One of the issues in the modern day church is the turning back to the law and legalism of the Old Testament. Many churches are referring deeply to the covenant of the Old Testament that God had with his people. This false restoration of law and tradition from the Old Testament makes the New Testament powers ineffective. The Old Testament required prayer shawls, sacrifices, altars, shewbread, and entrance to God only through the holy of holies.
I have studied many of these practices in the Old Testament. The law is impossible to follow which is why we have grace through Jesus Christ. Jesus gave us a New Covenant to walk in that has power from on high. We are restored to God through our Lord Jesus Christ as we accept the work of the cross. The following of customs, laws, and traditions of the Old Testament will not give you the New Covenant of the cross. Everything we need happened at the cross. It is not that we look to the symbol of the cross. But it is what happened when Jesus died on the cross and was raised from the dead that provides us redemption. There is not law or a foundation for casting out demons in the Old Testament. There are not instructions for prayer in the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament. There is not the infilling of the Holy Spirit and being baptized by the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament.
“For if that first covenant had been faultless, then would no place have been sought for a second. For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, That I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah; Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers In the day that I took them by the hand to lead them forth out of the land of Egypt; For they continued not in my covenant, And I regarded them not, saith the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel After those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, And on their heart also will I write them: And I will be to them a God, And they shall be to me a people.”Hebrew 8:7-10
The New Covenant gives us fellowship with God and access to His power, mercy, and grace. It is a very dangerous thing to try to force people to turn back to the Old Testament law and begin to make mandates on the body of Christ that are based on that law. The holy of holies was only to be entered by the priests. If we go back to that teaching with the New Testament covenant then we cannot enter in. The mixing of law and grace confuses the reality of the cross. I became a Christian because of the simplicity and universal truth of what Jesus did.
I don’t have to be Jewish or understand the torah, the prayer shawl, the temple, or how to sacrifice animals, to come to God. Jesus became the lamb of sacrifice for my sins, to give me eternal life. Christianity isn’t based upon what color you are or your gender. It is all about accepting Jesus in your heart. This final point is key to understanding why so many in the modern church are powerless at 3 am and at 5 pm. Many are missing the truth about the New Covenant; they are not standing on the work of the cross. Everything we need Jesus did. He gave us healing. He gave us power. He gave us grace. He gave us mercy. He gave is love. He gave us his Holy Spirit. He gave us peace. He gave us gifts. He gave us restoration. He gives us provision. He gave us his blood. He gave us strength. He gave us his life and now we have life eternal!
“….that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, becoming conformed unto his death; if by any means I may attain unto the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained, or am already made perfect: but I press on, if so be that I may lay hold on that for which also I was laid hold on by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself yet to have laid hold: but one thing I do, forgetting the things which are behind, and stretching forward to the things which are before, I press on toward the goal unto the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:10-14
The revival that many speak about is not happening as they foretell. It is in the hearts of men, and is happening every day beyond 3 am. There are many teachings about the great outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the last days, as if this is an event still to come. I have not quite found a scripture to support that teaching. But I have come to know the word about the New Testament church. We do not have to wait for what is already here! Jesus is raised! Jesus is alive and we have access to him in prayer.
He has sent the Holy Spirit from heaven that is and has been mightily active as shown in the book of Acts, all the way up through this present day. The “hurry up and wait “mentality keeps so many sitting in church waiting for what they already have. Waiting for the Holy Spirit to come, is like having a million dollars in the bank and not spending it. The Holy Spirit is here, all we need to do is to receive Him.
Over the past 20 years I have studied the great revivals and moves of God. Each revival was really God’s constant loving restoration of what he gave us in the first place at the cross, and that had gotten lost through religion, tradition, and doctrines of men. He poured out his Holy Spirit with signs and wonders during those camp meetings and tent revivals. He worked through great men and women of God; William J. Seymour, Smith Wigglesworth, A.A Allen, Jack Coe, William Branham, and Mary Woodworth-Etter to name a few. They saw great moves of
God in the millions. There was also the Black Tent revival in Baltimore, the Welsh revival, and the Kentucky revival.
He is restoring every day, every year throughout the world, the things we lost that he gave us. When Jesus was crucified, died, and resurrected he said it was finished. We received all we need from him and got the great commission to go into all the world and do as he commands.
Organized denominations control the move of his Spirit by hindering it, and this has caused the barriers we feel in the church some times. The revival we are looking for is to go back to where we first believed, cry out to God, and repent for getting off the path. Every revival movement I studied has involved this repentance and refilling from the lost years.
I was at one church on the East Coast that was experiencing a great move of God. I talked to one of the elders then and told him a vision God gave me. God showed me in the service what he was going to do next. And it was even greater than the move the church had been experiencing for the past 2 years. He said, “Oh we are through with that. Now we are just organizing our programs now”. The attitude was that it was done and now order was needed.
We have been to so many churches that are going through transitions to mega church levels. Once they begin to build new buildings, usually with crushing debt loads, they tighten up on the supposed loose cannon people. Those who do outreach, prayer, and especially upon those who don’t tithe. These people are targets for the reordering.
The size of the building becomes more important than the size of the hearts of men. We have seen this shift and have had to get out of the way, or leave before being run out.
The need for a bigger program becomes more of a focus, with the idea that when we get bigger then we will be able to help the broken hearted and poor. But once they are at the mega church size they need to grow some more to get ready for the next phase, and also usually to have more members to financially service the often crushing debt burdens involved. The results are that the people whom the church needs to reach too often get lost or overlooked.
There are so many churches with people who are baby Christians forever. They are taught all the principles needed to start their businesses, get a house, drive new cars, invest, and pour into the church financially. But they never get good teaching or training until they attend a fee paid conference. I remember when the Gospel was free. We were sold out about just serving Jesus with whatever we had. I was taught the word of God and how to reach the lost. The idea of wining souls was not a sermon but an everyday reality of living for Jesus.
The real revival in the morning is in our hearts to get back to be revived to the basic fellowship with God through Jesus Christ; and to do his will. The performance oriented Christianity that exists is based upon words and not grace. We judge each other based upon titles, conferences, books published, and what church a person attends. The real church knows each other after the Spirit of God and that requires all of us to walk in the Spirit and not in our flesh.
The carnal church is producing a generation of performance oriented Christians. That is Christianity based upon works instead of being based upon a relationship with Jesus Christ. Church buildings today are often constructed with cafés, gyms, club houses, and sport lounges. When the church was just the church and the business ventures were left outside the door, souls got saved. I am not suggesting to people not to attend church. There are many who desire to go to church, but who feel out of place. The Christian circuit celebrities keep the same people in rotation with the same books that encourage worldly goals.
I have met a few of these people and they are very mean and unfriendly. They make you feel as if you are wasting their time even talking to them.
Pastors have become life coaches instead of encouraging the five fold ministry to edify and build up the body of Christ. You pay to get counseled now.
Now church buildings are built first and then marketed for the people to come to with over heads sometimes costing millions of dollars annually. As I step back and see all this, I know why I am up at 3 am. And not just me but many who are dismayed and disappointed with the agenda in the modern church. I am up to pray for those I know who want very much to go to church, but can’t fit into the modern church system and instead need and want Jesus. I am up praying for slavery across the world to be ended, instead of supporting tea parties, democrats, and conservative values, or the taking back of America.
America has pagan roots, plus you can’t take back what does not belong to you. We believe the new kingdom of God is not bounded by country or geography but is infinite in size, and scope, with an ever increasing number of souls saved by the cross of Jesus Christ.
I am praying for hurting people and those who have never heard the Gospel. I am up praying for myself that I don’t fall away, and that I continue to glorify his name some kind of way in my life daily. I am up seeking his face and crying out for my loved ones who are struggling with sin. I am up praying for myself to stay right with God. The new revival is the old revival that started 2000 years ago on Calvary: be restored to God through Jesus Christ.
It is so simple but the church has made it complex. I can remember seeing people get saved right in front of my eyes and filled with the Holy Spirit. They were baptized right then and there with the Holy Ghost. They would be handed microphones to speak in tongues and we all shouted for glory. I recall seeing people get baptized by water every Sunday because they wanted it all at once and to receive the fullness of salvation. Many churches don’t even have baptismal pools built in them or end up using a local pool once every 3 months.
Don’t get me wrong we don’t understand the complete workings of a church. But I also understand that you place your priorities on what is important to you. And if having cafés becomes more important than making sure a sinner can get saved and baptized then we have to look more closely at our priorities. Souls should be our first concern. The Gospel we preach should have an impact on people’s lives. People who are seeking God need to not just be convicted but converted to Christ. The anointing of the Holy Spirit is power. So many sermons are preached from text book knowledge and not first hand, ongoing experience with Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.
I have turned off from so many preachers on TV who are not anointed. I have seen bishops as young as 26 instead of elders seasoned in the Word. Too many church leaders and denominations appear to be handing out “bishop rings” like tic tacs and we all just shake our heads and agree. Freemasons are boldly operating in churches, and pastors are part of the organization, while also preaching in the pulpit. There is more to being saved than all of this.
I encourage you that if you are up at 3 am or at any time of the day, to make your calling and election real to you as a Christian. Seek God with all of your heart. When God points out those areas that are sins in your life, quickly repent, asks for his forgiveness, and for His power to live right and walk away from those sins. This includes being a member of any secret organizations to which you have sworn oaths of allegiance. You can’t have divided loyalties. None of us can. Either we will love the world and all of the temporary but pleasurable power and opportunities that seem to come when we join secret and worldly powerful organizations.
Or we will follow Jesus with all of our hearts. Come on brothers and sisters, it’s not too late even if you’ve been in these organizations for many years. The Lord Jesus loves you and wants you to follow him. He can and will untangle all of the messy, even life threatening allegiances you have made. He is able to extricate you from the devilish oaths and covenants you have made. Don’t you want to be free from the burden, the stress, and the pain of those ungodly commitments you made as a young man or woman just starting out? Turn to Jesus and he will set you free.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Wherefore take up the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and, having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; withal taking up the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: with all prayer and supplication praying at all seasons in the Spirit, and watching thereunto in all perseverance and supplication for all the saints, “ Ephesians 6:10-18
Pray and pray with power. Put on the whole armor of God to do battle. Stand on his Word in your life. Do not compromise for faddish Christianity. Allow Jesus to show you how awesome and powerful He is. Believe for miracles every day and draw close to Him daily. During the last days it says many will be deceived. That means in the church also. Many will take the mark of the beast and follow the anti-Christ spirit that is even called Christianity.
The political movement of conservative values leaves behind everybody who can’t pull themselves up by their bootstraps. There is more racism in the church than ever because of political division on both sides. The “Left Behind” series stories leave behind so many who are of other races. I have never witnessed so much hate in the church and no one speaks about it. Race is not in the Bible but sadly it is in the church.
We must lay our sins of hate at the cross. True unity is when we are willing to cry and struggle together for the sake of the gospel. True unity is when we are not divided by political parties or social agendas. We are unified by the blood of Jesus. We are his body. The body of Christ. Jesus is the head of the body. We are to walk and imitate Christ. At 3 am we are to pray as Christ would have us to pray for each other. We are to love each other as Jesus loved us and gave us his life.
“And we know and have believed the love which God hath in us. God is love; and he that abideth in love abideth in God and God abideth in him. Herein is love made perfect with us, that we may have boldness in the Day of Judgment; because as he is, even so are we in this world. There is no fear in love: but perfect love casteth out fear, because fear hath punishment; and he that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love, because he first loved us”.
1 John 4:16-19 KJV
We need to truly repent and not just wash feet. We need to pray for one another to come together as one. If you are up at 3 am so is Jesus and he is ready to answer your prayers, and to fellowship with you. You are not the only one up but you are who God is using in this dark hour of the times. You are the light on the hill that cannot be hidden. You are God’s light in darkness so shine like a star! Be used by God in prayer, in your life, and to make each day you live a day that glorifies him. Do not be afraid of whom or what you will face but know that in you is more than enough power to change the world around you through the name of Jesus! Wake up! It’s morning and God gave you a new day as you prayed through the night. The new day has just begun! Rejoice and glorify God in this new day! So whoever is up at 3 am. Thank you for praying us all through to the morning!
You are not the only one up, but you are the one up with Power! Thank God for the morning and start praying with new faith and new hope for this day. Arise and shine for the light has come!