The Lord is going to repeat the history written in the Gospels and Acts. Read God's Word and make sure that you will be on the right side of what is coming. Those early disciples were raised to believe that they were the people of God and that their leaders were Godly men, until the Word of God through Jesus opened their eyes. When this happened they became a threat to the apostate (backslidden) leadership. Great persecution will come from the official church against those who begin to believe and walk in the steps of Jesus instead of religion. (Eccl. 1:9) That which hath been is that which shall be; and that which hath been done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.
If your church does not teach the Word as it was given in the beginning you are not learning to abide in Christ. You are in danger of being on the wrong side of what is coming. (1 John 2:24) As for you, let that abide in you which ye heard from the beginning. If that which ye heard from the beginning abide in you, ye also shall abide in the Son, and in the Father. Christianity has followed in the steps of Judaism with its paid professionals who do not know God and have added to or taken away from the "everlasting covenant" with their traditions. (Rev. 22:18) I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, if any man shall add unto them, God shall add unto him the plagues which are written in this book: 19 and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the tree of life, and out of the holy city, which are written in this book.
The prophet Joel declares a full restoration of all that the curse and religion has taken from God's people for years, first the Jews, and then the Gentiles. (Joel 2:23) Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in Jehovah your God; for he giveth you the former (or early) rain in just measure, and he causeth to come down for you the rain, the former rain and the latter rain, in the first [month]. (24) And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the vats shall overflow with new wine and oil. (25) And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the canker-worm, and the caterpillar, and the palmer-worm, my great army which I sent among you. God's crop will be restored from the devastation that these insects represent by an early and latter rain. This rain was identified in verses 28,29 as an outpouring of the Spirit on them.
Peter quotes verses 28,29 in Joel declaring that the outpouring of the Spirit on Pentecost was a fulfillment of this prophecy. (Acts 2:16) but this is that which hath been spoken through the prophet Joel: (17) And it shall be in the last days, saith God, I will pour forth of my Spirit upon all flesh: And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, And your young men shall see visions, And your old men shall dream dreams. This early rain came to the Jews that believed to restore them after a great falling away and then it was passed on to the Gentiles. Those disciples who received that power of the Spirit walked as Jesus walked and did His works. The pagans called them "Christians". Not enough evidence to convict many of that any more but the story is not over. For almost 2000 years only a few have been partakers of the early rain. The latter rain will come to those who believe, to restore the fallen Church and then it will be passed on to the Jews.
When will the latter rain come? Both the Jews and the Church have fallen away from what was given on Pentecost for almost 2000 years. The Spirit of God says in (Hosea 5:15) I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me earnestly. In the midst of affliction, which has already started, His people say in (6:1) Come, and let us return unto Jehovah; for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. (2) After two days will he revive us: on the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live before him. (3) And let us know, let us follow on to know Jehovah: his going forth is sure as the morning; and he will come unto us as the rain, as the latter rain that watereth the earth. We see here that on the morning of the third day the latter rain outpouring will come to empower and restore.
What are these days? (2 Peter 3:8) But forget not this one thing, beloved, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. Having read the writings of the early church fathers I can tell you that they commonly believed in the 1000-year day and that after six of these days the end would come. The Hindus, Muslims, and the Jews also believed this. Gibbon in "The Rise And Fall of The Roman Empire" said that the Christians believed this. I have found in scripture over a dozen astounding revelations using the 1000-year days pointing to this time in which we live. The Bible is laid out in seven prophetic 1000-year days. These days are always numbered from the creation of the first Adam or the birth of the last Adam. There were 4000 years or four days between the Adams. I believe in September of 2001 to 2002 we will have come to the Biblical year 6000 A.M. (Anno Mundi -year of the world). This will be the morning of the third day or third thousand years from the last, new creation Adam, Jesus Christ. It will also be the morning of the seventh day from the old creation Adam. This is when the end time begins and God finishes His work. (Gen.2:2) And on the seventh day God finished his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. According to this type God is about to finish His new creation work on the seventh day and rest. This soon coming latter rain outpouring will restore the true believers to the holiness, power, and ministry of Jesus. Religion will fight against this as they did the early rain and this time it will be world wide.
In perfect parallel to the early rain in the book of Acts, this revival will come to the people of God who will receive it, as the latter rain. God's crop is about to burst forth on the morning of the third day. As with the early rain this revival will not be spawned in the established apostate church but on the streets. As they lose "members" the jealousy of the New Testament Pharisees and Sadducees will be evident. This revival will not be the placebo of false signs that have been seen, but a restoration of the Biblical gifts and powers to the righteous (Joel 2:23-25).
God bless you.
by Matthew J. Burdette
I was in prayer several nights ago, and God began to show me a vision. In this vision I saw one that I knew to be an Apostle out in the streets. He was healing the sick, wheelchair cases were getting up out of their chairs, shouting and praising God. He was as Jesus was when he walked the earth. The very power of heaven seemed to be at his disposal without effort. (At this same time, God began to speak to me, or reveal to me, what was happening, almost in a narrative sense.)
As the Apostle did the miraculous, he was also proclaimed the Kingdom of God to the people. His message did not veer from the message Peter preached on the day of Pentecost. It was "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost". Many believed his words, and obeyed his message. Great revival was present! As the Apostle continued to proclaim and work the miracles, I saw others come on the scene. These men were leaders in churches. God was not moving for them in the same way he was with the Apostle, yet they were carrying the title of "Apostolic." There was a hatred that came upon them for the Apostle. They despised his miracles, and began to say his power came from the devil. They cut him off from their fellowship, and began to persecute him. At this time I saw him in several different ways, or scenarios. Some of the "Apostolic" men began to try to turn the people away from the Apostle. Some followed them because they were Elders in the church. Their position and standing in the assembly swayed some to their view. They then began to fight the Apostle, throwing rocks at him, he was put in prison. He was even killed. It seemed strange, but as the Apostle suffered the persecution and was killed he still continued to do the work. Even after he was killed he was still there, preaching salvation, and showing God's power through the signs and wonders that he did.
As all this was being shown to me God was narrating the whole thing to me. This is what he was saying: ...."The Apostle is the Real Apostolic Church. He is my Ambassador to the world. He will demonstrate my power to the world, but he will hold the same doctrine that the first Apostles taught, any other doctrine negates him as my Ambassador. The Apostle will be men that do not limit me. They will ask for the impossible, so that I may get the Glory, because man could not do what they were asking. They will believe me for the limitless"...
As the scene changed, and the Apostle began to be persecuted, I seemed to know the interpretation as it happened. The Real Church will be persecuted by those that claim to be the church - much like the Pharisees persecuted Jesus. They will try to draw some away by speaking against the move of God through the Apostle (the Real Church). Some will follow them because they have been the leaders of the "church" for years. As God continues to move on the Real Church, they will hate all who stand with the Apostle. They will fight and cast false accusations, drawing some away. They will turn the governments that be against the Real Church. Men will be put in prison. Some will be put to death. Yet all the persecution will not destroy or stop the Real Apostolic Church from the task before them. The gates of hell will not prevail!
I arrived early for the Sunday service and sat in a local church in Georgia. I Looked around the sanctuary and saw only one or two other peoples. I looked at the condition of the church and it was well maintained. I had visited this church a number of times over the years. I had even preached there on several occasions; the first time in the mid-eighties
WHERE WAS EVERYONE?
The sanctuary was capable of seating about four hundred. I knew there would be far less in attendance than 400. Probably around seventy or eighty. I began to consider what would be needed to fill that church. I began to imagine what I would do to fill it, if I were the pastor. Make the platform larger? Take the front pews out? Get rid to the grand piano and install a key board? Look for lots of gifted musicians? Change the pulpit to a fiberglass see through podium? Put banners on the walls? Make the meetings more attractive and exciting, in order to draw in lots of young families with kids and lots of young single adults.? "Yes Lord I know you want to fill this church, but I'm not quite sure how".
I AM NOT INTERESTED IN FILLING CHURCH BUILDINGS
The Lord then answered me and said, "I am not interested in filling church buildings. I have never been interested in filling church buildings, for it has never been on my agenda My desire and my agenda is not fill church buildings, but to fill the whole earth with My glory. This has always been My agenda, to fill the heavens and the earth with My glory". He then told me to check it out in the scriptures.
"For the earth will be filled With the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, As the waters cover the sea". (Hab.2:14.) "Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, Who only does wondrous things! And blessed be His glorious name forever! And let the whole earth be filled with His glory Amen and Amen". (Ps.72:19)
MANY CHURCHES ARE FULL, BUT ...
He then went on to say, "There are many church buildings that are full today, but they have nothing to do with Me. I am not interested in filling church buildings, but many buildings will be filled, because of Me. But this will happen because of the moving of My Spirit upon the earth. When My Spirit moves you will not have enough buildings to contain the sinners and backsliders which will pour into my church. They will fill the streets, the market places, the places of business in the cities. Yes! every area of society will be affected by My mighty outpouring. For I am more concerned about nations, countries, cities and villages, than I am about church buildings. I am more concerned about nations, than church affiliations and denominations. For when My people become more concerned about their communities, their cities, their villages and their nations and pray and seek My face and give up their own agenda's and come into unity and seek My agenda and My glory, then I will come upon their communities and their cities and their villages and their nations. When My people renounce the religious spirit, which has polluted much of My Body and caused division and has weakened My church and made her impotent, then I will hear and answer".
GOD'S CHURCHES MUST REFUSE TO TRUST IN THE ARM OF THE FLESH
"When My church refuses to trust in the arm of the flesh, and in human talents, and renounces vain traditions, and casts out spirits of suspicion against herself, and calls upon My name, then I will come and visit her with My great power and presence. Expect to see a great sign and wonder which I am waiting to accomplish. Observe what I have already done and am doing in the nations across the world and know that there is nothing too hard for Me. For I am no respecter of persons, or countries, or nations, therefore humble yourselves, renounce the spirits of darkness and evil, repent of your sins and pray for a visitation of My Spirit upon your nation. When My people humble themselves, then I will humble the nations".