And in these days came prophets from Jerusalem unto Antioch. And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the Spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar.
Acts 11:27-28 KJV
Here marks the transition that the Holy Spirit makes through Luke in Acts. The focus of the Holy Spirit in world missions begins right here.
Up to now 2 specific visitations of the Holy Spirit occur in Jerusalem and through persecution there is a scattering which gathers in Antioch.
I believe that in a certain way the Lord has used the pandemic to “scatter” His people. This scattering by God is to gather again strategically to bring about a new platform for Jesus’ commission throughout the whole world.
It is here in Antioch that another transition takes place, God begins to include the Gentiles in the Grace Covenant. So what was seen to be a bad thing the persecution is now positioning His People for the greatest move of the Spirit ever.
This is a time for gathering after a scattering
God has allowed the pandemic to scatter away from Church as usual. There is a new configuration been forced through by laws against meeting,against what we used to know as pulpit and platform. We are now seeing God bring a new “Antioch” into being. The perception that the covenant through Jesus was to be restricted in the Jews, had to be shaken and scattered. God was about to bring a new platform for world mission.
After the Gathering the equipping
I studied the way God moved in Antioch and saw a pattern , in that the congregation transitioned from one Ascension Office after the other. They were a evangelistic outreach,then a discipleship centre. Then a prophetic school where social action was initiated through the ministry of Agabus. Then the culmination came to launch Paul and Barnabus into the world as apostles who would enrich with theology, impact with miracles and live by example. The Antioch model is one to learn by. I believe from what I discern from the Lord is that what change we fear will be overcome by embracing the challenge of change to be a era of great advance for the Kingdom. The Church we have known as our “Jerusalem ” in many aspects restrictive, now is coming into “Antioch” which shall sustain even the Churches that remain in the “Jerusalem ” mode. The Church in Antioch is moving in such dimension that it sustains in food, finances the whole. Ministry financing will only overflow with a move of God, where we take a corporate community to maturity.
When the prophets come to us we will be prepared for hard times
Agabus prophesied a great famine which did come to pass. In view of the prophecy we see that the Church mobilises. I believe the next 12 months are to be the hardest and famine based in many areas. We need to be praying to be equipped spiritually so we can establish practical channels of support.
After the famine the fulness
Acts 13 shows us that the Holy Spirit releases Paul and Barnabus and we are impacted to this day by their ministry. I believe we are going to arrive at a day when the spiritual life of the Church will arrive at fulness that great men and women of God will be released. May we embrace the challenges ahead with open eyes and open hearts. So that we are not caught in ignorance which brings us into fear.
We are transitioning through the difficulties to the finest moment.