17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. Luke 1.17
The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., Lk 1:17). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
Some time ago I understood there will be 3 different manifestations of Elijah throughout the times of the earth. The first we see in 1Kings 17, and then we see John being prophesied via Malachi, and the angel Gabriel reiterates who John will walk with, in spirit. What is needed is great understanding in the times we live in.
Make ready a people
Romans says God will call a people who are not a people, to be a people. The great mysteries of God is about His elections, His ways. Elijah brought an end to the divisions, the deceptions, the deaths because of faith. The world is full of these, and what is needed is the readiness which must come to God’s people. There must be an acceleration of expectations in the spirit. The soul realm must be forsaken for a pursuit in the Spirit. There are too many distractions in modernistic methods than the well worn and traditional disciplines. We all shun the word “tradition” because it harks to what Jesus rebuked in the Pharisees. What Jesus was rebuking was not tradition itself, what He rebuked was when tradition is an obstacle to receive a now word, a new dimension to walk into, the ability to change the season in our lives reflected in new levels of faith and new levels of obedience.
It was the traditions of the apostles, handed down which formed the foundation of the Bible we have today. So much we have tried to dismount and distrust that we lose the true meaning. I was so surprised to investigate the true meaning of dogma, which when I saw it, I really received its true meaning and embraced it. Its meaning is: a revealed truth that is amended as understanding grows, as the Church grows together in understanding its fuller and truer meaning.
I have come to understand that the Word gives the Church authority by its foundation (hupostasis) of revelation, morality, integrity. And in turn the Church gives the authority of the Word credence and adherence as a living experience via understanding it, through channels in the Church God ordains to use in each life.
This year 2020 has been declared a year to return to the Word. In it comes a collective understanding that through it we can discern world events from a spiritual point of view. There is the view of judgment, the view of revival, the view of division and world injustices. All is part of the birth pangs the world which waits for the manifestation of the Son of God, and in turn the sons of God. This manifestation must be made ready through a urgency that must come into the hearts of leadership. How do we make ready the people of God?
- Make ready the people with a true eschatological vision, that is rooted and foundation in the Bible. The true vision presented by the Book of Revelation, Thessalonians, Matthew and other places show a full preparation of time in eternity for the preparation of the Bride for Her Lover, Jesus. The Coming of Christ to bring in the fulness of the Kingdom, and the banishing of evil from all of Creation. We are now on the threshold of this vision. Preparation must include forsaking a materialistic, needs based Gospel. We must embrace the full role of the Holy Spirit of preparing the Bride for this Union. This means examining what our love expression is like for Jesus.
- Make ready the people with a true apostolic vision. This means being all fitted together knowing what is true order from true apostles. We must distinguish between modern errors and what the Bible says about apostles. Whilst apostles are part of the five ministry gifts of the Ephesians 4 chapter, the Bible also distinguishes the first 12 from the rest, being that they were foundational. This means that they set into the foundation of the habitation of God the pillar didache of the Lord. Today apostles do not have this role. They are to instil into the saints the sense of place, of order and of releasing into their mission. Whilst mega churches like the crowds they do not necessarily release into the mission field. This maintenance congregation must transition to a sending mentality…to wherever and whatever dimension of mission.
- Make ready a people with true prophetic vision. In the verse above, the people must be ready because the way is to be “trod” by the Coming Lord Himself. The Church must embrace the expectation that Jesus’ imminent return to the Church is a given in any generation. What has happened is we have had a “literal” interpretation of Jesus’ return, and we are waiting for it, only to miss the hidden “comings” of the Lord. There are at least 7 comings of Jesus in Scripture. And once we get a clearer understanding of these then we will understand the preparation that is required in each generation. The prophetic in itself in its truest essence is not the slot machine of personal prophecy but the prophet being released to input into leadership a sense of ministry in the generation, what Christ wants to birth through our generation, what Coming He is coming in, what dimension He is going to manifest through. This should activate in the saints a sense of being ready for Jesus in whatever way and wherever He desires to manifest, whether it be in our congregation, our family, our workplace, our school or college. Many movements of revival have come in specific sections of society. Who knows if the Lord desires to manifest at the political level and class to rid it of the corruptions, the greed, the self interest.
Prepared for the Lord
Somehow the focus needs to be adjusted, in that we can emphasise the work of the Holy Spirit, or gifts, ministries, missions, but the Lord, the Father has given to us, Jesus His Son, needs central and unique attention. All of Scripture points to Him. And for John the Baptist Jesus, the Messiah, was the focus. He knew that a highway needed to be built upon repentance and faith. The sign given to him was a man who the physical manifestation of the Spirit would descend. Then the preparation was over, Jesus had arrived, the Messiah had come. John knew he had to bow out.
The Church is John the Baptist in every generation, must learn to let Jesus come and take centre stage. It must recognise the preparation that is taking place in people’s hearts. Not in their words. There is a people who are prepared for Him alone. And we must ask Him to show us, open our eyes.
Those who are prepared will be made ready. Can you imagine when people are in readiness what that means? The excitement, there is movement, there is the smart clothes, the bathing, the closing of doors, the opening of doors, walking out, geographic movement. This verse speaks of a great transition. It means that John was sent to a people ALREADY prepared, all he needed to do, is make them ready. How did that preparation take place? Hundreds of years, many generations passed. In fact as I began to understand that God does not use one generation for His work, His eternal purpose, I began to get the notion: “Listen you are not the only people in the centre of my plan, get over it”. Preceding this statement God talks through Gabriel about the reconciliation of generations, that fathers would recognise in sons their place and not stop them going forward, and the disobedient would move into the wisdom that would justify them.
2020 is going to be a year where there are various factors that will determine what sort of year it is going to be. The earth is showing the birth pangs, and we must expect some of the disasters we see each day. Then there is the law of sowing and reaping. If we sow to earthly, fleshy, soulish things we will get consequences. Then the law of faith in itself will bring about some breakthroughs. The year 2020 will not just be waiting for God to drop down some “spiritual rain” that which change our status, our circumstances, our relationship. We have a part to play.
The part we have is to make ready the people God has prepared for Himself.