Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Where Are We Now

It is always important to understand where we are in God’s time and season.‭ ‬We don’t want to be like the Pharisees of Jesus‭’ ‬day that could not discern the signs of the times.‭ (‬Matthew‭ ‬16:3‭) ‬Instead we want to be like the sons of Issachar,‭ ‬who were men who understood the times.‭ (‬1‭ ‬Chronicles‭ ‬12:32‭) ‬So,‭ ‬where are we right now in God’s timetable‭? ‬If we look to the Scriptures,‭ ‬we can find the answer.

‭“‬He will‭ ‬revive us after two days‭; ‬He will‭ ‬raise us up on the third day that we may live before Him.‭ ‬So let us‭ ‬know,‭ ‬let us press on to‭ ‬know the Lord.‭ ‬His going forth is certain as the dawn‭; ‬and He will come to us like the‭ ‬rain,‭ ‬like the‭ ‬spring rain watering the earth.‭”Hosea‭ ‬6:2‭ & ‬3‭ ‬NASB

These two verses give us a clear picture of where we are in God’s timing and what we should be experiencing.‭ ‬I think most people in the Body of Christ understand Peter’s explanation of God’s timing in‭ ‬2‭ ‬Peter‭ ‬3:8:‭ ‬1000‭ ‬years‭ = ‬1‭ ‬day,‭ ‬1‭ ‬day‭ = ‬1000‭ ‬years.‭ ‬It has been‭ ‬2000‭ ‬years since Jesus‭’ ‬earthly ministry,‭ ‬or‭ ‬2‭ ‬days since Jesus walked the earth,‭ ‬so what happens now‭? ‬I see four things:‭ ‬He Will Revive Us,‭ ‬He Will Raise Us,‭ ‬He Will Reveal To Us and He Will Refresh Us.‭ ‬Let us consider them briefly one at a time.

First,‭ ‬HE WILL REVIVE US.‭ ‬Notice in our text that He will revive us,‭ ‬not the world,‭ ‬us‭ (‬His people‭)‬.‭ ‬Notice also that this will take place after‭ ‬two days,‭ ‬or‭ ‬2000‭ ‬years.‭ ‬The people of God are about to walk into the greatest revival that they have ever experienced‭! ‬Most folks in the church don’t understand revival‭; ‬they seem to think that revival is when people get saved,‭ ‬however that is evangelism and conversion,‭ ‬which are off-shoots of a true revival.‭ ‬Let us look to the definitions of the word revival for a better understanding.‭ ‬Revival means:‭ ‬To come or bring back to LIFE or consciousness,‭ ‬resuscitate.‭ ‬Its second definition is:‭ ‬To come or bring back to a healthy,‭ ‬vigorous,‭ ‬or flourishing condition after A DECLINE.‭ ‬Isn’t that a picture of the church today‭? ‬God is about to bring us back to a healthy,‭ ‬vigorous and flourishing condition‭! ‬We are no longer going to be sleep walking,‭ ‬going through the motions of our Christian lives‭! ‬It is time to sing with the great hymn writer:‭ “‬Revive Us Again‭”!

Second,‭ ‬HE WILL RAISE US.‭ ‬Notice in our text that on the third day He will raise us up that we may live before Him.‭ ‬I want to focus on the two words,‭ ‬raise and‭ ‬live in this verse.‭ ‬At first glance,‭ ‬you would think that God will elevate us on the third day‭ (‬or the beginning of the‭ ‬3000th year according to Peter’s equation‭)‬,‭ ‬which would be good,‭ ‬but a deeper look at the original Hebrew reveals quite a bit more.‭ ‬This word raise carries with it the added meanings of:‭ ‬CONFIRMING,‭ ‬ORDAINING‭ & ‬ESTABLISHING.

Notice also that the text says that the reason that He will raise us is so that we may live before Him.‭ ‬There is an intended purpose to this raising.‭ ‬A deeper look at the meaning of this Hebrew word for live carries the added meaning of:‭ ‬NOURISHING,‭ ‬SAVING‭ & ‬BEING WHOLE.‭ ‬Therefore we could say that on the third day‭ (‬which is the day we are living in‭)‬,‭ ‬that God will CONFIRM,‭ ‬ORDAIN‭ & ‬ESTABLISH us that we may be NOURISHED,‭ ‬SAVED‭ & ‬WHOLE before Him‭!

Third,‭ ‬HE WILL REVEAL TO US.‭ ‬Notice the words of our text,‭ ‬so let us‭ ‬know,‭ ‬let us press on to‭ ‬know the Lord.‭ ‬This speaks of revelation.‭ ‬A closer look at this word know in the Hebrew carries with it the meanings of:‭ ‬PERCIVING,‭ ‬HAVING REVELATION‭ & ‬BEING SHOWN.‭ ‬We are living today in the day that the people of God are going to walk in the greatest revelation that any people of God have ever walked in throughout all of human history simply because of where we are in God’s timetable‭! ‬God wants us to know:‭ ‬WHO HE IS,‭ ‬HOW HE THINKS,‭ ‬WHAT HE FEELS‭ & ‬HOW HE WORKS.‭ ‬This revelation will come to us one of three primary ways:‭ ‬The Spirit of God will open the eyes of our understanding as we spend time in His Word,‭ ‬The Spirit of God will speak to,‭ ‬give images to,‭ ‬or make impressions on our hearts during prayer,‭ ‬praise and worship,‭ ‬and finally the Spirit of God will manifest His gifts in our midst and speak to us prophetically as we are open to His moving amongst us.

Finally,‭ ‬HE WILL REFRESH US.‭ ‬Notice in our text He will come to us like the rain,‭ ‬like the‭ ‬spring rain.‭ ‬Rain in Scripture is a symbol for the refreshing that comes from the manifest presence of the Lord‭ (‬see Acts‭ ‬3:19‭)‬.‭ ‬The prophet stresses that on the third day God will come to us not just as the rain,‭ ‬but as the SPRING RAIN.‭ ‬This is a key phrase in Scripture.‭ ‬In studying the rain of the Holy Spirit in Joel chapter‭ ‬2,‭ ‬the footnotes of my New American Standard Bible make mention of the fact that the Early Rain‭ = ‬the Autumn Rain,‭ ‬while the Later Rain‭ = ‬the Spring Rain.‭ ‬The early rain came at planting time,‭ ‬the spring rain comes at harvest time to get the crop to a place of maturity,‭ ‬and ready to be harvested.

There are going to be two great coming harvests.‭ ‬The first is the last day great harvest of souls into the Kingdom of God.‭ ‬The second is the harvest of God’s people being caught away‭ (‬The Rapture Of The Church‭)‬.‭ ‬Jesus is coming for a spotless bride that is mature and ready to meet Him when He comes.‭ ‬It will take the last day outpouring of the Spring Rain to get this crop of the church to come to a place of maturity ready to be harvested.‭ ‬I can remember all the books written about the Second Coming‭ (‬like‭ ‬88‭ ‬reasons Jesus was coming in‭ ‬1988‭)‬.‭ ‬Obviously the church was not ready,‭ ‬because the third day outpouring of the Spring Rain had not yet come to bring her to that place of maturity,‭ ‬ready to meet Him.‭ ‬We are living in the day of that outpouring‭! ‬Get ready for it‭!

It is clear from these two verses of Scripture that God has some specific things in mind for His people of the THIRD DAY CHURCH.‭ ‬It is up to us to recognize what His purpose is and place a demand on the purpose of God.‭ ‬It is up to us whether we walk in the fullness of what His purpose is or not.‭ ‬As for me,‭ ‬I will experience HIS REVIVING,‭ ‬HIS RAISING,‭ ‬HIS REVEALING‭ & ‬HIS REFRESHING‭! ‬How about you‭?