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The Last Days Of The Church VI

 A dead thing cannot revive another dead thing. It is impossible. Recently, my brother Daniel and his wife were in Romania for a few weeks, and being the ever-gracious big brother that I am, I dropped them off at the airport and planned on picking them up when they returned.

After returning from the airport, I parked his car and thought nothing of it until a few days before I was to pick them up. I drove over to his place to check and see that all four tires were still inflated and that his car would start because, if something were amiss, I’d have to clean out my own car to pick them up. My vehicle has car seats and the residue of many a snack consumed by my daughters, whose hunger seems to be triggered the moment we go anywhere, even though I ask them if they’re hungry beforehand so I don’t have to play ‘what’s that smell?’ a few days later when the salami slices they couldn’t live without somehow ended up under their seat.

I knew something was wrong the moment I pressed the fob to unlock the doors, and nothing happened. Since I didn’t want to admit it to myself, I used the key to unlock the door, jumped in, and tried to start it, but no lights came on, no chirping telling me I should fasten my seatbelt; it was dead. Not even a whimper or an attempt for the engine to turn over.

Being ill-prepared for such eventualities, I drove my car to the nearest gas station, bought a set of jumper cables, and connected the two cars via the cable. For his battery to recharge, mine had to be viable. It had to have life, or as the kids say, it had to have juice. It was, and it did. Fifteen minutes later, and wouldn’t you know it, his car started, and after driving it around for a few minutes, it was as though it had never been dead.

What’s the point of this story other than highlighting my ability to connect jumper cables to a battery, all without a beard and a lumberjack shirt? The point is as simple as it is sobering: a lethargic church cannot revive a dead world because it doesn’t have enough life, enough charge, enough power to spark life into it. We’re waiting for revival to sweep the world when the household of faith needs revival first and foremost.

Death cannot produce life. Lethargy cannot produce endurance. Duplicity cannot produce faithfulness. There is a reason judgment begins in the house of God, and it’s not because it is unwarranted.

But what about Joel’s prophecy about God pouring out His Spirit on all flesh and our sons and daughters prophesying, our old men dreaming dreams, and our young men seeing visions? Surely, that would lead to revival! It did two thousand years ago.

I know that seemed needlessly brutal since every preacher pumping the notion of sweeping revival uses Joel chapter 2 as their explanation as to why revival is both imminent and unavoidable. But as we know, Scripture must be interpreted with Scripture, and whether due to ignorance of the Word or willful omission, they are twisting the gospel to fit their narrative.

Yes, God promised that His Spirit would be poured out on all flesh, and He delivered on that promise.

Acts 2:14-18, “But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words. For these are not drunk as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; they shall prophesy.”

The thing the modern-day church is hanging its hopes upon as being the trigger for the end-times revival they’ve been promised was fulfilled two thousand years ago and brought about the genesis of the early church.

If we try to fit an eternal God into a finite box, we will always have a skewed view of prophecy and prophetic timelines. That the perspective between someone who’s lucky to see a century and the One to whom a day is as a thousand years might differ a tad is a foregone conclusion. One’s entire existence is no more than a breath to God, so when we read of the last days, we must consider that reality.

Does this mean the Holy Spirit or the gifts thereof are no longer available to us? No, that’s not what it means; it just means that Joel’s prophecy was fulfilled during the times of the Apostles. I am not a cessationist, nor do I subscribe to the notion of cessationism. We need the power, presence, and gifts of the Holy Spirit today as much as the early church did, and God would not be so cruel as to take away our means of defense, as well as our means of offense.

Imagine all the heartache that could have been avoided if the modern-day church possessed the gift of discerning spirits in its midst and could see beyond the fake smiles and cheery dispositions of their fallen leaders. Conversely, imagine how many pulpits would be empty if the gift of discernment was active in the church, but that’s a discussion for another time.

As long as false prophecies, false signs, and false teachers exist, there will be true prophecies, signs, and teachers because the entire purpose of falsifying something is to take an original and attempt to forge it. It may look close, but it’s not the real deal, no matter how hard they might try. The devil cannot create; he can only imitate. If he is attempting to imitate something, then that something must be real and genuine. Otherwise, he would be a creator in his own right, which is an impossibility.

That said, the underlying reality of this discourse is that while much of today’s church is waiting for an influx of spiritual power and gifting, they’re drifting further into apostasy and lukewarmness, giving heed to deceiving spirits and being convinced that they can appease the enemy by compromising the truth.

Perhaps we’ve been sitting idle so long waiting for something to happen rather than being in fellowship with God and spending time in His presence that all the life has leeched out of us and we need someone or something to come along and jumpstart us. Persecution would do the trick, and knowing that it’s coming, perhaps there’s hope for the church to be revived anew and set its mind on the things above. Before that could happen, however, there must be a sifting, a separation, and a delineation between those who say they belong to Him and those who are truly His in word and deed.

Understand that within Joel’s prophecy of the last days, where God promises the outpouring of His Spirit, He also foreshadows Christ’s Olivet discourse describing the events preceding His return.

Joel 2:30-31, “And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth: Blood and fire and pillars of smoke. The sun will be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.”

To us, the span of time between the two fulfillments of this prophecy, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord might seem unimaginable. To God, who is infinite, it’s just a couple of days.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr.  

Posted on 9 July 2024 | 11:11 am

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