“Behold, I have given you authority to trample upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you..” ~ Luke 10:19, TLV
All believers will not automatically receive the Baptism of the Ruach HaKodesh (a.k.a., the Holy Spirit). As a result, there are too many believers in Yeshua who are living without their portions of the Lord’s Dunamis (Power) and Exousia (Authority) – they are living without having any of the Kingdom power and Kingdom authority YeHoVaH reserved for them so that they would be able to perform the kinds of miraculous and spiritual works their portions of the Lord’s Dunamis and Exousia would help them do. For this reason, believers in Yeshua need to know and understand that without the Filling of the Ruach HaKodesh (the Baptism of the Holy Spirit), they never will be able to defeat the works of Satan, the works of his minions, or the works of their own fleshly and soulish desires.
For us to have enough Kingdom power and Kingdom authority to kick Satan and his minions’ trifling derrières, or to heal the sick and to raise the dead, we first must be filled with the Ruach HaKodesh. His Filling is the only way we can be empowered and endowed to do the kind of works Yeshua did. Furthermore, if the Ruach HaKodesh is not transforming us (progressively changing us) into the likeness of Yeshua via the Ruach HaKodesh’s Sanctification Process, we won’t be ready to receive any Kingdom power or Kingdom authority and, thus, won’t be able to function as empowered and endowed believers in Yeshua.
Even though we claim Yeshua as our personal Savior, if we do not have the Ruach HaKodesh’s Filling we either will backslide again and again or we will remain as spiritually immature babes in Yeshua who are on milk instead of on the Word’s meat. Moreover, without the Filling of the Ruach HaKodesh, we also could experience the big FALL – the prophesied end times’ falling away from the Faith (apostasy). This fall also would cause us to blaspheme the Ruach HaKodesh.
We must be filled and refilled with the Ruach HaKodesh so that we can receive the Kingdom power and Kingdom authority that will keep us safe from accepting false teaching and/or developing disbelief, which could cause us to fall away from the Faith. YeHoVaH wants to provide our escape. He wants to give us the same Kingdom power and Kingdom authority that is in Yeshua. This Kingdom power and Kingdom authority are needed so that we will be able to kick Satan and his demons’ trifling derrières. This Kingdom power and Kingdom authority also are needed so that we will be able to overcome the world and our flesh. Shalom.
…“The Father is the one who sets the fixed dates and the times of their fulfillment. You are not permitted to know the timing of all that he has prepared by his own authority. But I promise you this—the Holy Spirit will come upon you and you will be filled with power. And you will be my messengers to Jerusalem, throughout Judea, the distant provinces—even to the remotest places on earth!” ~ Acts 1:7-8, TPT
On the day Pentecost was being fulfilled, all the disciples were gathered in one place. Suddenly they heard the sound of a violent blast of wind rushing into the house from out of the heavenly realm. The roar of the wind was so overpowering it was all anyone could bear! Then all at once a pillar of fire appeared before their eyes. It separated into tongues of fire that engulfed each one of them. They were all filled and equipped with the Holy Spirit and were inspired to speak in tongues….~ Acts 2:1-4, TPT
Almost every day, I read a Facebook posting or Twitter tweet in which a professed Christian is praying for or waiting on God to send him, her, the church he or she attends, society, or the world a revival. By revival, most of these posters and tweeps usually mean a spiritual renewal in the life of a church congregation, in the life of an individual believer, or in the life of a society—renewed spiritual life that these posters and tweeps believe will have either a local, or a national, and/or a global effect.
Then too, by revival, a few posters and tweeps also occasionally mean the renewed spiritual interest in (the restoration of) evangelistic meetings that were known as revival meetings. In these restored or renewed evangelistic/revival meetings, the focus would be on the spiritual restoration of the so-called CHURCH from its moral decline to an essential and zealous relationship with God, which would include the spiritual restoration of believers’ faithful obedience to God’s Commandments. In these evangelistic/revival meetings, the focus also would be on the spiritual restoration of lost souls. The latter spiritual restoration actually refers to mass conversions—large numbers of unbelievers being saved so that they can become Christians.
Unfortunately, these posters and tweeps don’t seem to understand that a spiritual revival is not a spiritual restoration. Spiritual revivals have nothing to do with the restored interest in evangelism—the Lord’s method of winning souls for Him—nor do spiritual revivals have anything to do with renewing the CHURCH’s spiritual relationship with God.
Biblically speaking, spiritual revivals, whether local, national, or global, really have nothing to do with Gentiles’ understanding of who Christians are or who/what Gentiles think The Church is. Moreover, every biblical spiritual revival was meant for only the already saved believers in Christ.
Put differently, the Holy Bible never mentions any spiritual restorations or spiritual revivals that happened to Christians or The Church. That is because, biblically speaking, every spiritual restoration pertained to God turning His wayward nation of Israel as a whole back to Him, as well as pertained to every Hebrew keeping His Commandments. Furthermore, neither the term Christian nor the term The Church is ever mentioned in the Scripture as the names Christ or His initial disciples/apostles gave to believers in Christ. For sure, first-century believers in Christ never called themselves Christians. Scripture proves that first-century followers of Christ were called saints, the brethren, followers of the Way, disciples, or believers in Christ. Since they already were saved believers, their spiritual revivals were not spiritual restorations.
The main reason why spiritual revivals are not spiritual restorations is that spiritual revivals had to do with the outpourings of the Holy Spirit upon members of Christ’s Ekklesiae (His collective bodies of saints or followers of the Way who gathered locally in saints or Way followers’ houses mostly to fellowship with each other). Furthermore, in every first-century Ekklesia, there were ONLY converted, Jewish believers. Now, even though some of these Jewish believers over time either had strayed away from their first love—Father God—or His Commandments, once again, their spiritual restorations were not spiritual revivals because, once again, spiritual revivals had to do with the outpourings of the Holy Spirit. These outpourings only fell on believers in Christ (people who already were reborn and saved souls), but not to restore them. The outpourings of the Holy Spirit provided the necessary power, spiritual gifts, anointing, and authority that reborn and saved believers in Christ had to have so that they could fulfill the Great Commission.
Once more, spiritual revivals have always been the times of vast outpourings of the Holy Spirit. Biblically speaking, there were four great outpourings of the Holy Spirit that are found in the Book of Acts. These four vast outpourings of the Holy Spirit are as follows: 1. upon converted Jews on the Feast of Pentecost (when the 120 Jewish saints who were in Jerusalem were Holy Spirit filled, and then they spoke in tongues—see Acts 2); 2. upon converted Samaritans in Samaria (when Peter and John prayed for the newly converted Samaritans to be filled with the Holy Spirit, laid hands on them, and they were Holy Spirit filled—see Acts 8); 3. upon converted Romans in Caesarea (when Peter preached to the Gentiles who were gathered inside Cornelius’ house, the Holy Spirit filled all of them, and then they all began speaking in tongues—see Acts 10); and 4. upon converted Greeks in Ephesus (when Paul laid his hands on 12 converted Gentile Ephesians, the Holy Spirit filled them, and they began speaking in tongues—see Acts 19).
Please notice that in every one of these mentioned four New Testament huge spiritual outpourings or spiritual revivals the Holy Spirit ONLY poured out on the already reborn and saved souls. In other words, only the already reborn and saved believers were revived, meaning they were fortified or invigorated (strengthened, energized, empowered, and endowed) by the Holy Spirit’s outpourings—His spiritual fillings or spiritual baptisms.
Since the New Testament’s biblical times, there have been countless Pentecost-like Holy Spirit outpourings worldwide. For example, one of the most important Holy Spirit outpourings in the United States of America is the major Pentecost-like Holy Spirit outpouring that happened on Azusa Street in Los Angeles on April 14, 1906.
Be that as it may. No one knows the number of outpourings that will happen before the last ever Pentecost-like Holy Spirit outpouring happens, but the Scripture is clear—there will be an end-time spiritual revival (Holy Spirit outpouring). In Joel 2:28-29, the prophet Joel speaks specifically about an end-time outpouring of the Holy Spirit; however, there are many biblical prophecy scholars who believe that, according to the apostle Peter in Acts 2, the initial fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy has already begun.
What is evident today is that, just like the four great Holy Spirit outpourings that happened in the Book of Acts, God still has been allowing all who follow Christ the opportunity to experience the Gift of the Holy Spirit who not only is continually living within them but also is frequently reviving them—is repeatedly filling/baptizing them so that they can function as anointed, gifted, authorized, and empowered witnesses for Christ. Unfortunately, not all believers have allowed or have wanted the Holy Spirit’s outpouring (spiritual revivals) to fall on them.
Nevertheless, whether a believer in Christ allows or even wants to experience the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, according to Scripture, spiritual revivals will happen but only when and where there is an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. In other words, spiritual revivals can’t happen if there is no outpouring of the Holy Spirit because only the Holy Spirit’s outpourings are true spiritual revivals. The circular argument was intended.
Lastly, the fulfillment of Joel’s prophesied Latter Rain or the end-time (climactic) outpouring of the Holy Spirit will only happen in Israel and among Father God’s Jewish people—an overdue spiritual revival. In other words, the final outpouring of the Holy Spirit on this planet neither will happen in Gentile “churches” nor in what Gentile Christians call The CHURCH, but this prophesied end-time Holy Spirit outpouring will happen in the same nation the first Holy Spirit outpouring took place. By then, the Holy Spirit’s outpourings will have come full circle, ending where they began. Selah . . . . .
So then, my dear ones, just as you have always obeyed [my instructions with enthusiasm], not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence, continue to work out your salvation [that is, cultivate it, bring it to full effect, actively pursue spiritual maturity] with awe-inspired fear and trembling [using serious caution and critical self-evaluation to avoid anything that might offend God or discredit the name of Christ]. ~ Philippians 2:12, AMP
But understand this, that in the last days dangerous times [of great stress and trouble] will come [difficult days that will be hard to bear].For people will be lovers of self [narcissistic, self-focused], lovers of money [impelled by greed], boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane, [and they will be] unloving [devoid of natural human affection, calloused and inhumane], irreconcilable, malicious gossips, devoid of self-control [intemperate, immoral], brutal, haters of good,traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of [sensual] pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of [outward] godliness (religion), although they have denied its power [for their conduct nullifies their claim of faith]. Avoid such people and keep far away from them. ~ 2 Timothy 3:1-5, AMP
Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven.Many will say to Me on that day [when I judge them], ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, and driven out demons in Your name, and done many miracles in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them publicly, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me [you are banished from My presence], you who act wickedly [disregarding My commands].’ ~ Matthew 7:21-23, AMP
Too many professed believers in Christ are resting on their laurels—are living like they are satisfied with their past achievement (salvation), so much so that they refuse to consider additional effort from them is necessary. They have assumed that their salvation automatically made them the Bride of Christ—made them saintly Overcomers. As a result, they either overlooked the Scripture that commands them to work out their own salvation, or they read and studied said Scripture but concluded it does not pertain to them.
Maybe when we who claim to be believers in Christ finally get it right—finally understand that Christ isn’t coming back for any “church,” but rather He is coming back for His genuine Bride—we’ll begin to cooperate with His Holy Spirit and allow Him to transform us into Christ’s victorious Bride—into the saintly OVERCOMERS who have been faithfully and obediently defeating their flesh, defeating this world’s corrupt systems, and defeating the lying devil. Only then will we start using, and keep using, what time we have left on this planet to prepare for Christ’s coming instead of wasting our time being preoccupied with end-times signs.
There are numerous videos in which believers list all the things that are happening in this world that correspond with prophetic end-time signs. The truth is that the signs in those videos are pure HYPE (fear used to excite us and motivate us into being ready for Christ’s return—used as nothing more than some preachers’ forms of emotional blackmail). Because the people who are unnerved by the presented signs will more than likely spend too much time studying and interpreting the Scriptures that have end-time signs in them, they will overlook the Scriptures that tell them how to get right with God. As a result, they will end up doing all the wrong things they THINK are the right things that will get their spirit, soul, and body SANCTIFIED, but the things they will be doing only will obtain them “forms of godliness.”
There is a big difference between fearing the end-time signs and then taking action, and fearing the state of our soul, spirit, and body to the degree that we start choosing to do what we should have been doing to get the proper results God always wanted us to obtain. This truth is why those of us who know the signs of the end times and can recognize the ones that are happening right before our eyes already will have determined that we don’t want Christ to come back and say to us—I know you not; depart from me you workers of lawlessness (you folks who act wickedly by disregarding My Commands; see Matthew 7:21-23). Instead of staying busy seeking more and more information about end-times signs that only temporarily frighten us into wanting to live holy and righteous lives, we will stay busy preparing for Christ’s return. That is to say, we will focus on the main thing, which is happily surrendering our whole soul, spirit, and body to Christ so that His Spirit can make us Christlike.
When we are thinking, speaking, and doing the things Christ thought, spoke, and did, we will be living Christlike. The more Christlike we become the more we will know that we are His true Bride—His Overcomers—the saints He is coming back to rapture before the Tribulation Period begins. Selah . . . Shalom . . . . .
BTW: Just because we are saved believers our salvation doesn’t mean we are living like reborn, saved, justified, filled with the Holy Spirit, and being sanctified in spirit, soul and body (becoming fully Christlike) believers who will be glorified in our bodies when we are raptured. We must work out our own salvation with fear and trembling, which means we must continually work to bring our sanctification to fruition by faithfully choosing to cooperate with the Holy Spirit’s Sanctification Process, AND we must revere Father God by continually showing Him that we love Him too much to offend Him by disobeying His Commands (see Philippians 2:12). Selah . . . Shalom . . . . .
Now I’m returning to you. I’m saying these things in the world’s hearing So my people can experience My joy completed in them. I gave them your word; The godless world hated them because of it, Because they didn’t join the world’s ways, Just as I didn’t join the world’s ways. I’m not asking that you take them out of the world But that you guard them from the Evil One. They are no more defined by the world Than I am defined by the world. Make them holy—consecrated—with the truth; Your word is consecrating truth. In the same way that you gave me a mission in the world, I give them a mission in the world. I’m consecrating myself for their sakes So they’ll be truth-consecrated in their mission. ~ John 17:13-19, MSG
Isn’t it wonderful that Father God’s grand design for Christ Jesus is now a good and finished work—a real, absolute, and unchangeable reality? He performed every part of the mission God had assigned to Him, and, in doing so, He pleased, praised, and glorified God. As a result, His finished work earned Him the right to return into Heaven to His Glory, to His Throne, and in His place of Honor, which is at the right hand of God.
Backing up just a little, in John 17:13-19, Christ Jesus’ mission on Earth is about to be completed, and that is why for protection purposes our Lord is turning over to our Heavenly Father His initial followers, as well as future disciples—all the believers who have received regeneration, salvation, and the Word of God—so that Father God can preserve them (keep them in perfect or purified condition—sanctify them), while they remain in this world. It is just like a good Shepherd to put the care and preservation of His sheep before His own safety and care, even though He is much aware of the immediacy of the Cross, and even though He knows the horrible death He’d have to face before He would be able to leave this world and return to the safety and purity of Heaven. It is exactly this knowledge that has Christ Jesus tenderly praying to Father God on behalf of ALL of His disciples, but specifically for His contemporary followers.
In His prayer, Christ Jesus isn’t asking Father God to translate these disciples right then and there, like in the manner of Enoch and Elijah, nor is He asking Father God to allow them to bypass earthly afflictions and sorrows by experiencing death in its common form. The Lord doesn’t pray for them to be taken out of this world right then and there, because He has GREAT work for them to do. If they were to be taken off of this Earth, there would be no one left behind to preach the Gospel of Christ so that sinners might be reborn and saved. Then too, if His present disciples were to be removed off the Earth at that time, there also would not be anyone left to encourage and edify the remaining saints (Mary the mother of Jesus, the other Mary’s, and other friends and followers of Christ Jesus, who later were in the Upper Room on the Day of Pentecost). Once again, Christ Jesus Himself is about to be crucified, resurrected, and raptured into Heaven. Thus, it is in His interest (for Christ Jesus’ legacy; everything He has handed down to His disciples) that His original followers should live on the Earth for a little bit longer, primarily so that, in addition to their Gospel preaching, their holy and righteous empowered and disciplined lifestyle also would be glorifying Father God and Christ Jesus, as well as witnessing to Father God’s unregenerate, unsaved chosen people and to the world’s lost souls.
Therefore, instead of praying for His disciples’ immediate removal, Christ Jesus expresses His concern for their safety and care, and by extension ours (meaning all of us who, after being reborn, saved by Grace, and justified, like the first-century disciples, would be left behind in this cold world to continue the Lord’s work). Since Christ Jesus knew that He soon would be crucified and that shortly after His resurrection would be leaving this Earth (would be raptured), He wanted to make sure that His current left-behind followers would have everything they needed to survive and thrive in this sin-sick world—a malignant world that would hate all of His followers just because they have accepted Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior, and have accepted His Word as the absolute Divine Truth.
This knowledge is why the Lord wasn’t praying that His present-day disciples, nor His 21st-century followers, never would have to know afflictions, sorrows, exclusion, rejection, storms of controversies, adversity, or that they, nor we, never would be vilified, slandered, rebuked, reviled, abandoned, forgotten, or pushed aside, and so forth. There is no doubt that Christ Jesus also knew that these listed sufferings, which He Himself experienced, would be part and parcel of the Christian experience.
So then, for the Christian experience reason, the above stated hurts and sufferings, which are NOT the Tribulation Period’s Wrath of God but rather the centuries of persecutions committed by mankind, are precisely why the Lord knew that in order for His disciples, then and now, to be able to combat this world’s Evil and avoid sinning they all would have to be sanctified so that they would be able to continue to honor His legacy—continue to be holy and righteous saints who would pass on to future generations of believers His Gospel and His discipleship (His Word, teachings, and the good works He performed), until the end of the Age of Grace. Thus, just like the first-century disciples/believers had to receive the Holy Spirit’s sanctifying power before they could be mighty witnesses for Christ Jesus—before they could begin their mission of finishing what He had begun, which is the Great Commission (cf. Acts 1:8; see also Matthew 28:16-20)—we today also must receive the Lord’s prayed for sanctification.
This Holy Spirit-assigned process is the necessary infilling (Baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues) that will guarantee we eventually will become Christlike and then, like Him, will be raptured off of this Earth, when our mission here is finished. Our removal at that time will mean that we are officially in the Lord’s rest, enjoying our eternal life with Christ Jesus in Heaven, without ever having to go through the prophesied Tribulation Period.
Praise the Lord! Sanctify us, right now, Holy Spirit! AMEN.
~ from Faith and Wisdom: A Rhema Word in a Dry and Thirsty Land (2006); edited