Pentecost 2018: Prophetic Word
When Two Roars Converge – The Ekklesia and Holy Spirit
I prophesy that in this next season, the earth is going to hear the roar of the Ruach Hakodesh—the Holy Spirit. They are going to hear the roar and see the manifestation of His power, for the Ekkelsia will arise and boldly declare the decrees of the Lord. And these decrees will release Kingdom manifestation!
At the beginning of 2018, I felt prompted that there were 8 roars of the Lord that were going to be released, not just into 2018, but moving forward for the church age until the return of Jesus. One of these “roars” is that roar of the Holy Spirit. Another one of these was the “Roar of the Ekklesia.”
I prophesy these two roars are converging.
As the church (Ekklesia) declares the decree of the Lord, the Holy Spirit will roar. As the Ekklesia binds what is bound in Heaven and looses what is released in Heaven, the Spirit will thunder in great power. The key is hearing first, then declaring. We need to see than say. For us to be a people of the Spirit, everything is first birthed in Heaven. That is where we receive our marching orders!
Many have been rightly opposed to any kind of “Decree” language because of the imbalanced perversion of a carnal prosperity message—the so-called “prosperity Gospel.” God is not opposed to prosperity, for neither prosperity nor poverty confirm our spirituality. Sadly, though, many throw out the Biblical truth of the decree because of the aberrant, carnal prosperity Gospel, that ends with man receiving health and wealth.
However, the Gospel of the Kingdom that should be accompanied by a torrent of signs, wonders, healing miracles and deliverance does not end with man getting what he wants; it ends with Jesus receiving what He paid for and the Father receiving great glory (see Phil. 2: 9-10).
What does the roar of the Ekklesia sound like?
Matthew 16 provides definition, Acts 2 offers explanation, and Acts 3 provides expression.
“I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 16:18-19, NASB)
Jesus introduces the church, not as a building, but as an advancing community of people that is established on the “rock” of revelation that He is the Son of the living God. The assignment of this community is to see the governance of Heaven establish on Earth and the tyranny of hell broken. This government, however, is not some “Takeover” approach, where Christians overthrow all aspects of society and thus establish some form of theocracy. It’s a takeover in the invisible realm, where we target the very things that Jesus went after during his earthly ministry—demons, diseases and all manner of dysfunction.
In Acts 3, just following the Pentecost outpouring, we see an expression of what the Ekklesia, filled with the Spirit, is supposed to look like and roar like. Not only that, but we see the Ekklesia contrasted to the now-obsolete religious system, the temple.
I present this portion of Scripture to you as a prophetic illustration of what the Lord is looking to do in this age through a Pentecostal people (Pentecostal in this context is not a denominational affiliation; it defines a company of people who carry and release the power of Pentecost in whatever sphere of influence the Lord has placed them).
Acts 3:1-9, ESV
Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour.
The Temple was a place that you went to; the Ekklesia is a people who go.
We need a shift in how we view and thus engage “church.” Yes, we should attend services, gatherings and groups. Scripture clearly tells us not to forsake the assembly of the brethren, and the present model is one expression of this (see Heb. 10:25). However, for us to see the Kingdom expand and darkness dispelled in all mountains/spheres of culture, the emphasis should always be placed on “going” instead of “coming.” If anything, we come to a “place” so we can be all the more established in the reality that WE are a place who carries a Presence that brings people into collision with power. This is who Peter and John were—they were the “place” that carried the Presence that released power. We are the Ekklesia who carries the Holy Spirit and are called to bring people into encounters with His power!
2 And a man lame from birth was being carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple that is called the Beautiful Gate to ask alms of those entering the temple.
A man-made structure, the Temple, could no longer carry the Presence of God; only those created and redeemed by God were fit carry and release His Presence.
The “temple” system was incapable of bringing healing or relief to the “man lame from birth.” Day after day, he was laid at the gate of the temple. That temple and its gate carried no power to heal him. Why? They were structures fashioned by human hands. We see back in the Old Testament that man-made structures were incapable of carrying the Presence of God (revisit the story of what happened when the people tried to place the Ark of the Presence on a “new cart” in 2 Samuel 6—results were horrific). Even though the tabernacle and temple did host God’s Presence for an appointed time and season, God’s Presence was accommodated according to God’s specifications. When the veil in the temple was torn at Jesus’ death, however, everything shifted. The old system was destroyed and rendered obsolete, just as Jesus prophesied. Something “new and living” was established (see Heb. 10:20). Because the new was inaugurated, the old had no Presence. And where there is no Presence, there is no power. This is why the temple was incapable of doing anything about this man’s condition.
People cannot look to a building, institution, personality or structure for supernatural transformation; they need to look to the Ekklesia, filled with the Presence of the Spirit!
3 Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked to receive alms. 4 And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, “Look at us.”
Pause here for a moment. I love what Peter and John were doing—they were causing this crippled man to shift his vision. The temple they were “Going into” had no power to supernaturally remedy this man’s situation. A building only has power because a people who carry Presence convene behind its four walls. Let us never, ever make the mistake to believe that our buildings, our sanctuaries, our structures are powerful, in and of themselves. They are filled with power because God’s people are filled with His Presence. And in some unusual, but nevertheless true scenarios, buildings can even carry a residue of divine Presence. Buildings that served as “Thin” places and portals where Heaven invaded Earth during times of awakening, renewal and revival can absolutely have an unusual grace upon them. But it still goes back to a people. God doesn’t visit buildings; He visits people. In this situation, Peter and John were trying to communicate this message to the guy who was obviously thinking from a natural perspective. He was asking for money; Peter and John offered something far superior. But when Peter and John were directing this man’s gaze, it wasn’t in order to make a big deal out of them—it was to get his perspective correct.
We need to stop trying to offer something we don’t have and instead, offer what we DO have!
5 And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. 6 But Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!”
These two verses sum it all up, and thus, there are multiple points for us to consider:
People who are hurting, broken, tormented and disconnected from God are looking for something. Yes, even like the lame man, they are expecting to receive something from church. We need to recognize that the “Deep” inside of every human being, whether they have made profession of faith for Jesus or not, is longing for the “deep” of God. I’ve heard it said there is a God-shaped hole in every human being. Perhaps you’ve heard some variation of that statement. All I know is what I read in Psalm 42:7 – “Deep calls to deep at the roar of your waterfalls.” Something deep in humanity awakens when its exposed to the deep of God.
The deep longing within people for the “deep” of God is awakened by a roar. Peter and John recognized they didn’t have “Silver and gold.” They didn’t have all of the bells, whistles and gimmicks. They had something far superior—they had the anointing of the Spirit of God coupled with the Name of the Son of God! In this celebration of Pentecost, it’s vital that we remember what we DO have. This is the only thing that will awaken the deep longing of those disconnected from God.
For those searching for God, expecting to receive something, I believe there is something that can awaken their longing for Him when they are exposed to it. It’s not a relevant sermon that speaks “directly to their everyday issues in life,” although those are beneficial. It’s not a super cool or hip “pastor” who gives a talk, acts like your best buddy, and introduces you to a “homeboy” called Jesus. It’s not a Hollywood light show or a Broadway-caliber experience, dressed up and called “Christianity.” It’s not a children’s facility that rivals Walt Disney World. These are all atmospheric in nature. None are bad by themselves, but all become disastrous when they serve as replacements for the “roar” of His waterfall—the presence of the Holy Spirit.
So, what does this roar sound like?
Today (if you are reading this on Pentecost Sunday 2018), we celebrate the roar from Heaven that was released into the Earth some 2000 years ago.
Don’t let your familiarity with what happened in Acts 2 disconnect you from something profound, powerful, and that will usher the church into her glorious “latter days,” where the Book of Acts will be exceeded and the way will be prepared for Messiah Jesus to return to planet Earth because finally, a church body arises that begins to function in agreement with its head, Christ Jesus.
There was a roar released that, like in Psalm 42:7, awakened the multitudes. It had nothing to do with gimmicks, but everything to do with glory.
The sound from Heaven
When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. (Acts 2:1-2)
Here, we are introduced to the roar of outpouring. Jesus’ blood made it possible for redeemed humanity to become carriers of a glory that, previously, could only be accessed once a year by the High Priest—and even then, he was taking his life in his hands going behind that temple veil. This sound from Heaven introduced the Earth to a reality where all who confessed the Name of Jesus, and were truly born again, could be indwelt by this Person called Holy Spirit.
The multitudes came together
Notice, though, how this outpouring was received by the people:
5 Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. 6 And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. (Acts 2:5-6)
Allow those initial words of verse 6 to pierce your heart. After all, it wasn’t a cool preacher or slick production or top notch worship team that summoned the multitudes—it was the sound, the roar of outpouring that brought them! The “deep” within those people was awakened as the roar of God’s waterfall was being released from Heaven into the Earth.
There were people who didn’t get it—and that didn’t silence Peter!
… they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. 7 And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans?… 12 And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” 13 But others mocking said, “They are filled with new wine.”(Acts 2:6-7, 12-13)
I believe these verses represent a prophetic summons to the twenty-first century church. Let me be loving and honoring, while also being extremely direct and hard-hitting. Peter didn’t shut down Pentecost because of the mockers and scoffers. Peter didn’t retreat from preaching because people were perplexed. In other words, Peter did not craft a system to accommodate people’s issues or offenses with the unusual phenomena that was taking place. Quite the opposite, he flowed with what God was doing and, as we should, gave Bible-based description for what was happening in their midst.
He explains, “For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day.16 But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel…” (Acts 2:15)
Atmosphere without Presence is worthless
I know many who came from Charismatic/Spirit-filled/Pentecostal backgrounds are tempted to entertain a belief that says “the roar of the Spirit is outdated.” In other words, everything that comes with His manifestation—the crying, laughing, jerking, falling down, demons being cast out, bodies being healed, unusual phenomena, etc.—is so… so 1990’s, or so “old school.” May I be frank and slightly hard-hitting? We never, ever graduate beyond the movement and manifestation of the Spirit, regardless of our personal preferences. I celebrate every manifestation of His Presence because they signify the living God is moving in our midst.
In his landmark book, God or Good, John Bevere presents a prophetic charge to a contemporary, edgy, modern, and sophisticated church that runs the risk of trading the supernatural for a good reputation. Consider this quote. May it challenge us all to really consider, even in our good intentions, what we are pursuing in trying to “introduce” people to Christianity:
One of the great advances the church has made in the past twenty years is to create better atmospheres in our worship services… bur have we made externals our end goal? Atmospheres are good to create an introduction to what’s truly important: the presence of God. Atmospheres are man-made. Hollywood, Las Vegas, Disney, Broadway, and others in entertainment industries are masters are evoking emotions. Have we settled into their methods? Are we satisfied with only stimulating the feelings of the people who attend our services? Is the true presence of God filling our sanctuaries, or we are simply doing in the realm of Christianity what others are so good at elsewhere? Here is the reality: to be changed, we need His presence (Good or God, p. 128-129).
Prophetic Word—A Major Shift is Happening in the Church!
I prophesy that a people is rising up, both pastors and church attendees, and they are collectively tired of the “Same old, same old.” They don’t want the world repackaged and called church.” They hunger and thirst for the rain of His presence, the wind of His movement, and the fire of His glory! Oh, that He would rend the Heavens and come down!
I prophesy that it’s time for the wind and the rain.
It’s time for the fire and the roar of outpouring.
I’ve seen this in the spirit.
I’ve seen mega church pastors with big buildings, lots of people, good reputations, book deals, exploding speaking schedules—crying out, in their offices, because none of that stuff satisfies. It’s good, yes. It helps expand the Kingdom in many ways. But it’s not enough. They know this. They are crying out, like Pastor John Kilpatrick did prior to the Brownsville Revival, “Oh God, there must more!”
I’ve seen what it will look like when leaders say “yes” to the outpouring of the Spirit, yes even in mega churches.
I’ve seen worship services where everything appears normal, and then “suddenly,” as the Spirit so often likes to show up, everything shifts. One moment, worship is continuing as planned; the next, it intensifies because a Person has come into the room. In one moment, the congregation was singing songs about Him; in the next, the One they were singing to manifests Himself in glory. Worship intensifies. People start to respond—so they come to the front of the church, to the altar. Some cry. Some actually lay prostrate on the ground. Some are touched by His fire and begin shaking. Some are in need to healing or deliverance, and have a prayer partner from the church leading them through the process. All of this transpires while the rest of the congregation continues to operate, decently and in order, with all eyes on Jesus.
Manifestations and unusual supernatural activity are beautiful expressions of divine Presence, not distractions. They are only distracting to those who view them as distracting, and thus, present them as distractions. But the Lord is looking for those who will embrace His divine disruptions in this season, for wineskins will only expand to those who are willing to embrace and yes, accommodate divine disruptions of the Spirit. Otherwise, we will just keep doing what has always been done and thus, see what has always been seen.
It’s time for the songs we’ve sung in the former season to become manifestation in this day and age.
“Spirit break out.” Let it be, Lord!
We may not understand it. It might offend our minds when people shake or laugh or fall or respond to the presence of God in unusual ways. This should not matter. Do we want Kingdom results, or do want to continue perpetuating something that is lifeless and past its season?
Quick rewind to the text of Acts 3
The old season couldn’t heal the guy. The temple and all of its spiritual accoutrements, as religious and beautiful and comfortable as they all were to the people, did not have the ability to breathe resurrection life into this broken individual. The only thing that could supernaturally heal this man was the life-giving decree of the Ekklesia, announcing the only Name that had any power over the man’s dysfunction, the Name of Jesus. And what happened when the guy was healed? I’m sure some would say he was acting disruptively: “And leaping up, he stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God” (Acts 3:8). Peter and John didn’t care, and surely, the guy who got healed didn’t care either.
So let’s ask ourselves the tough questions: Do we want power or do we want to preserve an old wineskin? Do we want Presence or do we want to perpetuate something attractional and entertaining that beckons people to come, but does not introduce them to the roar of His waterfall, the very noise that awakens the groan in their deep places.
Earlier I raised the question, “What does this roar sound like?” On one hand, it sounds like the sound from Heaven in Acts 2. On another, but equal hand, it sounds like the decree that John and Peter made as the Ekklesia: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!
They didn’t pray a “Lord, if it be Thy will, heal this guy” prayer.
They didn’t even pray a good Pentecostal/Charismatic prayer: “Lord, we pray in Jesus’ Name that you would heal him.”
And by the way, there is absolutely a time and place for “if it be Thy will” and “Lord, we ask” prayers. But let us never forget our assignment to be the onward-marching, ever-advancing Ekklesia, filled with God, who target all manner of darkness and dysfunction with the same boldness that Jesus and the early church did. They didn’t pray (in a traditional sense), they made a decree and released power by commanding darkness to bow to Jesus’ name.
We know the outcome of the story: the crippled man was healed. How, though?
Although the temple gate had little power to heal him, there was a “gate” that was able to bring Heaven’s power into this man’s dysfunction.
Heaven has a gate on planet Earth and it’s not a building or institution—it’s a people filled with the Holy Spirit. Let’s reflect on this reality this Pentecost Sunday… and always.
Yes, we continue to attend church.
Yes, we don’t forsake the assembly of the brethren.
Yes, music, programs, children’s ministry and sermon series are fine.
Yes, let’s be excellent in creating atmosphere that are inviting, not repulsive.
Let’s do all of this, but never at the expense of honoring His Presence above all. It’s His Presence in and among His people that releases supernatural power!