People keep predicting ‘great revival’, or ‘outpourings of the Holy Ghost’, or ‘new revelations from God’; add to that all the ‘prosperity gospel profits’ [false prophets], and the truth emerges, though most people cannot see the forest for the trees.
We are definitely in the last of the last days.
Sha’ul [Paul] warned of this phenomenon:
1Know this, that in the Akharit HaYamim [The Last Days] disastrous times will come. 2And men shall be lovers of themselves and lovers of money, proud, conceited, blasphemers, disobedient to their own people, ungrateful, wicked, 3false accusers, addicts to lust, brutal, haters of good things, 4traitors, hasty, boasters, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of Elohim; 5having a shade of the fear of Elohim, but far from the power of Elohim; from such turn away.
Many believers think that ‘the power of God’ is demonstrated in speaking in tongues, prophesying, or some other very ‘spiritual experience’. They completely miss the point of this whole passage. The power of God is a life that has turned from this dark world, to the PATH of RIGHT LIVING set out in the scriptures. Holding to that path takes the POWER OF GOD. Only HE has given us POWER NOT TO SIN.
“10From henceforth, my brethren, be strong in Adoneinu [Our Master] and in the power of His might. 11Put on the whole armor of Elohim, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the Accuser. 12For your war is not with flesh and blood, but with the authorities, and with powers, with the rulers of this world of darkness, and with the evil spirits under the heavens. 13Therefore put on the whole armor of Elohim, that you may be able to meet the evil one, and being prepared, you shall stand firm.”
Sha’ul did not say here, “Put on the power of God that you may be able to speak in tongues, prophesy, slay in the spirit, heal the sick’….
He compared God’s power to ARMOR, and explained that this armor is for protection against the adversary of God. That adversary is the agent and promoter of sin.
“14Arise, therefore, gird your loins with truth, and put on the breastplate of tzedaka; 15and have your feet shod with the preparation of HaB’sorah of Shalom; 16together with these, take for yourselves the shield of Emunah, for with it you shall be able to quench all the flaming darts of the evil one. 17Put on the helmet of Yeshua[h]/Salvation, and take the sword of HaRu’akh, which is the D’var HaElohim/Word of God;”
This armor is not a Roman suit of armor. And it does not give everyone the ability to work miracles. The armor of God is described long before Rome became a superpower, and it was about living a righted life:
“He saw that there was no man, and was astonished that there was no intercessor; therefore His own arm brought Salvation unto Him; and His righteousness [tzedaka], it sustained Him; 17and He put on tzedaka as a coat of mail, and a helmet of Salvation [Yeshua[h]] upon His head, and He put on garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloak.” Is 59:16
This was written in roughly 900+ BC, long before Rome existed. The armor is being described, and it is harkening to the clothing of the High Priest. The robe of the high priest is described as mail, and has a shield/breastplate, a ‘helmet’, and The Word of God [Urim v’Tumim] as a means to fight wars, spiritually.
Paul goes on from this armor and extols us:
“18and pray always, with all prayer and supplication, in HaRu’akh; and in that prayer be watchful at all times, praying constantly and supplicating for all the k’doshim.”
This is the proper and most important use of the POWER of God: prayer, supplications, watchfulness, caring for the holy ones of God.
Doing those things enables us NOT to sin, as we are instructed in the whole of the Brit Khadashah/NT scriptures. Doing this, the Body of Messiah is working together as one organism, and every ‘part’ of the Body is benefitting: each one of us.
Sin is the antithesis of righteousness; sin is when a human being does what God’s law says not to do: “Whoever commits sin breaks Torah [the law]; for every sin is the transgression of Torah [the law].” 1 Jo 3:4
The Ru’akh HaKodesh/Holy Spirit is not given to us to give us ‘the feels’, though at times, The Comforter does just that; but, His Spirit, the Breath of God, is given to us to GUIDE US into all truth. To CORRECT US, to ADMONISH US by HIS WORD. Those are the primary purposes for which Yeshua said He would give us His Spirit:
“26But the Comforter, The Ru’akh HaKodesh [Consecrated Spirit], which My Father [Avi] will send in my Name, will teach you everything, and remind you of everything which I tell you.” Jo 14
“8And when it [Holy Spirit] is come, it will rebuke the world concerning sin, concerning righteousness, and concerning judgment; 9concerning sin [khata], because they do not believe in me; 10concerning righteousness [tzedaka], because I go to My Father [Avi] and you will not see me again; 11concerning judgment [mishpat], because the leader of this world has been judged. 12Again, I have many other things to tell you, but you cannot grasp them now. 13But when The True Spirit [Ru’akh HaEmet] is come, it will guide you into all the truth; for it will not speak from itself, but what it hears it will speak; and it will make known to you things which are to come in the future. 14It will glorify me, because it will take of my own and show it to you.” Jo 16
Yeshua is teaching on the coming of and the purpose of the Gift of the Ru’akh HaKodesh, and shows us that its purpose is to convict us of our wrongdoing, convince us of what right we should be doing, and warn us of judgment that is coming on the disobedient.
The armor that we are to use is to be used for the purpose of our conquering sin. That is the power of God. Much of what we see people do today that claim they know the power of God is mere parlor tricks, and childsplay to God. They act like miracles are a big deal. When compared to the high improbability of a human actually turning away from his own sin without any agent of change, miracles like speaking in new languages, healing, or feeling goosebumps take a back seat to the transformed life. The agent of change is The Word of God, spoken to and in us by the Spirit of God, His breath, His life imparted to us through confession in Yeshua.
That is the purpose of the Scriptures, to function as the conduit of the Spirit of God. We know the mind of Messiah, by knowing The Word. And The Word is the whole of inspired Scripture. Sha’ul describes all the books this way:
“14But hold fast to HaD’varim [The Words, the Hebrew name of the book of Deuteronomy, the summary of the Torah] which you have learned and have been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned it, 15and knowing that you have learned from your childhood the consecrated scriptures, which are able to make you wise to life through absolute trust in Yeshua HaMashi’akh. 16All scripture written by the inspiration of The Ru’akh HaKodesh is profitable for doctrine [teaching], for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness; 17so that the people of Elohim may become complete, thoroughly perfected [through scriptures] for every good work.
In a war, we get injured; we stumble; we falter; but in His Power, we are sustained, and we get up to fight, again. Our conquest over sin is not final, until we fight it through, pass from this life, and face the judge.
In the meantime, we “press on.” We fight. And if we persist in the fight against sin and evil, we will one day win these things, as promised in the Hitgalut [Revelation]:
Access to the Tree of Life
Escape from the ‘second death’
A new name
Our own name confessed before the Father by Yeshua
A place in His Temple
Dwelling in His Kingdom forever.
And, we receive a crown.
Ya’akov [James] 1:
12Blessed is the man who endures temptations; for when he is tested, he shall receive the crown of life which Elohim has promised to those who love Him.
Yeshua tells us not to let anyone steal our crown. That crown is victory over sin, which is accomplished through trust in the blood of Yeshua, and obedience to Him. We can only obey God by turning to His Word, and doing it, and hearing His Voice expressed and/or confirmed in The Scriptures. Any voice that does not match His Word is deceit. This is why we are told to test the ‘spirits’. They come as though God were speaking to us.
14For we know that the Torah is of the Ru’akh. Rom 7
The Holy Spirit GAVE US the Torah, and the rest of scripture. The Torah is its foundation, and Messiah Yeshua is the cornerstone of that foundation. Upon that rests the remainder of the prophets and writings, and then the writings of the Apostles. This is the very way Sha’ul describes the Word of God in Ef 2:18-20:
“18Through Him [Yeshua] we both are able to draw near, by one Ru’akh, to The Father. 19Thus from henceforth you are neither strangers nor foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the Holy Ones, and children of The House of God; 20and you are built upon the foundation of the Apostles [NT], and the Prophets [OT], Yeshua HaMashi’akh Himself being the cornerstone of the building.”
There will be no outpouring of the Ru’akh before Yeshua calls His Bride home: that began to be fulfilled in Acts 2, and is near completion. The turning away and abominable actions of those claiming to love God in the last days is upon us [2 Tim 3]. Churches are sanctioning all manner of sin. What most people do not realize is that adultery and fornication were overlooked first. The finger began to point at ‘other’ types of sin, instead of those in the House of God. Then, all other manner of sin began to become ‘normal’. There is no longer any shock factor, any shame, for any sin that occurs among believers. Most of our country is aspiring to be ‘tolerant’, or simply to overlook sin from an ignorant viewpoint, which is simply sinful compromise wrapped in an acceptable wrapper, creating ‘an appearance of godliness’, just like Paul said would happen. Most people today are so far away from the truth, and completely ignorant of the need of and purpose for the power of God. There is no fear of God in our society any more, from the top down. America is on a path to the judgment of God, and too blind to sin ever to come to repentance. And those who claim to know God do not even understand what ‘repentance’ is: turning away from sin, and turning toward God and HIS ways. Until people of God begin again to speak out against sin and encourage biblical repentance, nothing will change. The sad thing is, there may not be time left to save this country, nor any will among those who claim they believe God even to pray for such an outcome. “Revival” is not on the horizon. What most people consider to be revival is merely an emotion-filled concert with the adoration of personalities and parlor tricks.
“Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.”