Revival

In the cold waters of the arctic zones, glaciers are common. They are often huge, like towering, frozen mountains adrift in frigid waters. Their icy peaks reach hundreds of feet above the surface. Some are as large as a city. Ninety-percent of the bulk of an iceberg is hidden and under water. Occasionally, one of these huge mountains of ice flips.

Studies at the University of Chicago calculate that when such an iceberg overturns, the energy released during the three-to-four minute inversion is similar to the explosion of an atomic bomb. It can set off a tsunami or trigger an earthquake. The most common inversions take place after a huge chunk of ice separates from a glacier. The iceberg breaks off and then flips. It reorients its massive weight. There is a new up and down in the quest for balance.  

Apostolic epochs involve a breaking away, a new definition and a reorientation. They refocus kingdom purposes.

The apostolic epoch that we are now entering is the fulfillment of the desire of Jesus, that his church be a house of prayer for all nations. This is not the mere amplification of prayer as it is often perceived. It is not the addition of a missing prayer component, or prayer even as a bountiful additive, a power pack, to what we are currently doing. It is not the mere deepening or heightening of the value of prayer; it is a seismic apostolic shift.

This means a shift in emphasis:

  • From the church as a Christian theater, from praise as performance and inspirational preaching, to a house of prayer – a place where the hurting and wounded, even children, come to talk to God, to hear from God, and from which mission is launched to the nations.
  • From church to kingdom, to church as an expression of the kingdom. From superficial commitment to a church to profound submission to the King. From convenience to sacrifice.
  • In the role of the pastor, from standing before people on behalf of God (preaching) to standing before God on behalf of people (interceding) – a shift in which the prayer life of the pastor is more important than his preaching life; his private life with God, in fact, becomes the root system of his public ministry.
  • In the role of the pastor, from standing before people on behalf of God (preaching) to standing before God on behalf of people (interceding) – a shift in which the prayer life of the pastor is more important than his preaching life; his private life with God, in fact, becomes the root system of his public ministry.
  • In ecclesiology – from a pulpit centered church to an altar centered church; from passive participation to active engagement; from preaching designed to inspire and comfort to preaching designed to disciple and prepare for mission. [Currently, some 3% of our people or less share their faith. According to one survey, 89-93% pray, but do so in a manner that is often self-absorbed. In another survey, the time spent in prayer was minutes daily, less than five. And 92% identified themselves as casual or crisis pray-ers – only 8% met the criteria of being committed pray-ers.]
  • From edification to edification-evangelism, that is, the church no longer merely ‘building up’ and encouraging the saints as an end in itself, but doing so for missional purposes.
  • From the centripetal to the centrifugal. In the Old Testament, Israel went to the temple, and the missional goal was to attract, by the glory of God, the nations to the temple. It was a ‘come to,’ invitational, attractional missional model. In the New Testament, the mission strategy is reversed. We have been given a ‘go ye’ gospel. We move from the center outward – first Jerusalem, then Judea, not forgetting Samaria, then to the uttermost.
  • From place to person. In the Old Testament, the focus was on the temple, Jerusalem, the place where God had put His glory. In the New Testament, the emphasis is on the person of Jesus – ‘the Word had become flesh.’ Upon Jesus, the glory of God dwelt, as it had over the Old Testament tabernacle. And then, from one person, Jesus, it passed to the people, lively stones, together a temple, to be thrust out before the world.

Read more in Doug’s upcoming book, The New Apostolic Epoch: God’s Determination to Have a Praying and Missional People.

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