Since the Azusa Street outpouring in Los Angeles, California one hundred years ago, there seems to be a conspicuous hunger for a fresh expression of the Glory of God! Christian denominations, which have historically denied the existence of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, are now praying for an expression of Pentecost. Those religious bodies that once embraced the doctrine of cessation are now praying and fasting for a fresh outpouring of God’s Spirit as on the day of Pentecost!
For the first time since the inception of the Roman Catholic Church, there is a desire in the hearts of passionate people who are pursuing God to cross denominal, racial, and logistical barriers that have hitherto stood in the way of God’s will. The desperate cry heard around the world is a plea for the restoration of the Book of Acts Church in its purity, purpose, power and glory. A restoration, which includes a five-fold ministry model and a church government, that allows for the operation of the Gifts of the Spirit. It is a restoration of apostolic order and apostolic government. In the context of revolution, it is back to the future.
Yet, in the history of humanity and its recorded attempts of self-government, time has witnessed that there can be no reformation of external structure without a revolution of internal paradigms. The very word reformation speaks of the re-forming or re-structuring of something that has previously existed. Drastic measures must always be exercised to force a change of paradigms. These measures often require a literal removal of the old structure or government that has become archaic and ineffective and the construction of that which is effective! This is the very definition of Revolution! A revolt against a failed or oppressive system and the establishing of something new and relevant, this is revolution.
Leaders and laity alike are clamoring to have their voices heard. Nowhere is this more apparent than among Holy Spirit filled, baptized Jesus believers who are cognizant of God’s plan for this critical hour in church history. Christian leaders and laity alike fromaround the world are lifting their voices in unison declaring that God has a “new thing” for this 21st century people. There is a universal awareness that the existing Church systems of the day must be re-examined. There is an awareness that this examination must be done with the Book of Acts as the blueprint of God for His elect Lady, the Bride of Christ. The Book of Acts teaches us about God’s perfect will for the life, government and actions of the Church! Men and women desperate to please God are breaking the cold clammy grip of religious legalism and reaching for the promise of fellowship with brotherly love. The Church of Jesus Christ was not birthed in the trappings of tradition; nor was it designed to wear the ecclesiastical robes of religiosity. God’s Church was borne out of broken body of a Nazarene named Jesus and His bloodstained, old-rugged cross!
The movement, which evolved into the French Revolution, was not conceived in the hallowed halls of higher education or in the ecclesiastical chambers of the royal religion where the pious hid behind their prayers and politics; but the French Revolution was birthed in the streets of Paris. The children of France took to the streets with pitchforks, sticks, and stones with the raw passion of the hungry. They accomplished what years of political debate and unrest had not. This period was marked by desperation. These were desperate times where it became common to see the doors of bakeries guarded by soldiers. Mercenary militias were protecting the kitchens of the aristocracy while the children of the poor weren’t offered as much as a crumb from the table of the royal and rich. It wasn’t politics or rhetoric that started this revolt. It was hunger! Even the smallest loaf of bread was precious and hunger was the driving force behind the mob of youngsters who took to the street shouting “Tremblez O Tyrant, Nous Grandirons” which interpreted is “Tremble O Tyrant, We Shall Grow up”! Their hunger demanded an immediate response. No longer could these hungry innocents be forced to ignore the wafting aroma of that which their very lives depended on for survival. Therefore, a revolution was birthed. The innocent simply began taking matters into their own hands. They stood boldly and proclaimed that even though oppression and tyranny seemingly was ignored by the intimidated and the indifferent, there would come a day when their passionate revolution would lead them back to a reformation for a brighter future.
The first reformation of religion was getting the Word of God to the common person. No longer would it take a literary degree to read liturgically in Latin the Scriptures. Heretofore, the Bible had been reserved for the sight of the sages and scribes. Now the Holy Scriptures were put into the language of the people so their hunger for truth could be fed. Men gave their lives in the revolution that preceded this reformation. Many were excommunicated, imprisoned, and even burned at the stake. It costs all to get the bread of life to those who were dying of spiritual starvation. Hunger demanded a response! Something had to be done to get the revelation of Faith in Jesus to the common person.
Those who opposed this new day were neither atheist nor pagans of some foreign land, but Christian leaders protecting an old structure that had become obsolete and obscene. These men were protectors of a past whose relevance had vanished in a culture of carnality and decadence. This was not the first time the spirit of religion attempted to destroy the purity of true Christianity! Remember, the spirit of religion was the only demonic spirit strong enough to influence men to crucify Jesus Christ on Calvary. Lucifer literally had to commission the Pharisean sect of Judaism to put Jesus the Messiah to the death. What Hell could not accomplish in thirty-three years, religion did in two days!
We are in the midst of a second reformation! This explains the enormous unrest among spirit-filled believers. An awakening is crossing all denominational barriers. It is a hunger for the Holy. It is a quickened sense of the aroma of fresh bread from Heaven. There is a stirring in our spirits , more than we have ever dared to believe or imagine! The first reformation was over the Creeds of the Church. The second reformation will be over the behavior of the church. The second reformation includes a re-establishing or structuring of apostolic authority and order. It is a fresh release of the Work of the Holy Spirit. This prophetic awakening goes far beyond the trite, trivial pursuits of politics. It is a “dunamis” explosion of power as on the Day of Pentecost! This is the season where God is restoring the Church back to its original influence. Those who sense God this second reformation understand that we are no longer afforded the time to simply have church, we must immediately renew our consecration of being the True Ecclesia of Jesus Christ!
Just as the children of France took to the streets of Paris in what became one of the greatest political revolutions in human history, the streets of Jerusalem became the stage from which the world would be changed forever! The faithful remnant from Jesus’ earthly ministry were propelled by their hunger to go to Jerusalem and wait.
The Glory of the Lord was so strong upon the 120 that it literally filled the house where they were sitting. This was the beginning of the greatest religious revolution known to man. It was not a result of anything other than the opening of the heavens to fill the hearts of men with what they crave ~ the sweet presence of His abiding communion! As His creation, we hunger for Him!
When the aroma of what all humanity hungers for began to fill the streets; the cry heard above the deafening din of men and beasts became, “What meaneth this?”
Only after such a convincing query from the streets did the upper-room dwellers recognize that what they had experienced in private in the upper chamber of John Mark’s mother’s house was now being noticed, and it caused no small stir! It was only after the supernatural manifestation of God’s Glory that the Apostle Peter prolifically proclaimed the preaching of Jesus Christ.
The pattern Jesus used in His earthly ministry now became the blueprint for world evangelism. The supernatural work of the Holy Spirit is to prepare the human heart for the pricking of conviction. This is a converting conviction that comes with the preaching of the Cross! Only after the convincing manifestation of the presence of a living Savior and the conviction that comes by the preaching of His Cross, can there be the question that will change a life or Nation forever, “What must we do?”
The message of Acts 2:38 was never preached alone! This was not Peter’s sermon. It was his response to the hunger that his preaching produced. It was the altar call to the message of the good news, the gospel. It was the answer to an eternal question, “how can we truly fill this void in our soul?” The answer is still the same, “Repent.” What God is doing in the earth today is re-creating the environment from where we will hear the response from the Nations,” What meaneth this” once again.
Although we have visited the militant terms of revolution, we must remember that the original definition of the term does not include debate or revolt. It simply means to make a full circle back to an original orbit. To make a full revolution is to rotate back in a complete cycle, to return to back to an origin. This revolution of Apostolic Reformation is simply a return back to the original order of things. We are returning to miracles in the streets, home fellowships, and the operation and administration of the Gifts of the Spirit. Churches are being birthed out of prayer meetings where the Glory of God is manifest. Nations are repenting for the sins of their fathers. The Gospel is being proclaimed around the world. This gospel of Christ is reaching beyond the political and religious barriers once regarded as impenetrable. China, India and even Russia are now hot beds for revival and harvest.
The book of Acts was never meant to be just another lesson in history or fodder for a rehearsed sermonizer. The book of Acts was meant to continue as our template of the true expression of the Body of Christ in the earth today.
Welcome to the Revolution!!!