The Sound of Revival
It is obvious that, except for God’s intervention, the world as we know it is heading for unimaginable destruction! This is not surprising when we consider the atrocities that plague the nations. Take for instance, the destruction of fetuses for the selfish purpose of creating anti-ageing potions. What about the free distribution of condoms and contraceptive pills to girls who have almost just gotten out of their nappies; or the transgender individual who is carrying babies after spending a fortune on hormone therapy?
But wait – maybe I should I call to attention the ecumenical preparation of the abomination that causes desolation or the weapons of mass destruction being built by world leaders whose top priority seems to be war! Dare I even mention the global economic crisis that is always being swept under the carpet? It is like ticking time-bomb waiting to explode?
All these things are evidence of a famine! God promised this to happen and it is evident from the decadence of society. Gross darkness is covering the people”
It is not enough to stop there. There is clearly a spiritual drought, and it seems that the Church, which is supposed to bring the word of God to the people, is also living in that drought. The Lord is no longer speaking to or through them. It appears that the fountain has dried up and the best they can do is live in the law of the letters. Devoid of inspiration, they simply embrace the word for its literal meaning because it creates a safe margin so that there appears to be no need for the spirit of the Word. Truly it is Ichabod! The glory is departed!
When they come across men with the spirit of Elijah, who have the freshness of the Holy Spirit, they either reject the Word of the Lord in his mouth or the try to milk the people of God through his gift until the Fire in him is quenched (1 Thessalonians 5:19).
“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:” [Amos 8:11]
Notwithstanding all this, whether people choose to accept it or not, God still has His Elijahs – His servants the prophets. These are a special group of believers (not tarnished by denominations) whom God has protected from bowing to the spirit of Baal. He speaks to them and they too, have scribes who record what He says (Habakkuk 2:2).
There was a serious famine in the land, so much so that people were eating their last meals and laying down afterwards to sleep the sleep of death. The only noise the people were hearing were those of murmuring and complaints about the dire state of things in the country. But Elijah began to hear a different sound.
The Word Must Come
“And it came to pass after many days, that the word of the LORD came to Elijah in the third year, saying, Go, shew thyself unto Ahab; and I will send rain upon the earth.” [1 Kings 18:1]
“Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, unless he reveals his secret unto his servants the prophets.” [Amos 3:7].
Who are these Elijahs that are hearing what the Spirit is saying at this time in human history? “The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him; and he will show them his covenant.” [Psalm 25:14]
God is not dead; He is not on holiday, nor is He disinterested in the affairs of men.”
“And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up my eyes unto heaven, and my understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honored him that lives forever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation: And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he does according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can restrain his hand, or say unto him, What do you?” [Daniel 4:34-35]
God is very much in control and He is speaking. The question is – are we listening – do we really even want to listen? God told Elijah that He would send rain and promptly commanded him to make himself publicly available to give the people this piece of good news. We all know that God always does what He says He will do. He means what He says and says what He means. God cannot lie.
Let us then ask ourselves, “Why did Elijah not just tell the people the good news and go home and sit by his window to watch the rain fall? If God says He will do it then surely He will do it! No, it’s much more than that. Elijah knew God wanted more than just the rain; He wanted to save the people from their destruction. So, Elijah had to prepare the people and then go up to the mountain to plead for mercy and the outpouring of the rain.
“So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees,” [1 Kings 18:42]
The Ahabs of the Church will always go up to eat and drink because they live only for self. They never have time for God and they never seek to worship Him in spirit and in truth. Their god is their belly and all they think about is what pleases them. They would make all sorts of excuses to avoid seeking the face of God for atonement. Leviticus 23:27 tells us, “Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement; it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD.”
These people avoid the holy convocation. I am not referring to the gatherings that take place in the ‘church’ building; I am referring to the spiritual gathering of the children of God – in the Spirit.
The children of God, know when the Spirit is calling the holy convocation – and He is doing so right now! He is calling His people to seek His face like Elijah did so as to be enquired of by His people.
The People Must Be Soaking-Wet
When a people are living in complacency, comfort and excess, the last thing they want to think about is God or even their fellow human beings. They are not interested in Him or the things He says or does. This is why we often see unbelievers blaspheming or debating about the existence of God These people are going to be made to answer for the problems in the world!
A people that have medicines to take care of their illnesses, technology to expand their horizons and psychology to control and manipulate others would have no time for God. They need to be soaking-wet in need in the place of prayer.
“That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD: Who say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits: Get out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us.” [Isaiah 30:9-11]
In a general sense, people derive satisfaction from living to please only themselves. They are self-centered, wanting to live by their own rules. They prefer to seek out the greatest laws in the kingdom of darkness rather than pursue light They insist that others answer to them but refuse to be accountable to anyone. They embrace the idea of being gods in their own right just as Eve did in the Garden – “you shall be as gods” (Genesis 3:5).
I am sorry, you need to be reminded of something important: this is God’s world and you cannot have it your way in His world (Psalm 24:1). He owns and controls it and has made His law for man to love Him (Deuteronomy 6:5) by free will and choice. For this, man would need to trade his obstinate and self-indulgent will for one that respects and responds to God and his fellow beings.
Paul was in this environment on his voyage to Rome when he warned, “And said unto them, Sirs, I perceive that this voyage will be with hurt and much damage, not only of the cargo and ship, but also of our lives.” [Acts 27:10] They refused to heed his warning and went ahead with their plans, having heard from “experts” that it was cool to carry on with their lives just as they wanted.
Sadly, it is in this very manner that many people are running their lives today. They are self-motivated and self-indulgent in the pleasures of this life. They never have time for God, preferring instead to consult the clairvoyant or horoscope readings for insight into their futures. These people prefer the psychiatrist instead of the Bible. Until they experience a tempest and ultimately a shipwreck, they will not yield to Truth.
Looking back at Acts 27, we see that those people suffered the loss of everything – the coziness of pleasure was gone, the comforting words of the shrink were annulled and their only means of survival had been threatened and eventually taken away from them. It was only after they had lost everything, when it was almost too late, that they were willing to listen to Paul. But not before they were soaked during the storm while escaping the shipwreck.
Have you ever seen a person who has been soaked by rain arguing that nothing happened? If he does not seek warmth, he would die of hypothermia! A person who has had an encounter with the Spirit of God, either visited hell and had seen its torment upon its inhabitants or has glimpsed heaven and seen the joy there would need no eulogy to show him the love and of the Saviour to a rotten world.
“Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.” [Luke 20:18]
Saul of Tarsus was a hardened man with a stony heart. He did whatever he felt was good to him and pleasant to the public. He dared the consequence and could not care less until he got shipwrecked and was soaked in the stormy. They must be soaking-wet and in dire need of God’s warmth!
Acts 9:3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:
Acts 9:4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
Acts 9:5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
What Must We Do? Get The Fire Ready!
We need to pray! We need to ask the Lord to send a tempest upon the people, with possibly even a shipwreck, without loss of life. We need to earnestly pray, like Elijah did on the mount, for a ‘rainstorm’ to fall upon the heathen,. That rainstorm would be a hunger and thirst for righteousness.
“Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.” [Hosea 10:12]
We need to make ourselves ready! It would be impossible for us to help the people if we ourselves do not possess what they seek – warmth. We all know that the world needs Christ. But do we have Christ ourselves? If we say we do, the only test is His Fire. Do you have His Fire?
In Luke 3:16, John answered, saying unto them all, “I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I comes, the thong of whose shoes I am not worthy to untie: he shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire:”
Do you have His Holy Spirit? If so,do you also have His Fire? If you do not have His Fire, you are not ready because you cannot give what you do not have. This is why so many hyper-charismatics have missed it. They are trying to create His Fire, but instead, they are creating strange fire and trying to offer it on His altar. It is dangerous! Many of them go around the world, running after signs and wonders and declaring it to be of God. Friends, God has nothing to do with the unfruitful works of darkness! Whatever He does is clean and fresh, bringing glory to Him alone and not to man.
The people who have suffered tempests and shipwrecks in their lives – who have been soaked with hunger and thirst for God, will need to warm themselves with His Fire. This fire is also characterized by unusual kindness – the love that surpasses human understanding.
And the native people showed us no little kindness:” [Acts 28:2]
We must be able to demonstrate Christ’s unconditional love to this rotten world, This love, which has no equal, is a deep, passionate, pure love and it has been given to us in abundance.
“If a man says, I love God, and hates his brother, he is a liar: for he that loves not his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loves God love his brother also.” [1 John 4:20-21]
While preparing for the Fire, the devil will strike! Yes, he will assemble his fake prophets and servants to derail the work of God. He will intimidate, accuse and bring division. Yes, he will retaliate with everything he has!
Act 28:3 And when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks, and laid them on the fire, there came a viper out of the heat, and fastened on his hand.
Act 28:4 And when the natives saw the creature hang on his hand, they said among themselves, No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he has escaped the sea, yet justice allows not to live.
Some unbelievers, children of Belial will say, “Yes, he was stubborn, he deserved it”. Don’t we see faithful witnesses such as Stephen (Acts 8), Rees Howells, Youcef Nadarkhani being described as such?
A life that has been laid on the altar, poured out and sacrificed to God is dead. Emptied of self and worldly gain! Such life has been drained of worldliness and filled with the life of God Himself and therefore cannot be destroyed. The life knows the fellowship of His sufferings and is conformed to His death daily (1 Corinthians 15:31). You must become a living martyr!
“That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;” [Philippians 3:10]
It is the life that is experiencing (or has experienced) the fellowship of his sufferings – being taken advantage of, being falsely accused, suffering injustice, public humiliation that daily conforms to His death – self-denial, denial of pleasures (even of lawful things 1 Corinthians 6:12), refusal to bow to compromise even at the point of death; it is such life that will also experience the power of His resurrection!
Paul had been emptied of self and was now filled with the power of resurrection. Hence when the viper bit him, its venom was soaked up by the life of God in Paul. A dead man cannot die
again. He has lost his life in God and God had taken over and filled the body with His own life Galatians 2:20. He was no more conformed to this world (Romans 12:2).
You cannot carry God’s Fire and the fire of the world, God hates lukewarmness, if you are going to carry His Fire, you must be ready to declare the “whole truth and nothing but the truth”, which means preach the truth even when it hurts, declare the transgression of God’s people when they are heading in the wrong way, even if they would pick up stones and use you as target practice!
Fake Prophets and False Brethren
Fake prophets and false brethren are busy, just like those prophets of Baal, attacking the saints of God. No saint of God can suffer harm without permission from heaven. And when it does, it means that saint has completed his work for the Master. There is no loss whatsoever – “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21).
What happened to the viper? It was consumed in the fire! Paul shook it into the fire (1 Corinthians 6:3). Our God is a consuming fire. The prince of this world, that great serpent, the viper that has cause so much destruction throughout the world, would soon be thrown into the eternal torment of the lake of fire. It is just a matter of time (Revelation 20:10).
Who are the prophets that are prophesying to you – are they false prophets? “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they draw to themselves teachers, having itching ears;” [2 Timothy 4:3]. Or are they of the Spirit of God, who would tell it as it is?
Some of these people used to follow God, like Saul the first King of Israel; they know the Bible more than you. In fact, some have theological degrees and have taught Sunday Schools before (1 Samuel 15:11). But, they have stopped following the Lord, they have become foxes, and are now carriers of the Jezebel spirit! They retain every form of godliness but lack the power of holiness.
There are so many prophets, so-called, preachers who claim to be doing God’s work but are actually ravenous wolves; they have nothing to offer the lost or shipwrecked or soaking-wet souls who are desperate for the warmth that only God gives.
They are servants of the hireling who work and serve only their bellies, you can’t miss them from what they preach – motivational Gospel or dead messages that make the people’s minds wander, yawn or slumber during services. They either lack the Holy Fire or present just strange fire!
These prophets/preachers/pastors are fond of preaching sermons that tickle the ears, making people feel good with their sins, getting them emotional as an alternative to getting high on drugs so as to make merchandise of the people, but their judgment will soon be swift and complete!
Elijah made sure none of those deceivers escaped, all were decisively dealt with in judgment (I Kings 18:40). This was a righteous thing before God, too. Jesus warned Jezebel to repent, but she refused (Revelation 2:21).
“Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you;” [2Thessalonians 1:6]
God’s judgment is coming – it is on the horizon. It will happen at the right time. The ‘troubler’ of the world will be cast into an eternal Alcatraz, together with those who choose such eternity in this present world.
The Malta Island soon experienced the power of God through conversions and attesting miracles. This is what the whole world is awaiting, groaning and travailing in pain together until now. They are waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God. This, however, does not necessarily mean signs, wonders and miracles even though they will follow as an after-effect. John the Baptist was the greatest of the prophets before Jesus Christ, yet he performed no miracle.
What the people really need is the testimony of Jesus Christ, which is the Spirit of prophecy! That is what this generation needs to hear and embrace.
Ask The Lord …. For This….
“Ask of the LORD rain in the time of the latter rain; so the LORD shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, to everyone grass in the field.” [Zechariah 10:1]
“Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will yet for this be enquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them; I will increase them with men like a flock.” [Ezekiel 36:37]
We must pray and seek God’s face earnestly and persistently like Elijah. When are we to stop praying? Is it when “there arises a little cloud out of the sea, like a man’s hand.” When that happens, then the Elijahs would be stronger and faster than the Ahabs of this world.
“I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill….” [Ecclesiastes 9:11]
Are you a son of God? If you are, then heed the call to come to the place of atonement – seek the Lord in prayer, chastise your soul through self-denial. Surrender all to Jesus (Luke 14:26), and become a true disciple. Lay your life on His altar of sacrifice (Romans 12:1) and let Him baptize and fill you with His power of Resurrection!
Many see this type of life and they run away because it looks so ugly and unattractive. Yes it is, but that is on this side of eternity. On the other side, it’s an honour and privilege to be called to live such a life that Christ Himself once lived among men. There is a glory beyond description that awaits:
“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” [1 Corinthians 2:9]