:17 KJV). Speaking of faithful Christians, James said, “We count them happy which endure” (James 5:11 KJV). Peter said to fellow believers, “If ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye” (1 Peter 3:14 KJV) and “If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye” (1 Peter 4:14 KJV). I am not sure what Oswald Chambers thought of these verses but it seems clear God wants us to be happy but we can only be happy when we are in close relationship with Him and obedient to His Word and call.
Make no mistake during the End-Times, God will focus His attention on bringing to fulfilment the covenants that He made with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and David.
Most of Daniel’s visions focus on the Gentile kingdoms in history, and on their rule over the people and land of Israel. It was revealed to Daniel that the Gentile kingdoms would have dominion over Israeluntil the time of the endand the coming of their Messiah. He was given understanding that the nation of Israel, and their Land, is going to be embattled and fought over until the end. There will come a time, however, when that season of the Gentiles’ dominion will come to an end; a time when the Land will be given back to the people of Israel; a time when they are going to be restored to the Land.
The Bible clearly says that His divine activity will be both “great and terrible” as He zealously works to persuade the peoples of the Gentile nations to turn from their evil ways and accept His “redemptive plan” as it will be expressed in history through the manifestation on earth of the everlasting covenants that He made with Israel. At the same time, God will be working dramatically among Jewish people, and for the nation of Israel, to turn whole-heartedly to Him—accepting the Messiah that He has already sent to make a way for their salvation. We are told that by the end of this age, the surviving Jewish people will believe on and receive Jesus as their Messiah and King!
Throughout the New Testament, the prophecies written about the End-Times and the return of Jesus are focused on Israel and other key nations of the Middle East. The Book of Revelation portrays the cities of Babylon and Jerusalem as the two most prominent cities in the End-Times drama.
The nations of the Middle East will be the “stage” upon which God completes His activity of redemption in this age and ushers in the next age, which will be a time of renewal and restoration that will affect the whole world.
In mercy the throne will be established; and One will sit on it in truth, in the tabernacle of David, judging and seeking justice and hastening righteousness. (Isaiah 16:5)
The way to be righteous for those who would partake of God’s Kingdom is “through faith in Jesus Christ.”
“But the righteous man shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:16-17)
Righteousness is not through our works. It is a gift that we receive and that we live by through faith in Jesus.
“God made Him (Jesus) who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” (Corinthians 5:21) Awesome! This verse is one of the most “astounding” verses in all of Scripture.
It is important to emphasise here that there is only “one-way” of salvation; only one-way to become a Righteous citizen of God’s Kingdom.
“To Him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve His God and Father—to Him be glory and power forever and ever! Amen.” (Revelation 1:5-6)
Sadly much of the apostate church believes Jesus is not the only way to God. This is heresy and leads only to destruction.
Also, this issue of “identity” has become a concern for many Jews who are now “Messianic believers;” those who believe in Jesus (Yeshua) as their Messiah. They struggle with what they should do with the Law—and with the covenant that was made with Moses and with the children of Israel at Mount Sinai. They often identify themselves, as Jews, with many of the things that they were taught under the Law, as well as from traditions that have sprung up throughout their history. Paul made it clear that Jews must also submit to God’s perfected way of becoming Righteous, which is only through believing in Jesus, the Messiah:
“Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” (Romans 10:1-4)
It is important to pray for the Messianic community, so that they may come to accurately understand God’s heart and God’s Word. This difficult situation, most likely, will only increase in the last days, when the Temple is rebuilt in Jerusalem and a revived Levitical priesthood institutes daily sacrifices and offerings again.
Extracts from Tom Craig’s book, Living Fully for the Fulfilment of Isaiah 19: When Egypt, Assyria and Israel Will Become a Blessing in the Midst of the Earth
Let us declare with Pastor Anthony: “Today, I stand for righteousness. Righteousness will exalt a nation. We proclaim that this nation will have righteousness. We will go back to the cornerstone, which is the Lord Jesus Christ, and build our foundation on truth (God’s Word). Truth will build our family house. Trust in the word of God will establish and confirm our house.”
Watch Ps Anthony Edwards Snr. and Tilly Fejo’s story below: