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The Message of the Church

The Current Days
Spiritual Revival
Church, the Body of Christ
Jesus, the Head of the Church
The Rapture of the Church
 

The Current Days

Introduction

The Church is currently living the prophetic moment that closely precede the return of the Lord Jesus in glory to rapture His Church. Neither day nor the hour is known, evidently, but we have the obligation to discern the signs of times. In order for the Church to understand the prophetic moment in which it lives, the Lord Jesus spoke about the different signs in the Prophetic Sermon in chapter 24 of Matthew and in the book of Revelation.

As Jesus’ Bride, the Church will be alert the moment of Jesus’ return, with its lamps filled with oil, that is, filled with the Holy Spirit, for in addition to having been baptized with the Spirit, the faithful servants of the Lord are constantly filling themselves up with the Spirit (Eph. 5:18-21).
The Church should preach Jesus’ Gospel with power and the Word must be accompanied by signs that are confirmed (Mark 16:20). Hence the need to seek the baptism with the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8) and the spiritual gifts. The manifestations of the spiritual gifts – prophecy, word of knowledge, miracles, healings – are used by the Lord to demonstrate to the world that Jesus is alive!

In addition to proclaiming that the Lord Jesus is alive, the Church has the great responsibility of announcing that He will quickly return! Martin Luther declared that the Church should live as if Jesus had died yesterday, resurrected today and would return tomorrow! Maranatha! Oh come, Lord Jesus!

Spiritual Revival

Before the Lord Jesus returns in glory for the rapture of the Church, the Lord is pouring out His Holy Spirit abundantly upon His faithful people, in order to prepare His Church for that moment.
Only filled with the Holy Spirit will the Church be ready as described in Ephesians 5.

As the outpouring of the Holy Spirit reaches the Churches, they will experiment a Revival that will lift the servants of the Lord to a more elevated spiritual level, characterized by: (a) more love for the Lord and for the brethren; (b) greater willingness to serve the Lord and the Church; (c) greater interest in studying and hearing the God’s Word; (d) greater anointing of the pastors for the preaching of the Word and for evangelism; (e) greater pleasure in participating in the services, adoring the Lord in Spirit and in truth; (f) a life of sanctification and obedience to the God’s Word.

The pastors that want to prepare their Churches to experiment this Revival, should instruct them to (1) seek sanctification and obedience to God’s Word, (2) seek the baptism in the Holy Spirit and the spiritual gifts, (3) use the spiritual gifts with wisdom and discernment, and submission to the pastors, (4) submit themselves to the Role of the Lord Jesus over His Church, and (5) live in love and fellowship with one another.

It should be noted that, if a congregation does not learn to “use the spiritual gifts with wisdom and discernment,” appropriately judging the spiritual manifestations to ensure that they proceed from the Holy Spirit, in case a Revival is begun, it will cease in a very short time. The reason for this to happen is simple: gifts used inappropriately become a source of problems for the Churches, and the believers end up losing faith in the gifts.

If, conversely, the Church learns to use the spiritual gifts with wisdom and discernment, judging and interpreting them, and using them under the supervision of the pastors, the Lord will be able to rule over the Church, and the Revival will last until the Lord Jesus returns.

Hence the need for the spiritual gifts to be used in the way that is recommended in the Holy Scriptures. In other sections of this site, there will be teachings regarding the practice of the spiritual gifts with discernment, decency and order – as recommended in the Scriptures in I Corinthians chapter 14 – and about their use with wisdom.

On the other hand, in order for the Lord to operate a Revival in a given city, region or country, it is important that the pastors of that locality, region or country be willing to be directed by the Holy Spirit and live in spiritual fellowship with each other. This fellowship can start with prayer meetings, even with fasts, where the priority is to seek the spiritual gifts and allow the Lord Jesus to give His council to these pastors.

Read more about characteristics of a revival in "Who we are".

Church, the Body of Christo

In order to have a spiritual awakening in the Church, it is necessary to understand its role as the Body of Christ. Paul (I Cor. 12:27; Eph. 1:22, 23) clearly states that the Church is the Body of Christ. Not only that, but it demonstrates how the Body of the Lord should behave. We see that in God's Word, the Body is not only a doctrine, but a practical reality. As a living Body, in which the Holy Spirit operates, the Church needs to be connected to the Head, the Lord Jesus. Therefore the Church needs to live in fellowship with the Lord Jesus and receive the spiritual gifts through which the Lord Jesus speaks to His Church.

However, the Lord Jesus can only fulfill His function as the Head of the Church entirely when it is organized as a Body, in the way described in chapter 12 of I Corinthians and in Ephesians 4:1-6: each part does its share with faithfulness. Moreover, in the Body all the members are edified by the operation of the Holy Spirit through the spiritual gifts and the operation of the Ministry of the Word (the five ministries described in Ephesians 4:11).

The Body of Christ should be healthy and normal. En any healthy body the parts depend on the commands from the brain in order to operate. If there is no order from the brain, no part of a normal and healthy body moves. Likewise, in the Body of Christ, the Lord Jesus reveals His will in relation to the operations of the members and of the Churches collectively. This was the reason for sending the Holy Spirit to always be with the Church (John 16:13-14).

In a human body, each member is formed to occupy a certain place and perform a certain function. In the Body of Christ, likewise, the members do not have the possibility to choose their place or their function. It is the Lord God, through the Holy Spirit, who pus the members in the Body as He wants (I Cor. 12:18,28). This choice is confirmed by the servants to whom the Lord attributed the Rule of the Church (pastors, elders). Every faithful member should submit to the Rule of the Church, for it was established by the Lord.

The Church is made up of faithful and diligent members who obey the determinations of the Lord and the orientations of the pastors. Faith and faithfulness are two qualities that characterize the Church. Faithfulness means obedience to the determinations of God's Word and the orientations of the Lord for the daily life of the Church, transmitted through the spiritual gifts and through the pastors. The Church should be taught regarding the responsibility of each member to participate in the edification of the Church, faithfully fulfilling their function in the Body of Christ, as revealed by the Holy Spirit.

Jesus, the Head of the Church

The Lord Jesus is the Head of the Church (Eph. 5:23), that is His Body. The Church should live, that is, practice this doctrine, seeking the counsel of the Lord, asking for His directions, consulting the Lord in everything that is important for the fulfillment of God's Work and renouncing human plans. It is the will of the Lord that His servants and His Church seek to know His plan for the edification of the Church. The mission of the Holy Spirit is to reveal this plan.

There are beautiful examples in the Scriptures of servants who depended upon the Lord, who did nothing without a clear direction from the Lord. The Lord took extreme pleasure in these servants, and testified of His pleasure. In relation to David, who consulted the Lord in everything, God said: "I have found David, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will!"

Moses was another example of a servant who did not make any relevant decision without consulting the Lord before. Regarding him, the Lord testified: With Moses, my servant, I will speak face to face." No other prophet had such level of fellowship with the Lord.

In order to allow the Lord Jesus to rule over the Church, in the New Testament God decided to baptize His servants with the Holy Spirit - youth, adults, elders - in the latter days. As a consequence of this baptism, His servants would have visions, dreams and prophecies (Joel 2:28). Curiously, there is no mention of tongues or healing in this fundamental prophecy that was mentioned by Peter in his first message (Acts 2). However, there are indications of the gifts that allow the Lord to communicate with His Church, and reveal His will.

The gifts Joel mentions, however, were left to the second plan in the 20th Century, and the Christian churches started to value the gifts of tongues and healing, more. Moreover, it can be noticed that prophecies, visions and dreams started to refer to particular needs of the believers, and not to transmit directions from the Lord regarding the functions and needs of the Church.

The gifts were also used to reveal the will of the Lord regarding His Work In the apostolic era. There are examples of this in the spiritual gifts through which the Lord revealed to Cornelius that he should call Peter at his house (Acts 10:3-6), directed Philip to preach to the Ethiopian eunuch (8:26, 28), revealed the hidden sin of Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-4), ordained Ananias to visit Paul and pray for him (Acts 9:10-16), revealed to Peter not to hesitate, but to preach the gospel to the gentiles in the house of this centurion (Acts 10:9-16 and 19-20), revealed to Paul that he should not preach the gospel in Asia nor in Bithynia, but in Macedonia (Acts 16:6-10), revealed to the Church that the statutes of the Old Testaments should be observed by the gentiles who converted (Acts 15:28, 29), Paul was directed to go up to Jerusalem to submit his teachings to the apostles (Galatians 2:1-2), the Lord revealed that He had chosen Timothy for the Ministry of the Word (II Ti 4:14), etc.

If the Church nowadays wants to have similar experiences to the ones at the times of the apostles, it needs to understand that the Lord Jesus should become in practice - and not only in theory - the Head of the Church. In the written Word of God, we have the doctrine and the general orientations for the edification of the Church. But through the spiritual gifts, the Lord teaches His Church the specific applications of the doctrine and the orientations that are applicable to a church in particular with practical advice for the pastors and for the daily life of the Church. It is, therefore, through the spiritual gifts that the Lord Jesus reveals the details of His project of edification of the Church. Under the supervision of the pastors, the specific instructions transmitted through the spiritual gifts are tested (I Tes. 5:10-21) and the gifts are applied with wisdom (I Cor 14:20, 40).

The Rapture of the Church

Watchful of the prophetic moment that the faithful Church is currently living, it should announce without ceasing, the return of the Lord Jesus to rapture the Church (Mat. 24:40-44), referred to as His Bride in the Scriptures. The rapture is a doctrine that is expressed in the Holy Scriptures. It is up to the faithful Church to pay attention to the signs of the times, recognizing that the ones predicted by the Lord Jesus in His prophetic sermon are almost completely fulfilled (Mat. 24:3-14 and 29-36), although the day or hour are not known.

In these days the Church should seek to live in sanctification, producing the fruit of the Spirit, in obedience to the God's Word and the determinations of the Holy Spirit, and announce without ceasing the Salvation that is present only in Jesus Christ - by grace, through faith - and His glorious return to rapture His Church (I Tess. 5:4-10).

Nowadays the faithful Church should seek not only to be baptized in the Holy Spirit, but also to live filled with the Spirit (Eph. 5:18-21). Similarly to what happened to the wise virgins, the Church that will be raptured will nave not a little bit of oil, but a reservoir of oil (Mat. 25:1-13). The faithful Church will be prepared for the return of the Lord, for it is a glorious Church, without spot (sin) or wrinkle (spiritual aging), as described in Ephesians 5:26-17.

The Church not only expects the return of the Lord, but loves His Return (II Ti. 4:8). On the other hand, the unfaithful church criticizes this expectation and this yearning by the faithful Church (II Peter 3:4), because it is not prepared for this glorious moment of History of Salvation. But the faithful Church is being edified each day, it is having its faith and hope in the Return of the Lord Jesus constantly strengthened as it witnesses (1) the signs that are confirming the preaching of the Gospel, (2) the operation of the spiritual gifts, and (3) the counsels and orientations of the Lord.

"Surely I am coming quickly. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!" (Rev. 22: 20)

 
"Surely I am coming quickly. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!" (Rev. 22:20)
Maranatha Christian Church