It is my fervent hope that as you receive this letter that we will be, in some degree, emerging from the Covid 19 pandemic. Our hope is that each of you have been spared undue personal illness or tragedy.
I know that this pandemic, for many of us, has been an occasion to reflect on where we are and where we are going as individuals, the Church, a nation, and a global culture. Being birthed into a new perspective is not easy and can be painful. Change is essential if we are to grow and embrace the future with strength and clarity.
Personally, I have been in an extended period of birth pangs. Being prophetic in my temperament I not only see what God is doing, I often experience in my person the labor pain of the Spirit as “groaning’s too deep for words.” My present season of travail, I believe, has been a result of the following issues:
1) My own growth as a maturing son.
2) The “birth pangs of creation” longing to be freed from the inexorable process of corruption. (Rom. 8:19-21).
3) The increasing realization that the systems we lean on to “keep us safe” are ultimately our prisons.
4) The tumultuous, complex, process of the Kingdom being extracted from its present religious context into something that more accurately represents Christ as our Bridegroom rather than a corporate CEO.
Without elaborating, I am deeply convicted that redemptive history is moving through a 500-year cycle. The entire economy of all that has been embraced as “the Scriptural norm” within the church is being modified. The status of the present-day Church is not necessarily wrong, it is simply inadequate for what the Lord intends to do in the next phase of “reconciling all things to Himself.”
Christians have historically tried to find context in the prophetic scriptures to give some bearing as to where we are in relation to the “end of the age.” When I taught Revelation in Bible College, I had the entire sequence of events neatly outlined on nine blackboards that circled the room. I was in heaven! One day I was compelled to re-examine my handiwork and was forced to acknowledge that most of it no longer made sense. Since that day in 1964, I have watched the whole schema of end time predictions be distorted into a myriad of divisions, short-timer mentalities, escapism, morbid fixations on evil, and a lack of personal responsibility for the practical application of the Kingdom for a hurting world. The best scholars of Jesus’ day misread the prophetic scripture so completely that they missed the advent of their long-awaited Messiah. Jesus is coming again! But perhaps He is coming within a set of circumstances that we have not considered.
My own eschatology, after 70 years of global proclamation, can be reduced to three very succinct points which are centered in God’s people rather than in world events. Circumstance does not cause His Coming. It is “the Spirit and the Bride, in Oneness, saying: Come Lord Jesus” (Revelation 22:17).
First, God will shake all created things that can be shaken for the revelation of His uncreated, unshakable Kingdom (Hebrews 12:27).
Second, the wheat and the tares will grow together until the harvest. We are watching evil mature worldwide, but do not think we can approach the end of the age until the “wheat” is mature (Matthew 13:24-30).
Third, the children of God will grow up into Sons and Daughters for the purpose of setting creation free from its slavery to decay and death (Rom. 8:19-21).
Jesus is coming! However, He must come in His saints before He will come for his saints. This requires releasing inadequate personal and religious presuppositions. An invisible Kingdom can only become visible when those claiming to know Him demonstrate His prevailing presence that reveals God as Father (Jesus coming in His saints).
Lifechangers feels a responsibility to assist you in being prepared for changes that we are unable to control or ignore. This demands we find relational safety. My letter is the expression of about six men and women, who, themselves, have arrived at this posture and seek to walk relationally. For many of you who are experiencing some measure of birth pangs, let me encourage you that the future is victorious! It is not necessarily triumphalist. How I would love to offer you a road map for the future and a manual on how to come through without pain or pressure.
I can offer you something that has kept me on track in this pressing season: you, each of you reading this, have been called and chosen by the Father to personally participate in His sovereign purpose for this season of history. To that end, please rest in His goodness, realize how significant you are in His heart, and release yourself into something larger and more meaningful.