Michel von Allmen writes in this third article: "God is in the process of building His Church and has been ever since He came; he wants to restore all things, to add layer upon layer upon layer of restored living truth to His Church so he can use it as He wants, not as we think it fit!
Q: How can we hope to see God's manifestation on earth without re-building his house?
In the OT, revival came after the house of God was rebuilt and true worship restored. (Ezra/Nehemiah/Haggai)
Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘This people says, “The time has not come, even the time for the house of the Lord to be rebuilt.” Then the word of the Lord came by Haggai the prophet, saying, “Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses while this house lies desolate?” Now therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts, “Consider your ways! You have sown much, but harvest little; you eat, but there is not enough to be satisfied; you drink, but there is not enough to become drunk; you put on clothing, but no one is warm enough; and he who earns, earns wages to put into a purse with holes.
Thus says the Lord of hosts, “Consider your ways! 8 Go up to the mountains, bring wood and rebuild the temple, that I may be pleased with it and be glorified,” says the Lord. 9 “You look for much, but behold, it comes to little; when you bring it home, I blow it away. Why?” declares the Lord of hosts, “Because of My house which lies desolate, while each of you runs to his own house. 10 Therefore, because of you the sky has withheld its dew and the earth has withheld its produce. 11 I called for a drought on the land, on the mountains, on the grain, on the new wine, on the oil, on what the ground produces, on men, on cattle, and on all the labor of your hands.”
Q: How can we expect it to be otherwise today?
True worship of God need to be restored in our churches and nations if we are to be see God's manifest presence at work.
Jesus to the Samaritan woman: But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.
Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.
...and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you, whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time.
When His presence is manifest, this brings times of refreshing (revivals), but this is not even the end in itself, for God wants to bring a time of restoration of all things, and this is bigger than we can ever imagine, let's admit it!
Q: Who are we to pick and choose what kind of blessing, manifestation of His glory or ministry is necessary for the Church and in his Kingdom?
God is in the process of building His Church and has been ever since He came; he wants to restore all things, doctrines, truths, blessings, revelations, re-discoveries, influence, usefulness, power that the Church has partly lost but has been lead to re-discover particularly since the Reformation; God wants to add layer upon layer, upon layer of restored living truth to His Church so he can use it as He wants, not as we think it fit! He asks the questions, he takes the initiatives, he knows what he wants and is going to have it, amen!
God is after the full restoration of all things so His Bride is perfected and presented to Him without wrinkle or blemish, don't we want this also? It also means he wants to restore to the full what has been lost, and bring to the fore what has been despised, crushed and almost killed; the apostolic and prophetic ministries are part of what needs to be restored and it is as much part of the personality of Jesus as anything, let's not forget that! He is the good Shepherd, the Evangelist, the Rabbi Teacher, the Prophet and first of all, the Apostle of our faith.
We should recognize, acknowledge, appreciate the different facets of his being if we want first of all, to love and respect him and be more like Him! We should worship God the Father under the leading of the Holy Spirit and in the name of Jesus...but the full Jesus...not a truncated one, not a tiny baby anymore, certainly not an effeminate Saviour. It took all that he was and had to accomplish our salvation and He had the Spirit without measure!
Q: Do you think it will take less than a complete Jesus (Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Shepherd, Teacher) and his completely restored delegated ministries with exactly the same attributes and callings to perfect the Church as He wants it to be, until we come the unity in the faith?
And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.
Q: Do you think it will take less than the complete Gospel to demonstrate who the Saviour is to an unbelieving world?
Q: Do you think it will take less than the whole Church to reach society and all its stratas and complexities with the whole Gospel?
It will indeed take nothing less than the whole manifestation of a complete Jesus, with the whole contribution of all the ministries he has given, and the whole Church, to proclaim the whole Gospel and the whole council of God to the whole world! And who is sufficient for these things!
For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God.
that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.
So this building and restoration process has to be seen as a long term process, since we do not know the day of his coming, which will surely happen, but no man knows when. Since this is the case, we should look to build with kingdom principles so as to enjoy God's manifest presence for the long term, not just for times of revival or refreshing.
Having said this, it becomes obvious that the Church is in dire need to see the full emergence, maturing and functioning of the apostolic and prophetic ministries. Let's wish it, want it, pray for it, prepare for it, get ready to adapt our ways of doing the things of the Church for His bride to be able to shine with radiance, beauty, service, power, influence in a dying world.
Now this expression, “He ascended,” what does it mean except that He also had descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, so that He might fill all things.) And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.
©Michel von Allmen 2015