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YOUR LIGHT HAS COME--THE GLORY OF THE LORD IS RISING UPON HIS PEOPLE

Rick Joyner
MorningStar Ministries
www.morningstarministries.org

The Church Must Seize the Opportunity

The last two decades have witnessed the greatest advance of the gospel in history. It has been estimated that more people have become Christians in just the last two decades, than have from the first century until this time. This is partly due to more people being alive now than the previous two thousand years. Without question, Christianity has made its greatest advances in recent years on a worldwide basis than ever before in its history.

The coming times are filled with even greater potential for the advancement of the gospel. With more and more churches, networks of churches, and ministries beginning to take advantage of these opportunities, it is likely that this present generation will seal its place as having been more fruitful in reaping the harvest than all of the other generations of Christians combined.

Other studies also reveal serious problems with immorality and eroding integrity eating away at the very foundations of the church in the West, where it has had its strongest base for the last five hundred years. These problems cannot be ignored without tragic consequences. If the church seizes the opportunities now open for the gospel, while also addressing these problems, the next few years will be even more fruitful and glorious. The gospel of the Kingdom will be preached as we prepare the way for the Lord.

Metamorphosis

Metamorphosis can be described by the process through which a caterpillar is changed from a worm, that has to crawl and conform to the contours of the earth, then turn into a butterfly that soars above the earth. This is the process that the church is now going through.

However, just as breaking out of its cocoon is the greatest struggle a butterfly will have to endure, for the church to break out of its cocoon, will also be its greatest struggle yet. Even so, just as this struggle is required to strengthen the butterfly so it can flap its great wings, this struggle will be required to strengthen the church so that it, too, can use the great wings that it is being given.

The church is changing very dramatically in its appearance and function. What is now taking place will be so dramatic, that few will be able to compare the caterpillar that she was, to the beautiful butterfly that she will soon be. However, the caterpillar stage was part of the process and was necessary. We must never forget those who walked through some of the church's most difficult times, enduring the difficulties to build the highway for those who followed. We must also go on to our purpose and begin to fly.

True last day apostles and prophets are now maturing and will start to be released throughout the earth over the next few years. The witness of the Holy Spirit through the church will increase until it is impossible to escape this witness in any place on the earth that Jesus Christ is the Lord. The Lord is soon coming back to possess what He purchased on the cross. A great army is being raised up to prepare the way for Him.

True Riches to Come

The currency of the age to come is the true riches of the Kingdom. These true riches are the authority over the conditions of this age. This authority will be given to the faithful who have built their lives seeking first the Kingdom. The Lord is at this time preparing messengers who will be entrusted with more power than has ever been witnessed on the earth before.

These are the times that even the prophets of old desired to see, and to be chosen to live and serve in them is one of the great honors that Heaven can bestow. These are the times that those who live for God have dreamed about. Let us not waste this greatest of all privileges, but resolve to give ourselves to this great cause with the devotion that it deserves.

Church life itself will become so radically different than it has been, having broken out of the cocoon of being reduced to a couple of meetings and a few hours a week, to being a living, functioning body of Christ twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. "Church" will begin breaking out in every place that you find people.

Likewise, the Lord is raising up those who will be apostles and prophets to industry, education, the media, and government. These apostles and prophets are the surveyors and engineers who are now preparing for highways to be built into these realms. Many will be possessed for the Kingdom and become a foundation for the coming Kingdom to be built upon.

Unprecedented power, authority, and resources will be coming into the church as she begins to take on her true calling and purpose, having been transformed from the worm into the glorious Heavenly creature she is called to be.

This transformation of the church is going to begin with many who will not wait for the church before making their own transformation. Just as the breakthrough created by Gideon's little band of three hundred woke the whole nation up to finish off their enemies and take the spoil, breakthroughs by a few will result in glorious victories for many.

Light and Darkness

For the unbelieving and unfaithful, the times that are unfolding will not be a dream, but a nightmare. We are entering the time of increasingly devastating disasters--human, political, and natural. This is the time that was spoken of in Hebrews 12:26-27, "And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, YET ONCE MORE WILL I SHAKE NOT ONLY THE EARTH, BUT ALSO THE HEAVEN.'" And this expression, "Yet once more," denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, in order that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.

In the time ahead, everything, including every government, industry, business, organization, and individual life that is not built upon Kingdom principles, will be shaken until it totters and ultimately collapses. By the grace and mercy of God, this will come in increasing waves, giving all time to repent before the next, bigger wave comes. The Lord is being faithful to warn all who will hear His voice.

Acts of Man

The unrepentant blame God for every bad thing that happens. Even the insurance companies call tragedies "acts of God." However, most of what is coming upon the world is man's doing, not God's. The reason for the great time of trouble, or the great tribulation that is at the end of the age, is found in Galatians 6:7-8, "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh shall from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit shall from the Spirit reap eternal life."
 

Even many of the things that are considered "natural disasters" are the result of man, who was given authority over the earth, being in rebellion, and therefore out of harmony with the Creator and the creation. This is not God doing it, but man bringing it upon himself.

At the same time that the seeds of trouble are being reaped, so are the seeds of the Kingdom maturing. In the midst of the increasing instability and shaking, there will emerge realms of stability and peace such as the world has not seen since the Fall.

This is articulated in the verses that follow, Galatians 6:8-10, "For the one who sows to his own flesh shall from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit shall from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all men, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith."

It is for this reason that disaster response and relief will become one of the most important mission fields of the church in the future. This is a calling upon the church, and our response to it, that will determine to a large degree how much of the currency of the Kingdom we will be entrusted with. Now is the time to prepare for this.

Sow Mercy and Reap Mercy

We need to also underline in our thinking the command, "while we have opportunity, let us do good to all men, and especially those who are of the household of faith." Let us never forget that God loves all, and as we are told in I Timothy 2:3-6, "This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony borne at the proper time."

As troubles increase, we must not take the position and mentality that people are just getting what they deserve. Which one of us wants what we deserve? "...Mercy triumphs over judgment" (James 2:13). As we are told in Romans 2:4, "Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?" The kindness of God demonstrated through His people during the coming troubles will lead many to repentance.

In the coming times of trouble, we must fortify ourselves, not just for the sake of our own safety and preservation, but for showing and extending the grace, mercy, and kindness of God. Because we, too, will reap what we sow. If we want to reap grace, we need to sow grace. If we want to reap mercy, we need to sow mercy. The wise will do this every chance that they get.

As the Lord said in Matthew 13:39, "...the harvest is the end of the age...." The harvest that is the end of the age is the reaping of everything that has been sown in man, both the good and the evil. The great troubles are the reaping of what man has sown by trying to live and rule without God. For all of eternity, what has taken place on the earth will be a witness to all of creation that this should never be tried again.

There has also been much good sown in man, even the seed that brought forth Christ, and seeds whose fruit will give birth to His Kingdom. These, too, will become increasingly manifest. For this reason, we will see an increasing polarization. The righteous will become more righteous, and the evil will likewise increase.

Nations Will Come to Your Light

This is the ultimate conflict between the light and darkness that is prophesied in such places as Isaiah 60:1-2, "Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For behold, darkness will cover the earth, and deep darkness the peoples, but the Lord will rise upon you, and His glory will appear upon you."

As we see here that darkness is covering the earth, and deep darkness the peoples, the glory of the Lord is rising upon His people, and appearing upon them. This appearing of His glory will be a literal, visible glory that begins to appear on His people. The result of this is stated in the following verses, Isaiah 60:3-5:

"And nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising. Lift up your eyes round about, and see; they all gather together, they come to you. Your sons will come from afar, and your daughters will be carried in the arms.

Then you will see and be radiant, and your heart will thrill and rejoice; because the abundance of the sea will be turned to you, the wealth of the nations will come to you."