June 6, 2013 – Allen and Diane Lake
Just the Right Time
There’s a sense in the spiritual realm right now of things coming together at the right time. I have heard the Lord speak of this in some form or another at least four times in the last several weeks.
In order for the Lord to return, certain things need to happen according to scripture. We know the gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world, and we will see the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of our Lord and His Christ (Matt. 24:14; Rev. 11:15).
We also know Christ’s bride (the church) will arise strong and victorious, having made herself ready (Eph. 5:27; Rev. 19:7). And scripture shows that before the Lord’s return we will see a worldwide harvest on a massive scale ushered in by the Spirit – commonly referred to as the “end time harvest” (Joel 3:12-13; Rev. 14:14-16).
Jesus often taught using principles of planting and harvest, providing insight into what these cycles mean. Spiritual harvest usually refers to men’s souls or the reward that the laborer will see.
The believer, much like a farmer, must be faithful to the work that is needed and wait patiently for elements he can’t control. The farmer knows his faithful labor combined with the sun and the rain allows him to reap what has been prepared at “just the right time.”
Acts chapter 3 contains a fascinating story of a beggar who was healed by the apostle Peter. This man was lame and carried daily to beg by the temple gate called Beautiful. It’s apparent that Jesus must have passed by this beggar many times, but He never called him forth to be healed. Yet when Peter and John passed by and the beggar asked them for money, Peter responded by taking him by the hand, and he was instantly made whole. (vs. 7, 8)
The prophetic insight found in this story is intriguing. We know that Jesus healed all those who asked, and also that He moved in accordance with what He heard the Father say and do (John 5:19, 14:10). It follows, then, that He did not move to heal this man because He did not hear the Father release Him to do so. I believe that Jesus did not heal the beggar because it was not the appointed time, according to God’s larger and greater plan.
The word “Beautiful” (which the temple gate was called where the beggar lay) does not mean beautiful in the sense of pleasing to the eye, as we would ordinarily assume. Instead, it means: hour; or time as indicating timely; or good timing. (1) In other words, beautiful as in the sense of—isn’t it beautiful when a plan comes together at just the right time.
What came together at just the right time was a harvest, for the beggar’s healing sent shockwaves into the community. Ultimately, this caused the number of believers to be increased by almost two thousand souls! (Acts 3:11; 2:41, 47; 4:4)
Striking a Balance
Frustration can set in when we don’t see His power manifest fully in the manner that scripture says we should. Romans 8:11 tells us that the same Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead also dwells in us, and scriptures such as Mark 16:17 and Acts 1:8 and 2:4 assure those who believe of the signs, wonders and fullness of His power that are theirs.
Certainly faith enters in (Mark 11:23, 24), and I believe full surrender also plays a part. The full measure of God’s power exploded upon Jesus by raising Him from the dead at the point of His complete surrender to the Father’s will (Luke 22:42). As Jesus poured Himself out even unto death, the will of the Lord “prospered in His hand” (Isa. 53:10-12, NIV). Space does not permit exploring this point further, but I believe full surrender factors into the full manifestation of His power as well.
Of course many saints walk daily in miracles, signs and wonders, and in parts of the world there have already been and continue to be great moves of revival. But we have yet to see all saints moving across the entire globe with the sustained manifestation of power that is meant to be ours.
I believe that some of it has been timing. We don’t want to have that as a copout, and we must continue by faith to press into the full measure of His power that scripture reveals is ours. The fields are already ripe unto harvest (John 4:35), yet there will be an end time harvest as well. Remember from Acts chapter 3 that the timing of displays of power can trigger harvest. We’re talking about balance.
It behooves us to recognize from scripture some of the signs of timing concerning the end time harvest. Joel 2:28-3:13 shows that a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit with increased signs, wonders, and power will turn many to Christ in the last days.
In Ephesians 1:10 we read that “in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He [will] gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him.” And Ephesians 4:11-16 reveals that the equipping of the saints will continue until the body of Christ comes together in the unity of the faith, thereby coming into the full measure of maturity in Christ.
These passages highlight the gathering together that will manifest in the last days, both of believers into unity and unbelievers into Christ. With the birth of the third and final reformation in 2008, we have entered into Ephesians 1:10, indicating that an element of the fullness of timing has been reached.
Life From the Dead
So then, outpourings of the Spirit, increased power and miracles, timing and ingathering (both unto salvation and unity) are all components of coming harvest. But there is another major element to the end time harvest.
The nation of Israel and the Jewish people play a critical role as well. Certain important end time prophesies have already come to pass, like the founding of the state of Israel in May of 1948 and the liberation of the old city of Jerusalem in June of 1967. (See Isa. 66:8; Luke 21:24.) The increase of the Messianic movement among Jews, both inside and outside of Israel, has followed these events. (2)
Romans 11 reveals that if the Jews’ falling away was riches (unto salvation) for the Gentiles and for the world, how much more will their fullness be (v. 12)! Verse 15 continues by saying that if by their casting away the world was reconciled, their acceptance (of the Messiah) will be as life from the dead! And Ezekiel 36 declares that after Israel is restored, then “the nations shall know that I am the Lord” (v. 23).
The increase of world revival, signs and wonders and significant advances in evangelism that have followed the restoration of the land (or nation) of Israel and the beginnings of their return to the Lord are well documented (3). This brings the realization that there are some things that will trigger the end time harvest, and one of them is prayer for the Jews. As they return to their land and to the Lord, we will see the continued escalation toward and ultimate release of total worldwide revival!
Strengthen the Hands
In contrast to the doctrines of Christ, we need to be wary of false doctrines. (Eph. 4:14) A false doctrine very prevalent at this time is the “doctrine of Balaam.” (Rev. 2:14) Balaam was the prophet who tried to curse Israel – although the Lord would not let him. (See Num. 23.) Balaam had his own interests in mind. Beware of any prophet or teacher led by their own interests, and the doctrines that they teach. Those who bring in the harvest will have God’s interests in mind.
The book of Hebrews reminds me that those who by faith heed the voice of God will be those who, after the shaking, remain (Heb. 12:25-29). Those playing games will not be left standing after the dust has settled.
We will need to withstand political correction. As you do this, you are making your calling and election sure (2 Pet. 1:10, 11). Therefore, put up His name as the name above all names, strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees… for the fields are ripe unto harvest!
1. Pray for the Jews, that they would return to their land and to the Lord. (Rom. 11; Ezek. 36)
2. Pray with authority against marauding spirits, recognizing it as strategic insight for this time. (Jer. 33:3)
3. Pray the church would resist the doctrine of Balaam to serve God with a pure heart. (Rev. 2:14)
1. Reach out to Jews in your community. Consider visiting a local Messianic group or befriending Jews who live and work in your vicinity.
2. Consider connecting with organizations working to advance God’s purposes for the Jews. One suggested ministry is The Caleb Company (Don Finto).
(1) Strong’s Dictionaries #5611
(2) See God’s Promise and the Future of Israel, by Don Finto
(3) See Megashift, by James Rutz