There is much in our thinking that needs to come into alignment with the Spirit and mind of God. Most of us, if we grew up in any branch of organized religion, have an incorrect impression and expectation of what is coming upon the Church and the world. To our way of thinking, it is perfectly acceptable to anticipate a great revival. Revival is the anticipated norm of the believer in America. Right along with 'God is only love,' 'all you have to do is repeat the sinner's prayer and your salvation is automatic,' and 'all good things come from God and all bad things come from the devil.'
There is a vast gulf (difference) between being religious and knowing God! This is going to become very apparent in every life around the world in the days ahead. We are so full of ourselves that we can not and do not see with spiritual sight. We hold up our good works, our many activities as evidence of all we are doing for God, without ever considering that all our good works are as dung, if God has not told us to do them.
John 3:6 What is born of [from] the flesh is flesh [of the physical is physical]; and what is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Ezekiel 11:19 And I will give them one heart [a new heart] and I will put a new spirit within them; and I will take the stony [unnaturally hardened] heart out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh [sensitive and responsive to the touch of their God], [Ezek. 18:31; 36:26; II Cor. 3:3.]
Ezekiel 11:20 That they may walk in My statutes and keep My ordinances, and do them. And they shall be My people, and I will be their God.
There are conditions that we must meet, people, if we would be called the sons of God. We must love God with all our heart, and all our soul, and all our might. We must be obedient, in all things. Not to meet the requirements and expectations of any man, or group, or authority, but to keep every word (commandment) Jesus spoke, preserved down through the ages for our benefit. We must give our LORD the pre-eminence in our hearts; loving Him more than wife, husband, children, parents, (anyone). We must be sensitive to and cultivate our own relationship with God. We must be able to hear God speak within our own hearts, not being dependent on getting a word from someone else, someone who does hear.
1Peter 4:17-19 For the time [has arrived] for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will [be] the end of those who do not respect or believe or obey the good news (the Gospel) of God? And if the righteous are barely saved, what will become of the godless and wicked?
[Prov. 11:31.] Therefore, those who are ill-treated and suffer in accordance with God's will must do right and commit their souls [in charge as a deposit] to the One Who created [them] and will never fail [them].
The Church is the first thing on Christ's agenda. He is coming back for a Bride that is pure and spotless and looking for His appearing, with oil in their lamps, clothed in His righteousness. The "Left Behind" series are a great fictional read, but that is as far as it goes, they are fiction. If the extent of your preparation consists of clinging to the belief that you are never going to suffer in this life, but be caught away in the clouds before any thing really bad happens, you are in for a rude awakening. We are called, challenged if you will, to be overcomers, by Christ Himself. Jesus didn't suffer and die on the cross just so that we could skate through this life and not have to be partakers of any suffering. That is very appealing to the flesh, but it is a death knell to the growth of the Spirit.
John 16:33 I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]
1John 4:4 Little children, you are of God [you belong to Him] and have [already] defeated and overcome them [the agents of the antichrist], because He Who lives in you is greater (mightier) than he who is in the world.
Malachi 1:6 A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If then I am a Father, where is My honor? And if I am a Master, where is the [reverent] fear due Me? says the Lord of hosts to you, O priests, who despise My name. You say, How and in what way have we despised Your name?
Matthew 10:24 A disciple is not above his teacher, nor is a servant or slave above his master.
It is not a little thing, to fall into the hands of the living God! We have heard all of our lives renditions of the second coming of Christ, much of which has simply been men speaking out of their own vain imaginings, and finding popular support for their theory's, making them into doctrines. Much of what I learned as a child, I have had to lay aside and let go of, in order to receive the revelation of the Spirit within. Many of today's leaders are on the wrong path, and leading their flocks towards the abyss. As nearly as I could find in the Bible, there is no such term as 'revival.' Unless you want to consider what Jesus said to the Church of Sardis;
Revelation 3:2 Rouse yourselves and keep awake, and strengthen and invigorate what remains and is on the point of dying; for I have not found a thing that you have done [any work of yours] meeting the requirements of My God or perfect in His sight.
Is that what we are referring to when we look forward to having a great Revival? The reviving of what is nearly dead? Joel 3:13 Put in the sickle, for the [vintage] harvest is ripe; come, get down and tread the grapes, for the winepress is full; the vats overflow, for the wickedness [of the peoples] is great. [Mark 4:29; Rev. 14:15, 18-20.]
Matthew 13:30 Let them grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will say to the reapers, Gather the darnel first and bind it in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my granary.
Well, we can't deny that the wickedness of the people in the world today is great. But are we as comprehending that the Lord clearly said that at the time of harvest, the tares will be gathered together into bundles to be burned?
Matthew 9:37,38 Then He said to His disciples, The harvest is indeed plentiful, but the laborers are few. So pray to the Lord of the harvest to force out and thrust laborers into His harvest.
Note what Jesus stated here: HIS HARVEST. He did not say that we are to enlarge the Church rosters, whatever denomination we may be affiliated with. All of Jesus' teachings are personal. Being outside of a personal relationship with Christ, is having a lot of nothing. It is time to stop looking backward. Many are so convinced that they are moving in the mind of God, when they pray for revival, for a mighty move of God, as God has moved in the past. Forget the past. God is doing a new thing. He is coming to judge His Church. This time He is not coming in meekly riding a colt. He is coming in all the power, glory and authority of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords; He is coming in great wrath against all ungodliness! If we are looking backward, at the past, we will not see what is coming to thrust us into what God is doing today. We are even now entering into the culmination of all the ages. Jesus is the One with Whom we have to do.
Hebrews 4:12, 13 For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart. And not a creature exists that is concealed from His sight, but all things are open and exposed, naked and defenseless to the eyes of Him with Whom we have to do.
The time of revivals is already past. God is doing something far greater than simply reviving the slacker's of the faith. He is thrusting in the sickle and harvesting what is rightfully HIS. He is judging the hearts of those who claim His name. All that man has built is going to be brought down. That includes the religious hierarchy. Very soon we will see drastic changes here in America. Our nation has deliberately taken God out of everything, while still loudly calling itself Christian. What believers in other lands have long suffered for their faith, is going to come as a shock to most of us. But we would do well to start expecting it. There is already a well advanced work of separation that has been going on between families, groups, and factions. Small or great, none are exempt from God's judgment. We can count on it, the fire is coming. And every man's works shall be tried.
1Peter 1:7 So that [the genuineness] of your faith may be tested, [your faith] which is infinitely more precious than the perishable gold which is tested and purified by fire. [This proving of your faith is intended] to redound to [your] praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) is revealed.
Jude 1:23 [Strive to] save others, snatching [them] out of [the] fire; on others take pity [but] with fear, loathing even the garment spotted by the flesh and polluted by their sensuality. [Zech. 3:2-4.]
God is doing a new thing...saints, prophets, and angels alike down through the centuries have longed to see this day. We are living in the midst of it and cannot seem to comprehend what is happening. It is not enough to look to the past, for what God is preparing to unleash on this world has never happened before in all of time. We are about to embark upon the battle of the ages. Now is the time to prepare our hearts, to establish our priorities, to secure our foundation.
Isaiah 44:8 Fear not, nor be afraid [in the coming violent upheavals]; have I not told it to you from of old and declared it? And you are My witnesses! Is there a God besides Me? There is no [other] Rock; I know not any.
Isaiah 45:3-7 And I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places, that you may know that it is I, the Lord, the God of Israel, Who calls you by your name. For the sake of Jacob My servant, and of Israel My chosen, I have called you by your name. I have surnamed you, though you have not known Me. I am the Lord, and there is no one else; there is no God besides Me. I will gird and arm you, though you have not known Me, That men may know from the east and the rising of the sun and from the west and the setting of the sun that there is no God besides Me. I am the Lord, and no one else [is He]. I form the light and create darkness, I make peace [national well-being] and I create [physical] evil (calamity); I am the Lord, Who does all these things.
The day of God blessing our best efforts are at an end. Good intentions will not cut it. Only as we walk in absolute obedience and compliance will we stand. Just as God is pouring out the greatest measure of power on His Body to sustain them in these last days, so also is the full manifestation of evil coming to a head. Judgment is coming. Persecution is coming. And the manifestation of the son's of God is coming.
Revelation 21:27 But nothing that defiles or profanes or is unwashed shall ever enter it, nor anyone who commits abominations (unclean, detestable, morally repugnant things) or practices falsehood, but only those whose names are recorded in the Lamb's Book of Life.
John 17:9 I am praying for them. I am not praying (requesting) for the world, but for those You have given Me, for they belong to You.
Only those whose names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life will see God. May we always remember that once written in, our name can be blotted again. There is no 'once saved always saved.' There is no free ride. Jesus clearly told us, "In this world you will have persecution, but I have overcome the world!" I pray that you will seek the Lord with your whole heart. We ain't seen nothin' yet, both good and evil. May we have our spiritual eyes and ears wide open. May we see by the Spirit of the Living God, the path in which we are called to walk, keeping in perfect unison with our King, not running ahead nor lagging behind. As the spiritual descendent's of Abraham, may we also comprehend just who is in charge: Genesis 15:1 AFTER THESE things, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram, I am your Shield, your abundant compensation, and your reward shall be exceedingly great.
It's HARVEST TIME people, and it won't be like anything known by man. Yes, the harvest is going to be great, far greater than we can imagine. I trust that you will be moved to adjust your mindset, to shift gears so to speak, and start seeing God's harvest for what it is, rather than what men have imagined it to be.