A Fundamental Shift
Posted by appolus on December 24, 2013
There is a fundamental shift taking place in our world. God is preparing His children for a paradigm shift in attitude towards them. For many generations in the west there has been a general accepting attitude of Christianity.
And He said to them, When I sent you without purse and wallet and sandals, did you lack anything? And they said, Nothing.And He said to them, But now, he who has a purse, let him take it, and likewise his wallet. And he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one. Luk 22:35-36
When Jesus sent out His Disciples by twos, they encountered many blessings and walked in the miraculous. So much so that Jesus had to remind them sternly that they were not to rejoice in the fact that they had power over demons or signs and wonders but they were to rejoice in their salvation, a fact lost on many today. Salvation is always the focus of those who truly follow Jesus. Now in Luke 22 we see Jesus preparing His disciples for a sea change in attitude towards them. No longer would they find a warm and accepting attitude towards them, in fact quite the opposite.
Now why was this? Well Jesus was about to suffer and die. The battle was about to intensify. Death and hell was about to suffer its ultimate defeat. That was the spiritual battle and we are facing the same battle today. Jesus is coming back. He is at the door. The enemy knows that His time is short and he is gathering all the forces of hell for his last great battle. We are now living in the relative calm before the storm here in the west. In the rest of the world the battle is already raging and our brothers and sisters are being slaughtered and persecuted.
Now why did the people’s attitude towards the disciples change and what can we learn from that today? Well up until Jesus reveals His true purpose here on earth, the general population of Israel had always believed that when Messiah came He would restore Israel to its rightful place. He would establish Gods Kingdom here on earth and they would be the rulers of it and the Romans would be destroyed, their oppressors would be judged and defeated. And along comes Jesus and he walks in the miraculous power that only God could walk in. He heals the sick and He delivers the demon possessed. He speaks with a wisdom and authority that could only be of God. The people rejoice in Him, and would even make Him their King. We witness that as He rode into Jerusalem on a donkey.
Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did.But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man. Joh 2:23-25
What did Jesus know? Why would Jesus not commit Himself to these ” believers?’ What was in these men that was diametrically opposed to Jesus even although they openly believed in Him? He knew that once they found out that He had come to suffer and die that they would reject that message. Everything was great while He healed them and delivered them and fed them and gave them insight into heavenly things, yet when he revealed that He had come to suffer and die, in fulfilment of Isa 53, they not only rejected Him, they were the ones who cried out for His blood. An insight into this can be seen in one of the chief Apostles, Peter.
From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. Then Peter took Him and began to rebuke Him, saying, God be gracious to You, Lord! This shall never be to You. But He turned and said to Peter, Go, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you do not savor the things that are of God, but those that are of men.Then Jesus said to His disciples, If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.For whoever desires to save his life shall lose it, and whoever desires to lose his life for My sake shall find it. Mat 16:20-25
Brothers and sisters we live in a day and age where the notion of suffering for His sake has become repulsive. We live in a day and age in the west where most profess to be believers. We have already seen that Jesus refused to commit Himself to believers who only followed Him because of the miracles that they saw and for what they could get from Him. Jesus was and is looking for a people who would take up their cross and follow after Him and join Him in His sufferings and death. We are soon to see this fundamental shift in Christendom. The majority, who in one fashion or another have been and seek to live their best lives now, will react just as Peter reacted, just as the “believers,” of Jesus day reacted, they will soundly reject any notion of suffering for the sake of Jesus and then they will turn on those who do embrace it.
Persecution is coming. Jesus is coming. The majority will reject the true calling of Christianity. It will be repulsive to them. They will turn on those who embrace the true Christ and who follow the narrow path. Yet for those who embrace the cross, the narrow path, who follow Jesus they will be empowered from on high. He equips those He calls. He does not leave nor forsake His children. God will pour out His Spirit upon His children and they will walk in His power. And so the question becomes ” why are you following Jesus?’ The dividing line will be between those who mind the things of men and those who mind the things of God. God is revealing to His people all over the world that they must suffer for His sake. To those of us in the West, this is a fundamental shift. How shall we react? God knows what is in a man. He is shaking everything that can be shaken. He is sifting ” believers,” prior to His coming. There can be no middle ground, no neutrality. You cannot have one foot in the world and one foot in His Kingdom. You will either love the brethren and take your place with them as they suffer for His sake or you will call for their blood. It is coming brothers and sister. It is time to embrace the cross. Those who do will walk in resurrection power, the power of the Living God. Those who do not will become enemies of God and His people.