Major Kingdom/Apostolic Articles
Revival Leads to Kingdom - Ron McGatlin
Only serving Him with their whole heart -- with their whole life can bring satisfaction to the revived children of God. The powerful presence of God has put a fire of desire within them that cannot be satisfied by idly watching and passively waiting. The church watchers have become God chasers and cannot be stopped. The reality of seeking first the kingdom of God has come into our world through revival.
The awakening of the sleeping church is jolting many from their pews and into action worshiping, praising, praying, and serving God with dynamic energy. The great revivals of today are establishing the reality of life in God as His presence is again filling His temple -- the hearts and lives of “ordinary “ believers. Revived believers are actively pursuing God and His kingdom. Those seeking the kingdom of God lifestyle are no longer satisfied to give ten percent of their money and even a smaller percentage of their time and call it serving God.
The doctrine of the Nicolaitans is finally being destroyed. Religion’s invention of dividing the Body of Christ into clergy and laity is beginning to be dissolved. The kingdom truth of the five fold ministry gifts of apostles, prophets, evangelist, pastors, and teachers in “ordinary" believers is coming forth by the Spirit in revival. Christ Jesus is beginning to be honored as head of the church in a practical real way. The revolutionary reformation of church government has begun.
The burden of headship that has been usurped by men and denominations is being returned to the shoulder of Christ. The body of Christ has greatly suffered for centuries as the people in the pew have been trained to reverence men as heads and depend on them for spiritual works and church government. Not only have the people failed to develop spiritual gifts and function but the “Reverends” have suffered under the undue burden of invalid headship.
The great overburden placed upon “men of the clergy” is being lifted in revival. No longer shall the weight of the congregation be on the back of the sacrificed life of the “Reverend -- Minister -- Pastor -- Priest” or whatever title used for the paid minister -- paid to do what God is now raising up a generation of willing volunteers to do in revival.
The overburden has destroyed many men who sought to fulfill a role as head of the church that God never intended. Not only has the burden been great but the temptation has also been great. Many have succumbed to the temptations and taken advantage of the undue worshipful reverence and respect of the people toward them as “heads of the church”. The elevation of “clergymen” set them apart as virtual gods and not mere men. The intense affection for Christ that should have been focused on Jesus as true head of the church has been, in part, focused on “clergymen”. It has been much too easy for men to become victims of the gifts and offerings of the people and begin to receive illicit affection and money to themselves. Scandal, burnout, and failure became common terms relating to “clergymen” in the passing church emphasis age.
Before the present day outpouring of the presence and power of God began to bring reformation, church leaders struggled with decisions. They often resorted to their own minds which were trained by seminarians in what they could intellectually glean from the Word. For centuries church “heads” and boards of deacons, elders, and denominational bosses have struggled, debated, and voted to make decisions for the church. The reformed men and women of God are learning to listen for and hear God to receive what Christ has already decided and then represent that into the church. Thus the burden of headship is being restored to the shoulder of Christ.
Isa 9:6 For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isa 9:7 Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
In a practical and real way, revival is bringing reformation. The good news is that believers, church governments, and eventually the world will be reformed to kingdom of God ways. The bad news is that much of the old must be uprooted, torn down, destroyed and overthrown before the new can be built and planted back.
As in the days of Jeremiah it is the zeal of the Lord that is performing the reformation from government by men to the government of God -- the kingdom of God. In Jeremiah Chapter One, Israel had forsaken God for other gods and established ways that had to be torn down and destroyed before God’s ways could be replanted. There is a parallel in the church. In practice if not in theology other gods have ruled in the church.
Jer 1:10 NIV: See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant."
The tearing down of the old can be a difficult and painful experience. The past is filled with fond memories of church experiences. Many Christian’s faith seems anchored in the relics of the beautiful church buildings and the security of the familiar traditions and fond memories of the past. The future can seem very unsure when the past monuments of beliefs and systems began to crumble and burn.
I remember weeping openly recently as I watched a news video from Virginia. The video was of a beautiful one hundred and sixty two year old church building burning. Fire fighters could do little as the fire destroyed the historical landmark. As I watched the flames swirl up the tall stately steeple that had stood over the city pointing toward the heavens for generations, I felt great sadness and a painful sense of loss. I was impressed in my spirit that this is how many will feel as the old ways of religion are uprooted, torn down, destroyed, and overthrown. These same painful feelings will bruise them as they experience the old ways of the organized church being destroyed to make room for the planting of the kingdom of God ways and the building of the glorious “Bride Church”.
Jer 31:28 Just as I watched over them to uproot and tear down, and to overthrow, destroy and bring disaster, so I will watch over them to build and to plant," declares the LORD.
As the children of Israel in the wilderness were unwilling to cross over and take the promised land, there will be those who will not make the transition to the glorious church. They will live and die unchanged retaining their old ways. While their children -- the next generation will enter into the glorious revival of the presence of God and the extreme worship in the glorious church.