We are at the most amazing crossroads in history. The “church age” is passing away as a much better age is about to be ushered in. It will be the age of Christ ruling on the earth as He has been in the earth of many individuals. This change of ages is a birthing process. It is very painful, but also very exciting. Old things will pass away but all things will become new.
Look back to when Israel was born as a nation. There was a change of government. The Egyptian economy, food supply, military, and government were all destroyed. But the downtrodden were set free…free to begin a totally new way of life. And it was all because of the Passover Lamb. A new type of government was established and God’s Word was the new Law. This birthing of God’s people in the Word was very painful but also very exciting. Old things passed away. All things became new.
That age of the Word (Law) ended when Jesus rose from the dead. He was the fulfillment of the Law. He had internalized the Word and it was Him. This was a work of the Holy Spirit. Then He sent the Holy Spirit to fill other people so that the work could be done in them as well. It began the age of “grace & truth”. It was what we think of as the “church age”. It was the age of the Spirit. But really it was the age of the Word and Spirit. It is just that the Word was no longer worked out by the letter. That witness of God was dying. But it was being raised up within a new people. It was now worked out by the Spirit. The birthing of God’s people in the Spirit was very painful but also very exciting. Old things passed away. All things became new.
Now the age of the Word & Spirit is ending. These two witnesses of God are dying. But they are being raised up within a new people. The new age coming forth is the age of Christ. The Word & the Spirit are coming into the full stature of Christ. The new government shall be upon their shoulders for they are the Body of Christ, (Isaih 9:6). The Word and the Spirit are being worked out in Christ. Each age is a greater display of the power and love of God (in the earth…in a people) than the previous age. This birthing is painful but also is very exciting. The birth pangs are becoming more frequent and more intense. There will be a radically new government. It will be Christ the Head and Christ the Body, (Revelation 14:1). This time ALL the governments of the world will crumble to be replaced by God’s government in Christ, (Daniel 2:44,45). Old things are passing away and all things are becoming new, (2Corinthians 5:17).
We don’t know much about how things will be any more than the Israelites could guess what was ahead for them as they saw Egypt begin to collapse all around them. We don’t know much about how our lives will shift than the early believers knew as the Holy Spirit spread throughout the earth. But we do know there is dramatic change for us just around the corner. And we do know that when the dust settles, the power and love of God will be more prevalent than ever and will be seen everywhere, (Habakkuk 2:14).
So how does one prepare for such startling changes in the natural? Should we be stocking up on food? I will share with you what the Lord has spoken to me.
Over 30 years ago my wife (Beth) and I were living off the land. Our one-room log cabin was a mile back in a forest that we owned. There were no power lines, public roads, or houses in that space. We knew then that changes were ahead and we were prepared for them…at least in our carnal minds we thought that we were. Then I had a dream that the time of this change was fast approaching. From the dream I realized that we were not as prepared as I thought we were. This dream propelled me to earnestly seek the Lord as to how we were to prepare.
This is what the Holy Spirit spoke to me. “Prepare as a squirrell does for winter. But instead of gathering food, gather the Word in your heart.” As I prayed over this I understood that the Holy Spirit brings all things to remembrance, (John 14:26). It would be easier to be guided along in the Spirit if there were more for the Spirit to draw from in my heart. So I memorized scripture verses and passages…eventually over 200 of them!
Today the log cabin is gone. Our food storage building burnt to the ground. Beth passed away. I have moved twice and married twice since then. I had two more career changes and am now retired. As one gets older they have a clearer sense of the vanity of life here in the natural realm. My walk in the Lord however is far deeper than it was back then. I feel more life within and more purpose and more destiny…all because of Jesus…all in Him…and Him in me.
Then recently the Holy Spirit spoke to me again about preparing for the uncertainty of what lies ahead. What I heard is that there are two things necessary to survive the coming days:
first… to stay in His rest, and
second… to be able to hear His voice.
I would like to say that I’m a pro at both of them, but I’m still in a process of growth.
Both of these things require a walk of repentance, humblenesss, thankfulness, trusting, yielding, and obedience…a daily walk that includes crying out to God…a love for the Lord for which nothing else competes.
Jesus is our example and the Holy Spirit is our guide. He knew his Father’s voice. He walked in the Spirit and knew what it was that His Father wanted him to do. That is all He needed to know. He was facing a time of great trouble. He stayed in the Father’s rest when He saw the cross ahead of him. We are to do the same when a cross looms in our path.
His security was in his Father. He could trust the Father no matter what. He knew that the Father would work all things to the best. He knew that there would be joy beyond the cross, (Hebrews 12:2). He did not try to escape, run away, talk his way out of it, justify himself before Pontius Pilate, complain, defend Himself, get angry, or feel sorry for himself. He knew that the cross was the purpose for His life.
He knew that the cross was his destiny. The Jonathan Mitchell translation makes it clear in John 19:30 that when Jesus cried out, “It is finished”, Jesus was stating that this was His destiny, the goal of His life which was then accomplished. This is further supported by Matthew 27:46 in George Lamsa’s translation from the Aramaic. Lamsa’s translation of “…my God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me!” is more correctly translated that it was for that event that his life had been spared for that day so that he could fulfill his destiny (as the perfect Passover Lamb, slain on the day of Passover).
Life is found in Christ. It is found in hearing and obeying the Father. It is in doing what He wants us to do that we find life. In seeking to save your (natural) life you will lose the real life (spiritual) that was your destiny in Christ. And in losing your life for His sake you will find it, (Matthew 16:25). Unless He is building the house, the labor is in vain, (Psalm 127:1).
Preparing in the natural for what lies ahead in the transition of ages is like building a dingy in Noah’s day because you know a flood is coming. Catastrophic events will be necessary to tear down all of the kingdoms of Adam. They will also be of great importance in helping God’s people to reevaluate their priorities and to draw close to God that God may draw close to them, (James 4:8).
So what about storing food and having guns? My opinion doesn’t matter…only what God directs. That is what I’ve shared with you…what He has shared with me. Do whatever God directs you to do. If He directs you to not do something, then don’t. If you don’t know what to do, then call out to God to show you. Move in faith, not in fear. Be thankful in all things.
Remember that there was a time to buy a sword, and a time to lay a sword down. There was a time to take a walking stick and a time to not take one. Everything is beautiful in its time, (Ecclesiastes 3:11). Some are called to things differently than you are. It is only by the Word and the Spirit that you can know what He is wanting to you to do each day. Meanwhile don’t lose site of the big picture. God is in control. He is unfolding a glorious plan. We are in the midst of the transition into a better age. Seek to be found in Him. He is our ark. Old things are passing away. All things are becoming new, (2Corinthians 5:17).