I wanted to write and share with you something the Lord continues to bring before me concerning the season we are entering into as a church body. It has been not uncommon to hear for centuries declare that we are in the last days, and that we should be watchful for the imminent return of Christ. This is true, for a day with the Lord is a 1000 years. However, there is an aspect of this revelation that has been left out, which provides us a more definite understanding of the season and time we are now living. Specifically, Jesus identified a certain happening that must occur before the end will come. Contrary to popular belief, it is not when we see wars, rumors of war, pestilence, earthquakes and disasters in diverse places. Jesus points out that these are only “signs”, “but the end is not yet’, and these are merely “the beginning of sorrows” (Mt.24: 6-8). However, Jesus does provide the event that will toll the bell, that the end is upon us, when He said:
“And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come” (Mt. 24:14).
The revelation and declaration of the Kingdom to all the world as a witness is necessary before He can return. The word witness is of great importance in understanding the shift that will take place. Up until now, the church has taken to the world, the gospel of salvation, which is premised on the subjective acceptance and confession of Jesus as the personal Lord and Savior. This created a culture of closet Christian who view their assurance and security in Christ as their objective, with a future hope of a spiritual heaven to which we escape the cares of this world. There is little if any emphasis of the necessity of manifesting our sonship and the power of God in their own lives, which has resulted in a body of believers whose lives objectively have not changed and differ very little from those who are not saved. As a result, many believers are fainting and even falling away from the faith! This was and is not God’s will! This paradigm is diametrically opposed to the command given by Jesus to the church to not only save the sinner but take His Kingdom (i.e. God’s Rule) into all the world, followed by evidence and demonstration of the presence of a Greater One and His Kingdom.
To accomplish this God has once again initiated a “shift” in the church, back to the paradigm the early church operated under, by which it is said they turned the known world upside down! We like Paul, must realize that we are presented with a generation that requires evidence and demonstration of God’s power, to differentiate Him from all the other alternatives presented them. As Paul declared that he was determined that men’s faith would not rest in enticing words or the wisdom of men, but in the demonstration of the Spirit and power of God, for the Kingdom of God is not in word only, but in power! (1Co.2:4-5; 4:20). This will involve a fundamental transformation and transition of the church in its identity, mode of operation and perspective of its purpose. What used to work, will no longer be effective. There will be an increase in supernatural manifestations, uncommon favor and access to those who embrace this shift, due to the need to transfer the world’s wealth into the Kingdom for its advancement and presentation of a witness that the world can understand. We have taken a spiritual message to a spiritually dead world, to whom such things are foolishness (1Co.2:14), and as a result we have over time lost influence in our communities, governments and nations. The shift from a Salvation Paradigm to a Kingdom Paradigm, will include the internal work of the Salvation Paradigm, but will also include the believers’ assignment to take a witness to the world that God is alive and His Kingdom is here!
I will be providing more insight into this shift in paradigm and what it means to the individual believer and the corporate body as well!
Until then, blessings!
Dr. J.C. Matthews