In part 1 we covered the joy factor. We need joy in the church if we are to have any success in reaching our world. This part is going to deal with what I feel to be the 3 keys of end-time revival. We understand Joel’s prophecy concerning the last days, the last days church will be built round revival and soul-winning. Joel says that the last days church will be empowered by the Holy Ghost with visions and dreams. But if we lose our joy, all of those resources will wither and die. So now that we have a full understanding of our need for joy, let’s dive deeper into Joel’s prophecy and unlock the three keys to revival!
“…the corn is wasted, the new wine has dried up, and the oil languisheth.”
The Corn is wasted:
“Now when Jacob saw that there was corn in Egypt, Jacob said unto his sons, Why do ye look one upon another? And he said, Behold I have heard that there is corn in Egypt: Get you down thither, and buy for us from thence; that we may live, and not die.”
We find here Jacob, the patriarch of God, embedded in a famine. It was so bad that all the sons of Jacob, were sitting there looking at each other wondering, what in the world are we going to do! But Jacob tells them, I have heard that there is corn in Egypt. Most of us understand the story of Joseph and how he ended up in Pharaoh’s palace; Joseph through all his trials found himself in the prison, where the Bible says Joseph worked. We must always be willing to do a work with God regardless of where we are in life! So Joseph interprets a couple of dreams, and now Pharaoh has a dream and they remember, oh there is a guy in the prison who can interpret dreams. So Joseph receives the dream, and understood the warning of God, a famine is coming. This insight and knowledge into the plan of God required Joseph to act with wisdom, vision and determination to implement a plan that would reach the world, and eventually save all the families of the earth.
“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord.”
We must understand that the famine of Jacob’s day was a foreshadow of the famine of the last days. God said there would be a famine in the last days, only this time it won’t be of bread or water; its going to a famine of truth! And now that we have been given access into this plan of God, we are now bound with an obligation like Joseph to begin to implement a strategy for world-wide revival! We may have truth, but unless we learn to utilize vision, determination and wisdom to make a way for all the ends of the earth to be reached; the corn will be wasted!
Proverbs 23:23 tells us to buy the truth and sell it not! We can’t just sit back and assume that truth will take care of itself! We had better learn to value the corn! We’d better take the time to make sure we’re teaching our children the word of God! When that famine hit the world in Joseph’s day, the people of the world abandoned their backgrounds, and all the things they believed in. Why? Not because of a new fad, but because the corn in Egypt was real! And if we want to be available for the floods of people who will swarm the apostolic church in these last days, we’d better stock pile some truth! The world is in need of truth, and we’d better make sure that there is still corn available in the apostolic church!
New wine is dried up:
“And no man putteth new wine into old bottles: else the new wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottles will be marred: but new wine must be put into new bottles.”
Jesus said if new wine isn’t accompanied with new bottles there is a danger that the old bottles will not be able to contain the new wine; and the bottle will break, and the wine will be spilled. Jesus is referring to the Holy Ghost here; and the Holy Ghost will not dwell in an old vessel. Unfortunately, we see this often; people come to church and receive the beautiful gift of the Holy Ghost, only before they can make it back for another service, they’ve already lost what they received and now they’ve been wounded on top of it. Was the Holy Ghost not good enough? Yes it is! The danger comes when we don’t allow that spirit to change us! Yes the Holy Ghost will guide you on the journey of change, but it must be your hands on the plow with determination to change regardless of what must go! But when Joel looked through the eyes of the spirit, he said that the new wine is dried up! What a dreadful sight!!
Paul admonished the Thessalonian church, “Quench not the spirit!” When truth isn’t valued like it should be, the people of God begin to desire the things of the world. And through the desire and pursuit of “worldly lusts” the spirit of God will be replaced with the spirit of flesh. The result? A church with dried up spirit. A Chruch that no longer responds with the spirit of God, but now through ritual and practice attempt to manipulate the spirit of God. My prayer in these last days is that the church would empty herself of all unrighteousness, and allow the new wine to fill us up like never before! If we want to be effective in these last days, we can’t depend on anything but the spirit of God! Don’t let the Holy Ghost dry up in your life.
The Oil Languisheth:
“And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing.”
The anointing of God is a powerful asset to the church: with it we can do incredible things, without it we can do nothing! Jesus sad in Luke 18:27, “…the things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” The anointing will empower us to operate beyond our human ability, and to operate with His authority. With the anointing we are literally agents of God’s divine power!
When I read and study the life of Samson, I see a man who is a symbol of the apostolic church. He was set apart, he was anointed, he couldn’t do what every one else did. But Samson played with his anointing…Samson always ended up doing what was in his best interest, and never learned the value of submitting completely to the word of God. But the biggest mistake Samson ever made wasn’t marrying the wrong woman, it wasn’t going in to the harlot’s tent or even flirting with Delilah. No, the greatest mistake Samson ever made was in assuming that his power actually came from his hair!
And this is where I’m terrified; I’m witnessing a generation of apostolic people who thinks that their anointing comes from their obedience to our standards. So they play with their anointing, never sold out completely to the word of God. After all, they still “look” the part. But we have a culture now in the church, where people lilve how they want to live, and yet still expect God to show up when they need him to perform because of their “nazarite vow”. Listen I still wholeheartedly believe in our standards, I still try and live as far from the world as possible. But are we really presumptuous enough to think, that because we’re obedient to a list of guidelines that God is obligated to use us? Your power is not in your standards Samson, your power comes from God! What we need to understand in these last days is that…
…the anointing does not flow from your rituals, the anointing flows from your relationship!
What I’m saying is that we cannot allow our “Pentecostalism” to ever replace our relationship with God!
If we want the kind of revival that is prophesied in the book; then we must use these keys to unlock the door of revival! We need corn in the church, we need new wine that is fresh, and we must be able to operate in the genuine anointing of God! Without is, we’ll become tinkling brass and sounding cymbals…with it? We’ll discover a revival that will turn our world upside down!!!