By Anthony Mangun
Matthew 16:18 “And I say unto thee, that thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
1. We are living in a tough time.
a.We have a lot of responsibility for millions are making their decision.
b.The past dispensations are looking toward the church of the 90’s.
c.God has called us to a special work and we hold the destiny of God’s redemptive purpose for the last decade.
d.Now is the time for the church to assume her rightful position.
2. God has always sought for a people who would seek him.
a.God walked in the cool of the day in the garden with Adam and Eve. They were the ones who left God; it wasn’t God leaving them.
b.God asked man to build a tabernacle so he could dwell with them, but again man turned from God.
c.Throughout history, God continued to reach out for man.
d.The Old Testament saints could not really understand what love was.
e.They could not grasp God’s love, even though God was trying to express it. It could not be expressed in tabernacles.
f.Man would still walk away from the presence of God.
3. There was a period in history where the prophets voice was silent. It was a dark period in time.
a.This produced Pharisees and Sadducee’s. It seemed like hell had broken out on earth.
4. God had an answer; He was going to let hell see what heaven looked like.
a.He rolled himself in flesh and came to Bethlehem’s
b.He was absolutely God and absolutely man!
c.His ministry was launched with 40 days of prayer and fasting.
d.He went into the wilderness filled with the spirit and came out in the power of the Spirit. The anointing was resting upon him.
e.He came to preach the gospel to the poor, to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captive, to give sight to the blind, to liberate them that are bruised, and to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
f.He delivered prostitutes, tax collectors, etc. He took unlearned men without reputation an anointing on their lives that changed them.
5. The Jews crucified Jesus, but he had an alternative.
a.He was the head and he was going to have a body.
b.He was going to die so He could send His ghost back.
c.He was going to make His church as powerful as himself because he wasn’t going to just be with them, but he was going to be in them.
d.”ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you___ye shall be witnesses…”
6. We are to be God’s witnesses.
a. We’ve been given the same promises and credentials that Jesus worked with.
b.Jesus gives us authority over all the power of the enemy. He said, “greater works than these shall ye do.”
c.”In my name you shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover. These signs shall follow them that believe.”
7. The early church knew what their purpose was; to to let hell see what heaven looked like.
a.They were unlearned but they had the anointing and power of the Holy Ghost inside of them.
b.They weren’t intimidated by the world’s system. They knew that greater was he that was in them than he that was in the world.
c.They impacted the world, and it was said at the end of the 1st century, that they shook the Roman Empire to it’s foundation. They turned the country upside down.
8. There was a period known as the dark ages, when the church was in decline.
a.Many of the churches had grown to “Creed”, “theory” and “formula”; but God had an answer.
b.His answer was to pour out his Holy Ghost in Topeka, Kansas, on Azuza Street in California, and it spread all over. It moved from continent to continent.
c.This century got started with a mighty pouring of the Holy Ghost.
9. It’s time for us to show this world what heaven looks like. We are in the last ten years of this century.
a.We don’t have tomorrow. It’s time for harvest. We say we’ve got four months for harvest, but the Lord says we don’t have four months.
b. We’ve got to have it now; the hour demands it. Not next year.
10. This world’s going wild-rampant.
a.In New York, every 22 seconds, a major crime is committed.
b.There are 200,000 documented AIDS cases
c. Drugs, alcohol, and divorce is rampant.
11. The Church sits unconcerned behind her four walls.
a.It’s time we awake out of sleep.
b.God’s going to use his Church; He did great things the first 10 years of this century. He’s going to do great things the last 10 years of this century.
c.God could save this world by himself, but He’s bound to his word. God wants to join us.
d.Some say we are going to have a sovereign move of God and we will, if the church joins God.
e.There’s never been a Red Sea without a Moses. There’s never been a fiery furnace without 3 Hebrew boys. There’s never been a lion’s den without a Daniel.
f.But if God can get one man, one church, He’ll join with that one man and one church, and there will be a sovereign move of the Holy Ghost.
12. God has set us where we are today.
a.The crisis in the Middle East, God has set. Proverbs 21:1 says that God controls the Kings’ hearts.
b.It’s the last days; we are in the last hours demands the Church to awaken and come forth.
c.Many things will try and discourage, deceive, seduce and divide us-but we need to hold onto this Apostolic way.
13. The greatest crime we could commit is to find ourselves lacking in the power and anointing that God has given to the Church.
a.This church was born out of prayer and fasting.
b.Somebody has paid the price; we didn’t get here overnight. Somebody preached, somebody prayed, and somebody knew how to let the Holy Ghost operate.
c.The Holy Ghost must be allowed to operate and change lives.
14. Two things must happen. They are revival and evangelism.
a.Every church needs the Holy Ghost to blow over it.
b.Worse than worldliness is carnality. We need God’s Spirit.
c.If you depend on organization, you’ll get what organization can get. If you depend on eloquence, you’ll get what it can give–but if you depend on the Holy Ghost, you’ll get what the Holy Ghost can give.
15. It’s not in our qualifications or abilities; it’s in the manifestation and demonstration of the Holy Ghost.
a.We have the name, word, and blood. It’s all powerful. We need to activate it with singing, prayer and preaching.
b.We do a lot of referring. We refer the alcoholic to AA, the emotionally upset to the psychiatrist, etc. c.But there ought to be enough power in the church that the alcoholic can be set free.
d.We cannot make it in our churches without the Holy Ghost. We’ve got to have a move of the Holy Ghost. Please let the Holy Ghost do the work.
16. We’ve got to decide what we’re going to do with the gifts of the Spirit.
a.A lot of people do not believe in spiritual warfare. You had better believe it.
b.Some are afraid of the gifts being misused; but you don’t do away with the gifts because you have this fear.
c.Paul addressed this problem of misuse, but he also said, `I come behind no man in any gift.’
d.We had better turn the gifts of the Spirit loose in our churches.
17. We need to evaluate ourselves critically. We need to be sure we have the three E’s in our churches. They are Exaltation, Edification, and Evangelism.
a.Exaltation: God inhabits the praises of His people. He dwells in the midst of praise. A sinner needs to know what heaven looks like. He already knows what hell looks like.
b.Edification: There are 13 books written to the Church to tell us what this is. It is loving your brothers and sisters in spite of differences. Anything you do ought to edify and build up each other; we need each other.
c.We need unity; it is the greatest force on this earth. Jesus said, mark those that sow discord.
d.We need to be visionaries and build a bridge from where we are to where God wants us to be.
e.We’ve got to depend on the Holy Ghost.
f.The church in Revelation was increased with goods and thought it had need of nothing. Jesus begged to get in. It had the spirit of worldliness.
g.There’s never been an hour like today. We need a ministry that will minister to people. We need to reach souls!
h.A father went through a burning house to save his children. Can we do less for this lost and dying world that will spend eternity somewhere?