Reviewing the Church’s transition
by Isaiah-Phillips Akintola
PERSPECTIVE ON TRANSITION
It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again, and subjecting him to public disgrace. (Hebrews 6:4-6 NIV)
This scripture calls us to a crucial subject in our spiritual journey, which any serious follower of the way needs to carefully examine, as we consider how far we have come in the call from the rigorous humanistic religion system. A few months back, the Lord began to direct my heart towards the whole concept of reviewing the transition, which began in the early mid-90s. It’s been two decades now since apostolic reformation came to a general knowledge, at list in some regions of the earth. Thanks to those precious vessels who offered themselves as portals of this great outpouring.
I will not be lured into making the mistake of naming or tagging certain personalities who assumed themselves to be the custodian or birth place of this move of the Spirit because that will certainly be classified as idolatry before The Lord. It is true that The Lord uses certain prepared vessels to open the next channel of his ordained desired plan for a region, nation or generation. However, no person or ministry for that matter should dear proclaim ownership to what God initiate for his glory. John was the portal to the ministry of Christ. He however did not claim ownership to that ministry. if fact, he showed us the right attitude pattern in relation to him been the portal to the ministry of Christ. He proclaimed his diminishing for Christ ultimate exaltation.
THE TRANSITION IN REVIEW
In the last two decade, a lot has taking place in terms of the delivery and advancement of the apostolic reformation message, its extremes and misrepresentation and commoditization of the ministry by unrefined charlatan men and women in the Body of Christ. While I am not doing a full exegesis of what I may call the apostolic transition, however, I intend to touch on some vital points i felt the Holy Spirit highlighted within my spirit during the cause of reviewing this transition.
This scripture we are considering brings to light some fundamental point we should consider as safeguard to the ongoing reformation of the Church. I am grateful to be one of those whom The Lord impressed his desire to shake the very foundation and structure of the church until every iota of the old man’s strength and wisdom is completely rid of and Christ the King, finally take his place on the throne of each heart. I have had my own fare shear of the gruesome shaken.
MY OWN EXPERIENCE
The past twenty years of my life has been a season of great dealings, disappointment, discouragement, abused, confused, frustrated and even sometimes, wishing to die due to the hard pressing of the dealings of The Lord upon my flesh. On the same breath, the season has brought a depth of spiritual wisdom, development, productivity and maturity into my personal life, which I think is the core of a future ministry. Truly, the Lords burden is lite and his yoke is easy to them who submit to his ways and wisdom.
It is however important to emphasize that not everyone during the call to transit heeded the call. For those men and women who did not respond to the call to transit from their default Charismatic Pentecostal wineskin who are in are ministry today, will certainly continue to enjoy great blessing and success in their lives and ministry due to their giftedness and the preciousness of the souls under their care.
However, it is highly important we note that the third day ministry is not centered on gifts only. Gifts are designed to enhance the nature and fruit of the Spirit so we are not lacking in any way. Those who will be ministering in realm of the power of the Age to come will operate beyond the realm of giftedness or Charisma. When the very life of God is well seated in the spirit and soul of men, gifts become second nature we don’t solicit for.
These caliber of men who refuse to submit to their day of Character transformation, though are working in certain spiritual gift will however not enter certain dimensions of kingdom light. They will be limited to the ministry of the outer court as prophet Ezekiel shows us in chapter 44 of Ezekiel. Dimensions of the nature and heart of the Father will be concealed to them. Most of them might even make it to heaven but that is not a major priority in the scale of spiritual approval.
VESSELS AND THEIR FUNCTION
The word of The Lord informs us of the various qualities of vessel in the house of God. Some vessels are unto honor while others are for ignoble use. While all the vessels carry a functional place in the hands of The Lord, there are however, certain vessels designed uniquely for the master’s purpose. These are vessel unto honor as the bible described them. The purging of self-nature is what qualifies which vessel is designed for the master’s use.
And this vessel unto honor will continue to be refined and polished on a regular basis until every iota of self-dies. Having said this, those who are wise will enroll themselves in the process of transition as they read the trend of changing season.
The process of spiritual transition should not be seen to be only limited to just the corporate Church; individuals and families alike, who desire to be used of The Lord in whatever level will need to experience the pain and joy of transition so their heart can accurately align to better represent the glory of the latter house.
ABORTING THE PROCESS
Having establish this thought, I will like us to consider the state of many who began this transition initially, one’s heart get filled with sadness and disappointment due to kind of on Christ-like attitude and trend in display by these follows. These brethren who we thought had some degree of spiritual enlightenment and have tasted of the power of the ages to come, in terms of their introduction to the life and light of the kingdom of God, are now walking contrary to what the transition ought to have dealt with in them. Some have gone as far as showing symptom of an apostate state, which certainly call for great concern. Therefore, I will like us to consider this issue as we examine how far we have come in this transition.
Apostasy is not limited to an eschatological study of the end time events, It is a current ongoing reality as the gruesome drilling of the transition experience bites hard on many of us summoned to leave our fathers house unto a land He (God) will show us.
One of the core purposes of this current transition is to expose the hidden, manipulative complex layers of how the soul wants us to carry on living life and doing ministry. The ministry of the current transition is to expose us to ourselves perhaps, in the knowledge of the fear of God; we will turn our heart in repentance for these residues of the old Adamic template to be nailed to the cross.
THE PURPOSE OF TRANSITION
Transition has always been a powerful spiritual process The Lord has used from one generation to another in terms of carrying out the work of separation and preparation of those he has elected for a sacred prophetic mandate. Through the Church age, we have read of men and women The Lord led into the wilderness of refinement and purification for their assignment in the great commission.
However, not everyone who accepts the enlistment of transition had the testimony of passing the test of this divine qualification. The standard we have used through the prism of certain leaders deemed to have great success in the past have proven to have fallen short of divine requirement for the current mandate of The Lord for his people.
Therefore, The Lord called for a shaking of the foundation of what we call church, and the result of that spiritual shaken is quite evident all around today. The renovation of the house of God, which was initially accepted by many of us in the early 90s, who enjoyed a blissful season of the apostolic revelation even though we had very limited knowledge of its very intension, in terms of the complete stripping of everything we thought we had, knew or understood in regards to the purpose and function of the ecclesia.
Today, the process and burden of that transition has led many to compromise their faith and relationship with the Body of Christ as they watch everything they have built with their hand go up in the blazing flame of The Lord. The spirit of reformation that came with that apostolic message has laid a strong prophetic axe on the root of all we defined to be success and breakthrough in ministry; unfortunately, many can no longer continue on the rigorous stripping process of their transition.
The truth many never understood what it means to be called to be a servant, enrolled to minister in the Lords vineyard. Many still carry this false notion that whatever they’ve achieve in terms of ministry breakthroughs, prosperity and wealth belongs to them. Therefore, the have developed what I call self-ownership mentality ministry. The truth is, whatever The Lord gave to us must never be seen as ours; no, they belong to God. Whatever The Lord deems fit to give to us in propagation of his kingdom through our lives should never replace who seats on the throne of our hearts.
Transition season is one of the most powerful tools The Lord uses to regulate the condition of the heart, and that means, we may have be stripped of what we have come to depend and trust as our provider. Therefore, aborting the process of what qualifies you to be a vessel unto honor indeed proves the footing and agenda of many in the frontline church ministry today. Beyond this rejection of the transition, many however are falling into what seem to be an apostate state of heart.
The hardening of the heart and the rejection of certain biblical truth as part of doctrinal foundation of establishing the community of the saints is a worrying trend today. While few who shared in the prophetic apostolic release of the early 90s have made giant stride in the spirit, unfortunately, others have used it to leverage their ministry personality. The message and the grace which came with it has been personalized and commoditized, which is leading huge number of believers to fall away from the ancient path of the patriarchs.
Many churches who initially embraced the message of reformation sadly have become a cult center today where members are been initiated to a cult of methodology, personality worship or even the worship of the message itself. Rather than showing the revelational nature and culture of Christ and his kingdom to the people. To others who are still struggling to maintain their faith-walk through the little flicker of light in them, their whole experience of Christianity has tuned to more or less, dogmatic and ritualistic exercise. Their spiritual life has become like that of the Pharisee who has lost their moral and spiritual compass; therefore, the direction into the heart of the Father has been systematically truncated.
EXPOSING THE SPIRIT OF APOSTASY
There is a present call to be precisely disciple in the nature and philosophy of the kingdom of God. Many Christians have been established in the doctrine of their Churches and denominations but are clueless regarding the principles values and pattern of God’s kingdom lifestyle. And that’s the reason why the church is still very immature and divided about trivial things.
The spirit of apostasy is gaining ground in among many Christian communities today and we certainly need to expose it through an elevated knowledge and wisdom of Christ revelation and authority. Apostasy is the drifting away of the heart from a high point of spiritual truth to the lowest level of compromise, until one starts questioning basic principles, values and standards of sound biblical doctrines.
Apostasy is a falling away from relationship both with God and those who can bring correction to us, and the desire to repent is no longer found in us. When we start making excuses for our short coming and also claim to be at peace with ourselves, we have stepped into a very dangerous zone of self-delusion, which is a higher dimension of deception.
If we consider deception beyond the definition of half-truth to a position of moving from the center-point, then we shall truly guard our hearts from been lured away from the path of our transition. Transition does not do not necessary mean big revelation nor is it doing BIG things for God. It is simply moving upward in trust, faith and obedience to the will and purposes of God in every season of your life. Transition does not mean the discarding of foundational truth you learned in your outer court experience of salvation; actually, it is building on them to you can have what is known as a balanced spiritual and psychological perception of life. There are certain spiritual principles and values we will never outgrow and it think it’s important we keep those points as highwater mark within our spirit.
NOT FORGETTING BASICS IN THE TRANSITION
One of the main points among several subjects the Lord is highlighting in other to safeguard our season in the transition. issues of developing a renewed sense of zeal, a passionate hunger for the REVELATION OF THE WRITTEN WORD OF GOD, an unsatisfied drive to meditate on scripture on a regular bases; a keen interest to hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit without distortion, and a corporate sense of our connectivity as the community of Christ Body.
There is absolutely no way those on the transitional trail can step into the full scope of their ordained prophetic destiny without an habitual template of seeking to be one with the Spirit of God’s word. It was reveal to me some time ago how many have become disillusioned regarding the whole process of this ongoing transition. While many in the current apostolic move are parroting a so-called revelational message that is yet to transform them to the place of total conformity to the very nature of Christ, Others, regrettably have fallen back to their old Pentecostal default ‘bless and protect me’ message.
JESUS, OUR PATTERN
scripture reveals to us how Jesus of Nazareth, born by ordinary human, maintained a consistent obedience in his spiritual lifestyle, as part of the virtue needed in preparation of getting acquainted with the nature and life that will afford to fully express the will of his heavenly Father at every injunction. Growing daily in the knowledge of the revelation of his Father, as preparative ground was something Jesus learned to do as concept of transition to the place of maturity and full representation. Jesus knew that becoming what the Spirit designed him for was not going to happen by mere declaration of a gospel his inner most being was not confirmed to. He clearly understood that prioritizing time in seeking to hear, know and precisely understand the demand of the Father is not negotiable if he must live in that constant state of pleasing him.
Consolidating on what the latter rain Pentecostal charismatic move restored to the Church is crucially important if we are going to precisely move unto the day next of perfection. We need not to forget that the journey into the holiest of all is through the outer court and the inner court. The experience of both the outer and inner court spirituality are designed to prepare the ground for what we are about to see, hear and become in this third day.
This systematic concept of the Father introducing himself and his glory to us is a way of calling us to maturity. However, forgetting to inculcate what we have learned in terms of the principles and values these two orders restored to the community life of the church, will be highly detrimental to the full formation of the culture and philosophy of Christ and his kingdom within our hearts.
While the point I am trying to convey might sound very elementary to some Christians, it is however important that we should note that millions of church goers in certain regions are yet to be introduced to what can be referred to as John’s baptism not to talk of coming into the reality of Christ baptism. it is also a fact that those who today claimed to have been (baptized) introduced to what is today known as ‘prophetic apostolic reformation’ have dramatically drifted away from the core values of the faith. Extra-biblical doctrines have set into many communities in the of ‘ kingdom revelation’.
COMPONENT OF SPIRITUAL MATURITY
Spiritual development and maturity starts with a keen continual sense of relationship and obedience to the voice of the Holy Spirit who will subsequently introduce us to the prophetic requirement and standard of the Lord for each new season in the migration. Knowing and growing in the knowledge of the ministry of the Spirit of truth is a continual experience that paves the way for greater revelational knowledge of Christ and his kingdom. As we track the current demand of the Lord in terms of the ongoing transition of the Church to that place of perfected maturity, everyone must reexamine the condition of the relationship with the Lord and his Body-the Church. Whatever will be taking place as part of kingdom initiative will have to start with the correctness and reconfiguration of the human Spirit, So, let’s aim to finish well so we can be commended by The Lord.