1 Peter 2:9-10 – “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.” NKJV
Without getting too detailed, the Greek word for out is “ek” and the word translated called is “kalesantos”. The Greeks put them together to form another word “ekklesia” which means, CALLED OUT and refers to an assembly or gathering of people that has been called together. That is the Church. In Matthew 16:18, Jesus spoke to Peter and said, “…on this rock I will build My church…” We, believers, are the “called out” or CHURCH of Jesus Christ. But what do we see or think when we say the word Church? When we hear the word Church what is the mental imagery or descriptive term that comes to mind? I believe that is important.
When we talk about the FUNCTION of the Church we refer to it as a Body. When we talk about responding to God in praise and worship we call it a Temple. When we focus on fellowship and relationships within the Church local we call ourselves a Family. If we speak of the Church as it relates to God’s Government and Kingdom we call it a Nation or a Holy Nation. When we focus on our tenets or beliefs we call it the Household of Faith. When we speak of the spiritual battles we encounter we call ourselves an Army. Therefore, what we see or think when we say Church is important. It identifies Focus, Function, Ministry and Purpose.
The Old Testament Prophets spoke boldly regarding the conditions of our generation. Their prophetic utterances often addressed the circumstances or conditions of our lives as this particular moment in time. There is an incredible declaration found in Amos 3:7 which tells us that God will do nothing that He does not first reveal to His prophets. That would indicate it is important for us to grasp what the prophets have declared and follow the directions given by the Holy Spirit through them.
- Micah’s cry was for Justice and Mercy and continually urged God’s people to pay careful attention to the Will of God.
- Zephaniah’s prophetic message was Restoration and a Pure Language [Zephaniah 3:9]. Remember God’s action at the tower of Babel and the confusion of the languages. This prophet spoke of a time when God’s people would hear a PURE SOUND that they would recognize, know and understand.
- Haggai called God’s covenant people His Signet Ring, His Standard, and His Witness to mankind. [Haggai 2:23]
- Zechariah foretold a time when the nations would come to the Anointed Places of Worship. [Zechariah 1:14-17; 2:11]
- Habakkuk instructed us to write the vision and publish it. [Habakkuk 2:2]
- Malachi gave details on how to finance God’s Plan. [Malachi 3:8-12]. Then he prophesied of Family Restoration both natural and spiritual. [Malachi 4:6]
Those are just a few of the prophet directives from the ancient prophets. The prophets Joel and Ezekiel had a message that was somewhat different. Joel warned of War [Joel 3:9]. Of all the Old Testament prophets Joel saw most clearly the connection between a spiritual outpouring from God and the power to wage war against evil on the earth. Joel’s prophecy spoke of the releasing of the Holy Spirit powerfully upon all flesh enabling God’s people to both prophesy and wage spiritual warfare. Ezekiel saw a spiritual army [Ezekiel 37]. It is my conviction that God is raising up an Army of spiritual warriors in our time and as we near the end it will become more powerful and numerous. Both Joel and Ezekiel envisioned a time when God’s Church would both HEAR God and wage Warfare with HIS WORD. They spoke of and foresaw an Army that was Mighty and Victorious in Battle. If we need anything today it is for the Church to become the Army of God and pull down strongholds.
May the Lord help us to hear and heed the voice of the prophets and make ourselves available to the Holy Spirit as soldiers in the Army of the Lord in this generation! Blessings as you go through this wonderful day!