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“I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power. Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ, and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for AGES PAST was kept hidden in God, who created all things. His intent was that now, THROUGH THE CHURCH, the MANIFOLD WISDOM of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, ACCORDING TO HIS ETERNAL PURPOSE that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Ephesians 3:7-11
Those of us who are blessed to be at the precipice of this new millennium are once again hearing the voice of God’s spirit guiding and directing us, revealing his continual plan and purpose for the Church. God would not allow His Church to begin this new age without giving us the understanding necessary to move forward by His Spirit.
On Sunday, December 13, 1998, the Spirit of the Lord woke me around 4:00 AM, and placed a new and fresh word in me that has totally revolutionized my life, ministry, and perspective on God’s Kingdom, Power, and Glory! The word centered on the changes that would take place in the Church in this New Age:
“The Church has come through the Age of Power with all its accompanying manifestations and now is about to enter her Age of Glory!”
At that time, this was an extremely foreign concept to me. For 40-plus years of ministry, I accepted without question the idea that the church was weak, anemic and backslidden. Her only hope was for the Lord to come and snatch her away from every diabolical plot of Satan. Compelled to research what I knew God was speaking to my spirit, I began searching the scriptures through this new prism of understanding and I saw the church in a new and glorious way! I saw her fulfilling her God-created divine purpose and walking in His authority and power. She was a glorious visual representation of His glory on the earth!
In order to understand what God is doing now, the Lord showed me that he has revealed his plan in three distinctive, yet indivisible phases: the Kingdom Phase, the Power Phase, and now the Glory Phase. These are not exclusive or separate from one another, for it is all one great Church Age.
Phase One: The Kingdom Age
The First Millennium Church was instrumental in the initiation and establishment of the Kingdom of God on the Earth. From the spectacular beginning on the Day of Pentecost, to its acknowledgment as the official religion of the Roman Empire in AD 325, the emphasis of church leaders was the recognition of Christ’s Eternal Kingdom!
Phase Two: The Power Age
Following centuries of apostasy, the Reformation of the Church began. There was a new emphasis on the power of the Holy Spirit being capable of operating in individual lives. With this phase came a restoration of cardinal doctrines previously neglected or even abandoned by church leaders (justification by faith alone, baptism in water, personal sanctification, etc.). The hallmark of this phase was a manifestation of the Holy Spirit in the form of healing, Baptism of the Holy Spirit and the operation of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. This move touched each individual and filtered through every denomination, bringing restoration of faith and truth, and a re-activation of the biblical manifestations of prophetic worship and celebratory praise!
Phase Three: The Age of Glory
We stand on the precipice of a new millennium and it appears that the Church is now moving into the Glory Phase! In this phase, I believe there are going to be earthshaking events that are part of a transitional period (i.e. politically, economically), as well as unprecedented natural calamities, all of which God will use to purify a church culture that is increasingly void of spiritual and moral conviction. For many decades now, we have seen a decline of traditional religious and social values, accepting behavior previously considered sin. Many have allowed their voices to be silenced, resulting in our inability to be effective in the affairs of man. While focusing on the power of God we neglect the principles that bring its release. As a consequence, the world around us is suffering a spiritual and moral breakdown.
Every great transitional period in church history has its accompanying “baptism of fire,” which was necessary in order to ascend into a higher dimension of His glory.
As the Church begins to emerge in this age, we will see her glory become a visible reality. In the Age of Glory, the Church, the Bride of Christ will manifest not merely a reflective glory but the imparted glory of her Groom. The world will see her beauty as she bears evidence of His character and nature. Through her the world will know the splendor and majesty of her God and bring honor to His name!
“The Glory of the Church, that the new millennium will behold, will be the same glory that the disciples beheld: the glory of Jesus Christ, full of grace and truth.”