The Coming of Communities Dedicated to the Lord
- God is raising up communities and sovereign political units throughout the world which will be dedicated to the Lord Jesus.
- Some of these are nations already, others are regions from which sovereign nations will emerge, still others are cities that will operate as city states of earlier times (secular example in current times: Singapore).
- These communities will be ruled by Jesus’ people moving in His wisdom. James 3:13-17.
- They will display God’s nature to the world and the blessings that come to those who come under His rule.
- God’s people will have a special grace to display the full fruit of the Spirit in their lives.
- They will move in healing and deliverance and all the power gifts.
- They will demonstrate the power of restoration for those who fall, flowing from the injunction of Galatians 6:1.
- They will walk in the blessings of God on community found in Deuteronomy 28.1-14
- There will be opposition, but for a season they will be protected.
- Although there may be grace for these dedicated communities to continue until Christ’s return, most likely there will come a time when protection is lifted. This will not be judgment for the communities but a final test for the world. John 15:24 and Mathew 11:20-24
What will God do with His body in the coming days? The following scripture has always applied to the Body of Christ on earth, but in the coming days it is going to be true in a dramatic way
through the church the multifaceted wisdom of God should now be disclosed to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly realms. (Eph 3:10)
In the coming days God is going to allow His Church to set up communities and even political areas that will be controlled by His Spirit. There will be communities dedicated to the Lord scattered throughout the world. As Christ’s people within these areas display His grace, the fruit of His Spirit, and the power that comes from the Spiritual gifts, God will display to the world the blessings that come from His rule. Financial, health, emotional, and even environmental blessing will flow into that region.
The best way to think of this is as a foretaste of the millennial rule of Christ. It is also going to be a side by side comparison with the world’s vision for peace and prosperity.
This is not the first time God has done this. The first time was Jesus’ ministry on earth. For three years He and His disciples demonstrated God’s nature with the most powerful ministry the world had ever seen. Then the test came and the world flunked the test. They ended up rejecting Jesus.
That demonstration of God’s nature with its powerful ministry by the early disciples has been followed by many revivals throughout history. Revivals like the first and second great awakenings. These brought many into the Kingdom of God. Those awakenings arguably transformed the USA from a crime ridden frontier community into a Godly disciplined society that achieved independence, without the chaos of the French revolution and most revolutions since.
The Welsh revival transformed a rough and ungodly mining community and for a time eliminated crime and saved whole families. Other similar transformations have occurred throughout the history of the Church.
All share a pattern: revival, transformation of the culture, then the test to see if people will accept God’s way. All of these were also very limited in time and space.
The coming demonstration will be much more powerful and dedicated communities will arise throughout the world. It is possible that this will lead to the ‘final exam’ before the anti christ’s deception.
The Test for the world
God is going to do this to set up a side by side comparison with the world’s vision for peace and prosperity. Like the verse of Eph. 3:10 states, He does this to make His nature obvious. He displays His glory so that those who observe it have no excuse for denying His goodness and power. Then, having seen the truth, they must choose His way or their way.
But, when His nature is made that evident, then there are consequences for the people who see His nature and power displayed in such an obvious way and still reject the Lord Jesus.
So when we see the dramatic deeds that only Jesus can do through His people, then there is a special judgment that comes on those who reject Him.
If I had not performed among them the miraculous deeds that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. But now they have seen the deeds and have hated both me and my Father. (John 15:24)
Then Jesus began to criticize openly the cities in which he had done many of his miracles, because they did not repent. “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! If the miracles done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I tell you, it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you! And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? No, you will be thrown down to Hades! For if the miracles done among you had been done in Sodom, it would have continued to this day. But I tell you, it will be more bearable for the region of Sodom on the day of judgment than for you!” (Mat 11:20-24)
Those who think Jesus will not judge the world have forgotten His crying out over Jerusalem.
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those who are sent to you! How often I have longed to gather your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you would have none of it! Look, your house is left to you desolate! For I tell you, you will not see me from now until you say, ‘Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!’ “(Mat 23:37-39)
Even though Jerusalem was the apple of His eye, He would not stop judgment. He will not limit judgment for those who reject Him now. Those of us who are Christians must understand the judgment and do everything we can to give Jesus full credit for everything happening.
So God is saying that He will again display His glory and His nature through His Body, the universal Church. He will display His full glory by enabling His people to walk in the fruit of the Spirit. In true love and unity within the Body that only comes from the Holy Spirit inside His people. This is the unity that Jesus speaks of in John 17. The unity that convinces the world that Jesus is one with the Father.
Jesus will do this in a setting where His people are fully able to confess Him as the strength that enables unity and the source of the blessing. In doing this, there will be no confusion with secular humanism and doctrines of human unity outside of Christ.
The opposition from the World
We already see that the world is building its own version of unity, peace and prosperity. The ideology that human unity will usher in a golden age is thoroughly established in the international community on earth. Even many Christians are convinced that humans can live a good life based on Jesus’ teachings without the power that Jesus gives only to His people. These Christians are convinced that peace can be achieved if they just refrain from repeating Jesus’ claims to exclusive power and walk in the worlds version of love.
What everyone misses is that this vision is a near perfect statement of the serpent’s argument in the garden of Eden. If you eat of the tree you will be like God. It is also like the Pharisees of Jesus’ time who thought they could be good if they just worked hard enough. Both of these are very seductive visions and sadly mistaken. The existence and success of these communities dedicated to Jesus will plainly demonstrate this error for all who are willing to see.
We should not expect the world to be happy with this demonstration. They will oppose it. We can already see the basic outlines of their accusation. They will accuse us of racism, because we evaluate other cultures by Biblical standards. They will accuse us of not pursuing peace because we will not abandon truth to keep others happy. They will be jealous of the blessings and accuse us of hoarding resources. They will accuse us (correctly) of violating secular principles. They will remind us of the problems with Christian rule in the Crusades and during the wars around the reformation.
All of these will be just as Jesus has warned. The world will not willingly hear the truth.
“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law, and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household. “Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take up his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life because of me will find it. (Mat 10:34-39)
The world will try to shut these communities dedicated to the Lord Jesus down. These are the same people who told the apostles that they were welcome to do miracles, but just not mention the Name of Jesus (Acts 4). Within ministry in Islamic countries, governments have always tried to eliminate Christian witness when aid is distributed.
Recently this has become true in the West as many governments have outlawed corporate statements of faith and even the private witness of teachers and public officials. Giving public glory to God for our wisdom and abilities seems dangerous to the world. Our answer must be the same as the apostles gave: We must obey God rather than men. Remember the warnings above. When we do the works but give in to efforts to shut down bold witness to Jesus, we are in fact setting the hearers up for severe judgment for their not accepting Jesus as LORD. And, according to God’s word to Ezekiel, even while judgment will fall on them for rejecting Him, their blood will be on our hands for not publicly telling them who He is!
The Final Test
Unfortunately, I do not think these ‘dedicated communities’ will last until the second coming. Perhaps they will: some established prophets believe there will be sheep nations that successfully resist the anti Christ. I would be happy to be mistaken. The clear pattern has been that after the demonstration, the test continues until innocent blood is shed.
This is the ultimate final test. Jesus speaks of this and the reason He allows it.
For this reason also the wisdom of God said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and persecute,’ so that this generation may be held accountable for the blood of all the prophets that has been shed since the beginning of the world, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, it will be charged against this generation. (Luk 11:49-51)
If we are in end times, then we are talking about the prophecy of Daniel 11:30 in which the ships of Kittim oppose anti-christ successfully for a time, only to have the anti-christ’s forces regroup and renew the attack and succeed. This means that the ‘dedicated communities’ will last until some time after the anti-christ appears. Either way the ‘dedicated communities’ will face a test.
If we walk this out in our human strength, it will not succeed. Fortunately these dedicated communities will form only by supernatural intervention into human politics. If we try in our human strength and zeal, then we will be like the Crusaders and cause more harm than good.
If we pray and prepare our hearts to move in the Spirit, then when God raises up these dedicated communities, we will step into the flow of God’s grace and be carried along into this demonstration.
What should our response be to this vision? Get ready to rule by His Spirit.
- Put our focus on Jesus and His glory rather than on our favorite doctrines or traditions. John 17 and Ephesians declare that everything depends on this.
- Allow God to bring out a new grace for unity in the Body. This will be an organic unity, the unity of a Body rather than uniformity. A Body of Christ where every part is recognized and properly fitted.
- Reject vengeance. Across the world Christian communities are under attack. Many are under brutal physical attack while others are under more subtle attacks and ridicule. Many Christians have histories of hundreds of years of oppression. Vengeance seems right and, humanly speaking, is inevitable. But we cannot act like humans if we are to be a part of these communities dedicated to the Lord.
- Become un-offendable. We must know the true meaning of ‘blessing those who curse us’ both to those within the Body as well as to those from the outside. This means truly forgiving.
- As we get authority, rule as those serving the God who causes the rain to come and the sun to shine on everyone and the God who does not rejoice in the death of the wicked
These steps will prepare us as individuals, and congregations, and movements to live and rule in the coming dedicated communities.
Of course these steps are not the only ones. God will bring about many transformations in us as we step into the fruit of the Spirit. These are the truly hard changes which our humanity will fight against the hardest.
The rest of us
The communities described here will not be large. Many, perhaps most Christians will not be living in these communities dedicated to the Lord.
Someone asked me the other day if Christians in a particular country would flee to one of the nearby nations that has been declared as dedicated to the Lord. I had no answer from the Lord. With my natural mind, I suspect that those of us not called to be a part of these dedicated communities will have to tough it out as witnesses in the midst of the world. God will give us grace and will make us a light where we are.
One thing I can observe. It will be natural for the world to more severely persecute believers living in their midst because of the existence of Christian communities outside their control. This has happened in history. Once Rome became officially Christian, believers in Persia experienced more severe persecution. This was because their loyalty was suspect.
If this guess is correct, then we will be tested as individuals also. Our loyalty will be suspected. It will even become easy for us to be angry at the Christian communities because they are bringing persecution on us. Jews in the diaspora often have this attitude toward the modern state of Israel.
Actually, we may already be set up for this error. Since the Enlightenment and the Reformation there has been an ideology that says that religion must be private. It accuses the Church of being unfit and even dangerous to rule over society. In recent days the relatively benign beginning for this agreement has blossomed to the point that scripture is actually forbidden from being an influence in our laws.
If our secular agreements and training blind us, then we will certainly fail to correctly discern what God is doing.
If we fall into a critical spirit, then we will be ones who rob the world of the chance to repent. Make no mistake: their blood will be on our hands! Those who live outside of these communities need to prepare as thoroughly as those inside.
God wants us to testify as to the source of the dedicated communities’ blessings and to encourage people to follow the Lord Jesus. When we are persecuted, He wants us to rejoice in our test.
I almost ended with a judgment, but that would be a mistake! This word is not about judgment and failure. It is about God’s Grace to allow His Body to step into this time of power and demonstration.
Whether we are in the dedicated communities to the Lord or are out in the world as Christian individuals, we get to be the agents of God’s love pouring out healing and deliverance to a hurting world.
There is grace flowing to pass every test. When carrying this message to a church in Cambodia, God showed me Angels ready to pour out grace that will carry us into the completeness of this word. All we have to do is to be willing to give Jesus control.