Malachi 3:7 “From the days of your fathers you have turned away from My commands and have not kept them. Return to Me and I will return to you,” says the LORD of Angel armies. “But you say, ‘How shall we return?’ We have reached a turning point for the church where God’s people have to return to Him in many ways. Acts 3:19 “Repent so that times of spiritual refreshing and renewal may come”. Many believe God will bring Revival and Reformation and it will surely come, but it starts with repentance.
GOD’S CLOUD OF GLORY IS MOVING IN NEW DIRECTION – PREPARE YOUR HEARTS
We have now crossed into a new season and ready or not His Pillar of Fire & Glory Cloud has begun to move in a new way and direction. Numbers 9:22 “Whether it was two days or a month or a year that the cloud [of the LORD’S presence] remained over the tabernacle, staying above it, the Israelites remained camped and did not set out; but when it was lifted, they began to move.” Israel were told that when the Cloud of God’s glory begins to move in a new direction, they too must begin to move or be left behind. God is moving His people to a new place and the church must begin to follow or it will be left behind. Jesus tells us this: “New wine must be poured into new wineskins”- Mark 2:22. The new wineskin of this era has begun to form and if we are not aware of this, we need to adjust quickly or we will struggle badly in the unchartered territory the Lord is leading His people into.
Even before the pandemic the church had began to shift, then the pandemic forced it to shift significantly and now we are in the midst of the biggest shift the church has ever seen. The Christianity you have known will soon be a fading and almost inconceivable memory, that’s the magnitude of the impending shift that is greater than the reformation. That sounds like a big and almost outrageous statement, but soon we will not have the vocabulary to describe the new era and magnitude of the shift that the church and the world has experienced. There are still many sceptics out there who will scoff at such words, but very soon we will see it all with our own eyes as the days of talking and no power or demonstration are over. The greatest and final demonstration of Gods power and glory has begun and all mankind and creation will witness it – Romans 8:22.
Therefore, our hearts are going to be the key in this new season. We will need to have soft and flexible hearts and eyes focused on Jesus, or we will resist the new and miss out due to distractions. You are better to be a novice in the new, with a flexible heart, than to be an expert in the old, with a hard heart that refuses change. Many will end up further away from God in this new season and will even get offended by what He does because it is so out of their “God boxes” or Christian expectations. If we do not think this is possible, we should remember the Pharisees who could not accept the new and unknown expression of God displayed by Jesus. When He healed a man’s hand in the temple, the heart of the Pharisees was so hardened, that their response was to plot to murder Him! They somehow managed to leave the house of God, after being face to face with Jesus, further away from God than when they arrived. So believers must be careful or they too will leave offended and further away from God, even after witnessing a clear manifestation of Jesus.
HOW SHALL WE RETURN? – RETURN OF HOLINESS
1 Peter 1:16 “Be Holy because I am Holy.” God expects His people to be holy. Most believers will be aware of the scandals, widespread sin, compromise, hypocrisy and false teachings within the body of Christ. The church is supposed to be turning the world upside down but instead it is the world turning the church upside down with sin and compromise. The season of mockery, sin and luke-warmness being tolerated so widely is over. The Holiness of God is returning to His house in a way that will shock many believers. It is beyond the major exposures we have seen in the past years throughout Christendom. The following scripture is vital for believers in this new era to help us remember God is holy and judges sin severely.
Leviticus 10:1-3 “Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu took their censers, put fire in them and added incense; and they offered unauthorized fire before the Lord, contrary to his command. 2 So fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord. 3 Moses then said to Aaron, “This is what the Lord spoke of when he said: “Among those who approach Me I will be proved holy; in the sight of all the people I will be honored.’” Aaron remained silent.”
Aaron’s son’s disobeyed the command of the Lord and what they did was not authorized even though they were priests. They died instantly for this. There are many unauthorized things that are taught, done and tolerated in the house of God that will no longer be tolerated. The Lord Himself will step in and it will be clear to all that God has shown His disapproval. The time has come where all those who approach the Lord must be holy and the Lord must be honoured amongst His people. Casually approaching our Holy God in sin, compromise and disobedience will attract the Lord’s disapproval.
RETURN OF THE FEAR OF GOD & JUDGMENT IN THE HOUSE OF GOD
1 Peter 4:17 “For the time has come for judgment, and it must begin with God’s household.” Closely connected to the return of Holiness, is the return of the Fear of God and Judgment in the House of God. When the Fear of God is absent this is when people and even churches can choose to disobey the word, compromise and live in sin. When people have a genuine Fear of God they will reverence and honour God and His Word. Isaiah 26:9 “For only when your judgments are seen in the earth will people learn righteousness.” Many will ignore warnings like this message, which leaves no alternative but for the Fear of God to be restored to His House through Judgments that are instant and final.
At the birth of the church a well known couple called Ananias and Sapphira lied about the amount of money they sold property for and tried to deceive the disciples. This wicked act of deception led to their instant and final judgment right in the temple of the Lord. Acts 5:5 “When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened.” People have often seen this as a one-off case, but there are examples throughout the bible. Scripture tells us that all who heard about it were filled with great fear. When this type of severe judgment happens in the church, the Fear of God is restored and everyone focuses properly on Jesus and holiness once again.
PAST REVIVAL MISTAKES – THE DANGER OF SPREADING A BAD REPORT
The new move of the Spirit and Revival that has begun in the earth will eclipse all past Revivals. However, there are lessons we must learn from past Revivals, as this generation will not be allowed to make the same mistakes that stopped past Revivals. Most believers are aware that past Revivals were stopped not by governments banning meetings or the unsaved being tired of being healed, delivered and set free, but by the church itself. Church divisions, leadership disagreements and criticism about manifestations etc.
Those revivals were meant to continue until it impacted the nation – but believers stopped it, preventing potentially millions from receiving salvation. In this next move of the Spirit, God will not allow even His own people to hinder the salvation of millions, simply because they will not get their hearts right before God. Every believer needs to urgently heed this warning. The nation of Israel missed out on the Promised Land and their destiny because of the evil and fearful report of 10 spies. Believers, who choose to oppose the final move of the Spirit will be in direct opposition to God, not a church or a man and they will be judged for this. Believers will not like to hear that, but without prior warning like this, believers will not only be shocked at the stories that emerge within Christendom, they may end up being the story others read about. Believers must be careful before criticising the work of the Holy Spirit, manifestations and claiming “that is not God” – especially publically to others. Believers must ensure they allow the Lord to mature them to a place of true discernment or they risk being judged like the 10 spies who stopped millions reaching their destiny.
10 people stopped millions from reaching their destiny and a small number of believers were able to stop past Revivals before millions were saved. That will not happen this time as the judgment of God will preserve the salvation of millions and who could argue with such mercy and justice. If we want to know what God thought of the 10 spies who stopped the millions from achieving their destiny – we see it here in Numbers 14:37 “The 10 men who brought the evil report about the land, died by a plague before the LORD.” The judgment on the 10 spies was instant and final and believers should take serious note of this. As some will ignore this warning, start a blog attacking the genuine move of the Spirit and then suddenly judgement will fall and the blog will disappear…
These are not popular topics in the Body of Christ today, hence why sin, false teachings and compromise is rampant. However, believers have to be aware that the season has changed and what was tolerated in the past will not be tolerated now. Those who reject this warning risk becoming the modern day examples of Ananias & Sapphira, Aarons sons and the 10 spies.
RETURN TO BIBLICAL CORRECTION
2 Timothy 4:3 “For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear.” Scripture tells us that in the last days believers will love pleasure more than God, will hate correction and sound teaching. Many churches and believers refuse to talk about sin, repentance, holiness or denying ourselves and taking up our cross. Biblical correction is absolutely essential and should be a normal part of Christian life. It is how we grow and how God prepares us for our destiny. Yet today if a believer is corrected, they often take offence, say “you are judging me” and continue in sin.
If a believer is living in sin or is practicing tarot cards, fortune tellers or reading horoscopes, which are all demonic, and another believer corrects them, they should receive it and repent. Instead, people take offence, leave their church and continue in sin. That type of response will never lead to the fulfilment of destiny. A simple spiritual health check can be done by answering this question; how do you take correction? If you respond with offence, anger, defence and reject true biblical correction, that is a sign of an unhealthy spiritual state and pride. Humility and willingness to learn is what God is looking for and keeps us spiritually healthy and on track for destiny.
RETURN TO THE BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT & EQUIPPING THE YOUTH
One of the biggest errors that are currently seen in Christendom is the absence of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and teaching about this. Large sections of the church have rejected the absolutely essential experience called the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. It is a great shame that the enemy has successfully caused enough controversy to continue to deprive the church of this essential Christian experience. This is an issue for the wider church but the youth in particular suffer. Young people are growing up in church without receiving the baptism in the Holy Spirit, which equips them with the power of God that will keep them. Especially through the challenges of teenage and higher education which is when most fall away. Parents are left devastated when they get the phone call that their daughter is pregnant or the son is in prison or no longer interested in church and all because they were not fully equipped for the challenges.
So it is vital to end this particular debate once and for all as there is no biblical grey area with this, despite the level of controversy in the church. Jesus told His disciples who had walked with Him, saw His miracles, death and resurrection – “Do not go anywhere until you are clothed with power by the Holy Spirit” – Luke 24:49. So these disciples, who must be considered as the greatest of all time, were not complete or ready without the baptism in the Holy Spirit, which they received at Pentecost. So a simple question for every believer – “If the disciples were not complete or ready without the Baptism in the Holy Spirit – what believer today can claim to be stronger and better equipped than them and NOT need this experience?” This surely has to be the definition of pride. This major error in the church is one of the reasons it is in such a poor state.
So if any believer has not received the baptism in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of tongues, it is vital that you seek the Lord for this. Without this tangible experience, the Christian life is simply incomplete and you are not fully equipped for your destiny. It is the most powerful, life changing and glorious experience a believer can have and it is the promise of the Father that every believer should embrace. As mentioned earlier, anyone who argues with this, needs to find a legitimate explanation for how modern day believers are somehow stronger than the original disciples…
WHO’S TO BLAME FOR STATE OF OUR NATIONS – CHURCH OR OUR GOVERNMENTS?
Many believers look at the current state of their nation and blame it on their government. However, we need to explore if that is a correct assumption and the way God sees it. The reality is the state of any nation in the world is a direct reflection of the state of the church in that nation. In addition, the improvement of that nation is the direct responsibility of the church. The Lord never said the government is the light, salt or a city on a hill. Nor did Jesus say He will build His church on the government and the gates of Hell will not prevail. Here is a hard one for believers to take – when we criticize our government for the state of our nation – God sees hypocrisy. As it is entirely our responsibility, but for many believers it is easier to abdicate this duty to government and then blame them as well when things fail.
We refuse to pray for our government or rise up like Joseph, Daniel and others did, then also blame the government. Our governments are not perfect by any means and that indeed is the point. They do not have the answers or the wisdom as they do not have Christ in them. Pharaoh chose Joseph because even he could recognize the wisdom he had was from the Spirit of God. This is one of the ways we must return – to praying for Government and seeking God for how we can personally rise up and be a solution in the nation. Instead of us pointing fingers at them, only for God to point the finger straight back at us…
RETURN OF THE GLORY OF GOD – HIS PRESENCE IN OUR GATHERINGS & NATIONS
When we return to the Lord fully and in these ways described here, we can expect God to respond by His glory returning to His house. There is a term “Ichabod” that was used when Israel rebelled against God in King Saul’s time and were defeated by their enemies and the Ark of The Covenant which represented God’s presence, was taken. This was a terrible time of defeat for God’s people, similar to what we see today. Ichabod means the “Glory has departed”. This indeed can be said about much of the church today. However, as the church and His people now return to the Lord in these ways, we can expect the glory to return to His house.
When this begins to happen, our gatherings will have the presence of God restored to levels we have never experienced before. People will walk into our gatherings and be instantly healed, delivered and filled with the Spirit. Multitudes will be saved and leaders will not need to take months or years to counsel people through trauma and issues as God will do it in an instant. It will be like days of Heaven on earth. It will not stay in the 4 walls of church either. It will overflow to our streets, communities, family and nation. It will effect every sphere of society as we see the Media open to the Gospel, Education bring God back in, businesses funding the Gospel and government laws begin to reflect the principles of Jesus. This is all possible for those nations who embrace Jesus and the outpouring of His Spirit in our time.
WHERE DO YOU FIT IN? – HE IS COMING FOR IT ALL
This is a time for the church as a whole to return, but this starts with individual believers. Each one of us has to come back to the foot of the cross and surrender it all. It is a time to lay aside not just the sin that besets but every weight that slows down our walk and effectiveness for Jesus. The Rich Young Ruler could not lay down his wealth to follow Jesus. This is despite obeying all the commands. Jesus told him he only lacked one thing – to lay down his wealth, as his love for money was more than his love for God and would stop him truly following Jesus, which it did. This warns us that we can be religiously obeying commands, going to church etc but not truly in relationship with Jesus and following Him.
Weights in our lives can be many things including our favourite hobby, passions or a wrong relationship. It may be our use of time or resources. He is coming for it all in this season and nothing is off limits for Him to require from you. If we are serious in this new season, we should pray and ask: “Lord what is the one thing you require for me to go to the next level and fulfil the high calling you have for me?” Few pray this type of prayer, as few are willing to pay the price for the high calling. If there is a high calling, there is also a lower calling… Only a few are willing to pay the price to become the David’s, Esther’s and Joseph’s and most settle for the basic Christian life, that will lead to little rewards on Judgement Day. Will you be one who is willing to return in every way He requires, deny yourself and take up your cross for Him? Your answer may well influence the salvation of many souls…
Author: Thomas Harry
Thomas Harry is the Senior Leader of Mount Zion International Tabernacle in Scotland, UK. MZIT (Formerly Falkirk Full Gospel Church) is an Apostolic Hub and Kingdom Worship Centre with a heart to equip the saints for the works of the kingdom and it has a strong calling towards community transformation. Thomas has been born again for over 20 years and has a heart to see believers rise into destiny and see nations transformed.
In previous years Thomas had roles in Pastoral, Teaching and Evangelism in various churches before leading FFGC and now MZIT. He is a kingdom connector and believes in the importance of working in unity to see the Kingdom of God advanced in the earth. Thomas and other kingdom minded believers share more teachings via MZIT’s Prophetic Perspective Bi-Monthly Newsletter available at the ministry website Mount Zion International Tabernacle.