In Its Finest Hour
End Time Overcomers
This Web site is dedicated to the Church - in its Finest Hour
In the beginning, God created all there is. Then he created mankind for which everything else was made. Also, in the beginning, God knew that, one day, his only begotten son, Jesus the Christ, would create a body of believers to be faithful to him and to his son - and that body of believers would be called "The Church." Some say the early days of the Church were its finest hour; but I believe the finest hour for those "which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ" (Rev. 12:17) is yet to come. When Jesus was on earth, he walked with his disciples and taught them many things. He healed the sick, cast out devils, fed the multitudes, and raised the dead to life. After his ascension to heaven in a cloud, the disciples were "endued with power from on high" (Luke 24:49). Because of that power from on high, in the early days of the Church, Peter preached "and the same day there were added unto them (the Church) about three thousand souls" (Acts 2:41). Peter and John healed a lame man at the "gate of the temple" (Acts 3:2-8). Philip cast out "unclean spirits" and healed many "that were lame" (Acts 8:7) and later was transported by the Spirit of God some fifteen (15) miles or so (Acts 8:39-40). Peter healed a sick man (Acts 9:33-34), raised a dead woman to life (Acts 9:37-40), and was released from prison by an angel (Acts 12:7-9). The Gospel was taken to the Gentiles (Acts 13:46 and more). Paul raised a young man from death to life (Acts 20:9-10), was bitten by a poisonous snake and lived (Acts 28:3-5), and healed the sick (Acts 28:8-9). How much "finer" can it get? How much greater can it possibly be than to walk with our Lord, hear his teach, see the miracles he performed - and then to emulate that power with healings and more? Personally, I can't imagine the joy in being able to sit at the feet of Jesus and hear the wonderful truths come from his mouth; then see him raise someone from the dead or feed a multitude of tired, hungry folks. But, still, the Church's finest hour is yet to come! Jesus said, "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do" (John 14:12). An Old Testament prophet Isaiah, speaking of the Church in the End Time as "the branch of the Lord" said, "In that day shall the branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious" (Isa. 4:2). And another Old Testament prophet, speaking more directly to the point, said, "The people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits" (Dan. 11:32). And, also speaking of God's people in the End Time, the Old Testament prophet Joel said, "They shall run like mighty men; they shall climb the wall like men of war; and they shall march every one on his ways, and they shall not break their ranks. The Lord shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great. He is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the Lord is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?" (Joel 2:7 & 11). These scriptures - and more - clearly indicate that the power and authority originally given to the Church will be restored in the End Time when God will pour out the former rain and the latter rain on his people. The prophet Joel said, "Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God; for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain and the latter rain in the first month" (Joel 2:23). The former rain was given "moderately" on the Day of Pentecost when the disciples were "endured with power from on high." Peter verified that fact when he said, "This is that which was spoken of by the prophet Joel... I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh... and I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath" (Acts 2:16 & 19). The latter rain is yet to come; and when it comes, as the prophet Joel said above, the Church will receive a double portion: "the former rain and the latter rain in the first month." The gifts of the Spirit originally given to the Church - and seemingly lost down through the years - will be restored in double measure. The Church will truly be that Army of God that "shall not break their ranks." Two Old Testament prophets tell us, "It shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills" (Isa. 2:2; Micah 4:1). The glory of the latter house of the Lord - the people upon which the double portion of God's Spirit will be poured out - will be greater than that of the former house. In the End Time, God will demonstrate "greater works" through the Church than seen at any former time. The Church will truly "do exploits" as it stands against the evil of the day. History shows that the Church grows stronger during times of tribulation and persecution. Jesus said there will come a time of "great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be" (Matt. 24:21). During that time of Tribulation, the Antichrist will "make war with the saints" (Dan. 7:21; Rev. 13:7) - "and some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed" (Dan. 11:35). The saints of God in that time will receive a double portion of God's Spirit - and, in that time "of great tribulation," they will have "washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb" (Rev. 7:14). The Church will be strengthened in tribulation by the Spirit of Christ; and when "his wife (the Church) hath made herself ready... to her (will be) granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints" (Rev. 19:7-8). When Jesus was on earth, he rejected the demands of Satan to be worshipped by him with the words, "Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve" (Luke 4:8). During the Tribulation of the End Time, it will be our turn. It will be up to the Church, guided and strengthened by the Spirit of the Lord,to reject the demands of Satan - through his right hand man on earth, the Antichrist - to worship him: to get "the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name" (Rev. 15:2). That will be the finest hour for the Church on earth.
"As we march o'er the land, this obeying God's command,
He will come and will show us all the way.
Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord, for he is the Holy Word,
Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord every day."
[Words from a long-ago song]
We Need Prophets!
by A.W. Tozer
[From: "Of God and Men"]
A prophet is one who knows his times; and what God is trying to say to the people of his times. Today, we need prophetic preachers; not preachers of prophecy merely, but preachers with a gift of prophecy. The "Word of Wisdom" is missing. We need the gift of discernment again in our pulpits. It is not the ability to predict that we need - but the anointed eye - the power of spiritual penetration and interpretation, the ability to appraise the religious scene as viewed from God's position; and to tell us actually what is going on. Where is the man who can see through the ticker tape and confetti to discover which way the parade is heading, why it started in the first place, and particularly, who is riding up front in the seat of honor? What is needed desperately today is prophetic insight. Scholars can interpret the past - it takes prophets to interpret the present. Learning will enable a man to pass judgment on our yesterdays, but it requires a gift of clear seeing to pass sentence on our own day. One hundred years from now (if time goes on that long), historians will know what was taking place religiously in this year of our Lord; but that will be too late for us. We should know right now! If Christianity is to receive a rejuvenation, it must be by other means than any now being used. If the church in this day and time is to recover from the injuries she has suffered in earlier times, there must appear a new type of preacher. The proper, ruler-of-the-synagogue type will never do. Neither will the priestly type of man who carries out his duties, takes his pay, and asks no questions, nor the smooth-talking pastoral type who knows how to make the Christian religion acceptable to everyone. All these have been tried and found wanting. Another kind of religious leader must arise among us. He must be of the old prophet type, a man who has seen visions of God, and has heard a voice from the Throne. When he comes (and I pray to God there will be not one, but many), he will stand in flat contradiction to everything our smirking, smooth civilization holds dear. He wil contradict, denounce, and protest in the name of God - and will earn the hatred and opposition of a large segment of Christiandom. Such a man is likely to be lean, rugged, blunt-spoken; and a little bit angry with the world. He will love Christ and the souls of men to the point of willingness to die for the glory of the one - and the salvation of the other. But he will fear nothing that breathes with mortal breath. We nedd to have the gifts of the Spirit restored again tothe church; and it is my belief that the one gift we need most now is the gift of prophecy.
The "New" Evangelism
by A.W. Tozer
The "new" cross encourages a new and entirely different evangelistic approach. The evangelist does not demand abnegation of the old life before a new life can be received. He preaches not contrasts, but similarities. He seeks to key into public interest by showing that Christianity makes no unpleasant demands; rather, it offers the same thing the world does, only on a higher level. Whatever the sin-mad world happens to be clamoring after at the moment is cleverly shown to be the very thing the gospel offers, only the religious product is better... That evangelism which draws friendly parallels between the ways of God and the ways of man is false to the Bible and cruel to the souls of its hearers. The faith of Christ does not parallel the world, it intersects it. In coming to Christ, we do not bring our old life up onto a higher plane; we leave it at the cross. The corn of wheat must fall into the ground and die. We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, or the world of sports, or modern education. We are not diplomats, but prophets; and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatim. God offers life, but not an improved old life. The life he offers is life out of death. It stands always on the far side of the cross. Whoever would possess it must pass under the rod. He must repudiate himself and concur in God's just sentence against him. What does this mean to the individual - the condemned man who would find life in Jesus Christ? He must forsake his sins and then go on to forsake himself. Let him cover nothing, defend nothing,excuse nothing. Let him not seek to make terms with God; but let him bow his head before the stroke of God's stern displeasure and acknowledge himself worthy to die. The cross that ended the earthly life of Jesus now puts an end to the sinner; and the power that raised Christ from the dead now raises him to a new life along with Christ. To any who may object to this - or count it merely a narrow and private view of truth - let me say that God has set his hallmark of approval upon this message from Paul's day to the present. Whether stated in these exact words or not, this has been the content of all preaching that has brought life and power to the world through the centuries. The mystics, the reformers, the revivalists have put their emphasis here; and signs and wonders - and mighty operations of the Holy Ghost gave witness to God's approval. Dare we, the heirs of such a legacy of power, tamper with the truth? Dare we - with our stubby pencils - erase the lines of the blueprint or alter the pattern shown us on the Mount? May God forbid!! Let us preach the old cross - and we will know the old power!