Memphis Belle

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Are We Ready For Revival?
Zephaniah 2:1-3
Zephaniah 2-3 Kingdom of God Fishing Net Ezra- Key to Revival
Restoration & Revival        
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Restoration and Revival

 

Restoration, What Is It?

 

The dictionary defines restoration as putting something back to its original function or design.  God in restoration always goes above and beyond, the Bible always shows God goes above and beyond in restoration.  In Joel 2:28 it says, “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions…”  That word “afterwards” means something has to be done first.  What must be done first before this amazing verse about spiritual revival can occur?  We must back up to verse 25 of Joel 2 to see what must occur first.  Let’s read from Joel 2:25-27, “And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.  And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you:  and my people shall never be ashamed.  And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the LORD your God, and none else:  and my people shall never be ashamed.”  For us in the Church, Body of Christ, one of the things God will restore is relationships, just for a hint of how far this restoration goes.  What condition have we in the Church found ourselves in?  Let’s be honest folks for a moment, if you will.  I know this is true for me, and many in the room hearing this sermon, so it’s a reality for many of us within the Body of Christ if we will be honest with ourselves.  We have found ourselves in this condition described in Isaiah 42:22, and we haven’t laid it to heart, “But this is a people robbed and spoiled; they are all of them snared in holes, and they are hid in prison houses:  they are for a prey, and none delivereth; for a spoil, and none saith, Restore.”  He goes on to say, “Who among you will give ear to this? who will hearken and hear for the time to come?” (verse 23)  Living in the conditions described in Isaiah 42:22 can be spiritually debilitating, stretching our faith to the limits, causing our prayers to be more like ‘Well, if it’s your will for this or that, please do this,’ when some of those things we ask for are clearly spelled out in God’s Word as promises to us.  We sort of reach a condition where our faith has turned into a kind of hoping instead of faith for answers to our prayers.  This is a condition many of us within the Body of Christ find ourselves in right now, if you’re honest with yourself.  God’s restoration will provide us all with that break we need which will turn around our lives.  But it is for a purpose, too, let’s not forget that.  The Philadelphian era of God’s Church will accomplish that purpose with the blessings that restoration will provide, whereas the Laodicean era of God’s Church will squander those blessings selfishly upon themselves (cf. Revelation chapter 3).

 

One Of The Most Powerful Stories Of Restoration In The Old Testament

 

Let’s turn to a powerful example of restoration in the Old Testament, pray for this type of restoration for the Church and for yourself too.  This probably occurred around the reign of king Joram the son of Ahab, an evil king just like his father.  The story of this woman, the Shunamite, goes back to 2nd Kings 4 where she starts serving Elisha, she had made an addition on her house, making a room for him to stay in, providing him with food and lodging.  Elisha prayed for her (she was barren, couldn’t have kids) and now she has a son.  Then the son dies, and she sends for Elisha, and he lays down on the son’s body three times, praying for him, and the boy is restored to life, comes alive again.  2nd Kings 8 takes us a little further on in the story.  Elisha warns the women that a famine is coming on the land of Israel. 2nd Kings 8:1-3, “Then spake Elisha unto the woman, whose son he had restored to life, saying, Arise, and go thou and thine household, and sojourn wheresoever thou canst sojourn:  for the LORD hath called for a famine; and it shall also come upon the land seven years.  And the woman arose, and did after the saying of the man of God:  and she went with her household and sojourned in the land of the Philistines seven years.  And it came to pass at the seven years’ end, that the woman returned out of the land of the Philistines:  and she went forth to cry unto the king for her house and for her land.”  Now get this, as she is on the way to come into the king’s presence, the king, king Joram, is having a conversation with Elisha’s servant Gehazi, and the king is asking Gehazi about all the great miracles Elisha has done, and is asking for some examples, just as this woman is walking into the king’s presence.  Talk about God-appointed timing.  Let’s continue through verses 4-6, “And the king talked with Gehazi the servant of the man of God, saying, Tell me, I pray thee, all the great things that Elisha hath done.  And it came to pass, as he was telling the king how he had restored a dead body to life, that, behold, the woman, whose son he had restored to life, cried to the king for her house and for her land.  And Gehazi said, My lord, O king, this is the woman, and this is her son, whom Elisha restored to life.  And when the king asked the woman, she told him.  So the king appointed unto her a certain officer, saying Restore all that was hers, and the fruits of the field since the day that she left the land, until now.”  (One lesson here, don’t think God can’t work through an evil king.)  God had this king RESTORE ALL that was hers, house, land, AND IN ADDITION TO THAT, GIVE HER THE MONEY FROM THE PROFIT OF HER FIELDS FROM THE DAY SHE LEFT ALL THE WAY TO HER RETURN.  She only asked for her house and land back.  She didn’t ask for the money her fields earned for the seven yeas she was gone.  She got her house, lands, and seven years of profit for her fields given back to her in one day.  God is saying through Joel that God will restore to us the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworms, and the caterpillars, and the palmerworms in your life, what has, as described in Isaiah 42:22, what has been robbed from us and spoiled in our lives, all those times we’ve been snared in holes by the enemy, those times we’ve been imprisoned by circumstances beyond our control, where none delivers from this spoiling of our goods and relationships by a ruthless enemy, “and none saith, Restore.”  He’s going to supernaturally restore lost opportunities, health through healing (cf. Isaiah 40:28-31, read it), lost relationships (through better ones, in some cases), lost money.  Look what God gave back to Job.  Job was set up in a conversation Satan had with God, it was a set-up, where he lost almost everything in his life, over the short span of nine months, and then double what he had lost was restored to him by God in very short order.  God always goes above and beyond in restoration.  As shown in the previous article about Revival, we just passed through a Jubilee year.  The Jubilee year is all about restoration, and the Body of Christ is about to experience that promised Restoration, one perhaps even greater for the Body of Christ than was experienced in and following the year of 1967.  We must be praying and beseeching the Lord to bring this restoration about.  And then what do we do with the substance that is bestowed upon us?  We support the various parts of the Body of Christ we’re a part of in order to get the Gospel to the world before the end comes (see http://www.unityinchrist.com/misc/WhatIsTheGospel%20.htm).  Then once God has brought us through this restoration, what does he do next for the Body of Christ?  (Notice it is God who does all this, it’s not something you can work up on your own, pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps, so to speak.  These events are God ordained, God-accomplished.)

 

Next Comes Spiritual Revival

 

Joel 2:28-29, “And it shall come to pass afterward--after all this restoration process brought upon us by God, Joel 2:25-27--“that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:  and also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my Spirit.”  How do we know this is done by God upon the Body of Christ?  Verses 30-32 show the next event to occur prophetically is the tribulation and 2nd coming of Jesus Christ.  So this spiritual revival and massive pouring out of God’s Holy Spirit upon the Church, Body of Christ just precedes these tribulation events mentioned in verses 30-32, which directly cross-reference into the same events depicted in the Book of Revelation just prior to Jesus 2nd coming.  So verses 28-29 take place in a short window of time, prophetically speaking, before the events of verses 30-32.  Let’s read verses 30-32, “And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.  The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.  And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered:  for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.” 

 

This Will Be A Two-Part Operation Of God

 

So we have seen, restoration comes first, it is brought to us by a miracle of God, a true Jubilee restoration which must come upon the Church, Body of Christ.  This is shown in Joel chapter 2, verses 25-27.  Next, the second event, is spiritual revival, which is shown in Joel chapter 2, verses 28-29.  Verses 30-32 show this occurs just before the coming tribulation and great day of the LORD, which directly cross-references to the same events depicted in the Book of Revelation.  One of my favorite passages in the Bible, which shows the end-time restoration of our health for those servants of God in the Body of Christ, as part of this restoration, is found in Isaiah chapter 40.  Let’s read it in Isaiah 40:28-31, “Hast thou not known?  hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary?  there is no searching of his understanding.  He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.  Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:  but they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eaglesthey shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”  There you have it folks, especially for you older folks, like me, who are serving the LORD in these end-times we’re heading into, a promise for physical restoration of health, healing and strength so we can do our jobs and assignments the LORD has placed us in.  That’s it folks.  Pray earnestly for God’s restoration and then the spiritual revival that follows it.  

 

[This article was written based upon sermon notes taken from a sermon given by Matthew Senn, given in one of his healing ministry meetings on the 5th of October 2018]

 

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What are we to do with part of the restoration substance we are blessed with?  Answer, get the Gospel message to the world.  What is the Gospel?  See http://www.unityinchirst.com/misc/WhatIsTheGospel%20.htm

 

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