When I was praying at the beginning of this week for us, the Lord gave me a Word. Yes just one word, Regeneration. I think we all know what it means, but I looked it up. I like definitions.
Definition of Regeneration
1: an act or the process of regeneratingor be in the state of being regenerated
And the definition of regenerating or being regenerated is:
1: formed or created again
2: spiritually reborn or converted
3: restored to a better, higher, or more worthy state
Regenerated also means:
2: spiritual renewal or revival
The Lord has been speaking this to me about myself. That it is time for me to move to the next level in our relationship. But then not only for me, but also for the church, in these days, and times we live in.
I need to be a complete reflection of who He is, and especially as a shepherd, not only to this church but also to others outside. I must represent His heart, and His purposes on this earth and especially in this city and region.
I must be a living example of His glory on the earth to cause His followers and those that don’t know Him to believe in the Words of Jesus, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
Because those who do not know Christ or know Him fully, will know Him not only because of our love, but also due to the fact, that we live by Kingdom principles, and people can see those principles active in our lives.
So that our lives will reflect what the Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians:
1 Corinthians 2:4-5, “and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, (he wasn’t all talk) but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, (those demonstration were not something that the Apostle Paul could create, Why?) so that your faith (or people’s faith)might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.”
The Apostle Paul wanted people to see past Him to Jesus.
Concerning the church, we rest too much in the words of men, and not Jesus, and as I said in the past, people are to zoned in on good speakers, then on Jesus.
What the Apostle Paul said is all of our call, but as the shepherd, it must start with me first.
I had this conversation yesterday with Pastor Milt Thompson as we shared lunch together. That it is time for the church to operate in the demonstration of power and quit talking. We are all about talk, and the talk doesn’t always get us somewhere with people. As people of comfort, we do not sacrifice our will to the Lord to receive everything He wants to give us to display heaven on earth, and that has to change.
I must shake off those thought processes that hold me back and break allegiances with the things of this world that keep me from being centered in Christ. I must have a renewed mind. And that renewed mind must follow me through my daily process from when I arise and spend time in His Presence and the Word, until I lay my head down for rest.
Allegiances are broken and minds and hearts are renewed in the Presence of God when His followers pursue Him.
The Lord says to me, it is time to move from the mundane into the glory of His nature. I believe we all want to do that.
Regeneration is a process where we by our own will, posture ourselves to grow in Christ. And it’s usually the Holy Spirit prompting us to move toward Christ. The Holy Spirit continually giving us revelation as we draw closer to God, but we must on our part, do something with that revelation when it is given. By either move in it, or allowing the revelation to lie dormant.
Regeneration itself only comes from God. It is not something we conjure up ourselves. The dead cannot raise themselves from the dead, only God through Jesus Christ can we be raised, awakened, and empowered.
For the believer it is a matter of us putting ourselves in the hand of our Savior wholeheartedly to raise us. We must move to a position of humility to allow Him to cleanse us, purify us, and regenerate us by His Spirit. We then move out of being dormant, or in a place of suspension and temporary activity that feel we are in.
Jesus is beginning a shaking if we haven’t noticed to wake up the church out of its slumber to be the church of the first-born. Alive, awake, and in full operation of the gifts of the Spirit.
But moving on, there were five other words I received along with the word regeneration; return, repentance, refocus, renewal, and restoration.
Return, we must return to God with all of our hearts. Joel 2:12, “Even now says the Lord, return to me with all of your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.”
It is a time for consecration for complete restoration as we surrender all to him.
Repentance, Revelation 2:3-5, “I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name's sake, and you have not grown weak, 4 But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. 5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first.
The Lord wants us to be a first love church. Those who have gone back to the original design.
Jesus said to do the first works, so we must resume our former zeal and diligence; to watch, fast, and pray, being consumed in His Presence, then move out in His strength through revelation.
“Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God. Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent.” Revelation 3:2-3
So we repent, and move to Jesus to strengthen ourselves to be complete.
Refocus, Revelation 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock, If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come into Him and eat with him, and he with me.”
We open the door to Jesus. We let Him command our thoughts, which command our actions. We focus on His Word, which gives us life. We focus on His voice that gives us revelation of who we are in Him. He gives us our identity. So in that identity, we always leave the door open to see Jesus in everything, knowing that He is the way, He is the truth, and He is the life and we need nothing else on this life journey.
Renewal, Isaiah 40:30-31, “Though youths grow weary and tired, And vigorous young men stumble badly, Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.”
Psalms 51:10-12, Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation And sustain me with a willing spirit.”
We need to be renewed daily in His Presence to operate in the overcoming life renewed in the spirit of our minds, and live in the new self in the Spirit in the likeness of God. The Spirit that gives life, and strength, and empowers us.
Restoration, Romans 15:13, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”
Jesus wants His church today to be restored to its former glory, an Acts church glory, but not just stopping there, but moving into the future glory that is awaiting the church that the Acts Church did not have revelation of yet. We need to believe in the fullness of His word, that its power is the same today, as it was 2000 years ago, and operate in that belief to set us and the captives free.
When looking back at the word regeneration, I am not speaking of when we first knew Christ and regeneration came to us because of new faith, just like the Apostle Paul states in:
2 Corinthians 5:17-18 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
I’m speaking about a rebirth and regeneration of the inner man who follows Christ and changing the way we think by the Holy Spirit’s direction back as I said before to the original design that Jesus laid out as to what the church was to look like, and operate.
“The noun "regeneration" (palingenesia) occurs only twice in the New Testament. In Matt. 19:28 it denotes the eschatological "restoration of all things”, the Messianic restoration coinciding with Acts 3:21 for which Israel was waiting.
But the Apostle Paul in Titus 3:5 used the word regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit that we who believe who have received the outpouring of the Spirit should be careful to maintain good works because of the regenerative power of the Spirit. Basically meaning, we need to be focused.
As one writer said, regeneration is radical. Yes it is concerning new converts, for many it was radical, but we are in a place today where in the general sense of the church, those who do not follow the current norms created by men are considered radical in their eyes. Jesus was radical too when He showed up. The Pharisees, the religious “I am right” crowd couldn’t see outside of their man made religious box as to what God was doing right in front of them. The same is happening today.
If we have to be called radical, so be it. But our radical must line up with the Word and truths of God. We can’t make stuff up. We must radically step out of the shell that we have allowed ourselves to be put in and seeking God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength to be empowered with wisdom and revelation from the Holy Spirit. We must know the truth.
But today, radical is being the Bride of Christ just as Jesus said, “without spot or wrinkle,” “or any such thing” as the Apostle Paul said in Ephesians 5:17, so that we will be holy and without blemish.
1 Peter 2:1-3, “So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. 2 Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— 3 if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.”
Like newborn infants. Childlike faith. Childlike living. Maybe something that is hard for some of us to fathom today in our age. Yes our goal is to grow up in the Faith, but being childlike puts us in a place to trust. Many of us need to trust.
We need freedom in the Spirit knowing that our Father in Heaven as a good Father, something that many today have not encountered on this earth, but believing just as God says in His Word that He will never leave us of forsake us, that He will be everything we will ever need, and we will be empowered, and yes, operating in the anointing that we have received, that we as His children, will be alive like we should be alive. Not bogged down with sorrow, and the weight that this world would put on us.
God says of His people in Isaiah 60:15, “Whereas you have been forsaken and hated……. For us, hated maybe, forsaken possibly, but for some, we’ve have been beat down, or lost our zeal, or have been discouraged, and God finishes with “He will make us a joy and an excellence, and majestic.“ That is His promise to us. Many of us need joy. Real lasting joy.
But what we need is revival. An inner spiritual revival. Our dry bones need life. This brings me to Ezekiel 31.
“The hand of the Lord was on me, and He brought me out by His Spirit and set me down in the middle of the valley; it was full of bones. He led me all around them. There were a great many of them on the surface of the valley, and they were very dry. Then He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” I replied, “Lord God, only You know.” He said to me, “Prophesy concerning these bones and say to them: Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Lord God says to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you will live. I will put tendons on you, make flesh grow on you, and cover you with skin. I will put breath in you so that you come to life. Then you will know that I am Yahweh.” So I prophesied as I had been commanded. While I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. As I looked, tendons appeared on them, flesh grew, and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them. He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man. Say to it: This is what the Lord God says: Breath, come from the four winds and breathe into these slain so that they may live!” So I prophesied as He commanded me; the breath entered them, and they came to life and stood on their feet, a vast army.
The Lord our God wants to put life back in our bones, life in our hearts, life into our beings by His Spirit. But we must be willing, we must be willing to shake off everything that keeps us from hearing His voice and seeing Him clearly. Or shake off what turned us into bones. We must believe. Believe.
And I prophesy that over us. Breathe, breathe into us Holy Spirit, breathe into us so we may live, that we will be revived. I pray that and speak that out in Jesus Name.
A day is coming when the church, the true church, the acting remnant is going to be set apart by the Lord Himself because it is sanctified, walking in truth and operating in power.
Remember, the New Testament church was set apart. It made devils tremble! It drove legions of demons into the abyss, prayed prison doors open, made rulers cringe in fear. No weapon could prosper against it! Those early believers had such faith and power that cripples rose up leaping, beggars became evangelists. They believed in the supernatural -- and they opened blind eyes, unstopped deaf ears and healed all manner of diseases. They even raised the dead!
We are going to be the same, but even greater because we have a greater revelation of Jesus Christ. We have the Word of God. The church will have a greater unction from the Spirit than ever -- greater even than at Pentecost! As Pastor David Wilkerson said, “God always saves His best wine for last!” And I believe that.
The prophet Daniel confirms it. He said certain prophetic truths were locked up, only to be revealed in the last days: "...for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end....and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand" (Daniel 12:9-10).
We are going to understand these things, and today the Holy Spirit is revealed these things to spiritual, discerning saints! "...as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
But God has revealed them to us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yea, the deep things of God" (1 Corinthians 2:9-10).
These deep things are being revealed to those that seek. These deep things will cause nations to fall. Strongholds to be destroyed in the Name of Jesus because the Church has had renewed flesh on its bones put there by the Holy Spirit.
The Apostle Paul when he came into Ephesus it was a godless pagan city, and it says in Acts 19:11, that God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, and in this way as it states in verse 20, the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power. The pagans were powerless against the power of God.
The church in these days, yes these days if we believe, if we allow the Holy Spirit to reign in our lives with faith will do what Paul did and more.
Every member of this last-days church must be ready and prepared in heart -- because God is poised to release His great, final outpouring!
But for us today, it is about preparation.
Before Jesus came, John the Baptist came and preached repentance and a call to people to prepare their hearts. Paul also spoke of being "prepared to every good work" (2 Timothy 2:21).
Samuel told Israel that God would do a new thing for them, if they would "prepare (their) hearts unto the Lord, and serve Him only" (1 Samuel 7:3).
King David said, "Lord, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will prepare their heart, You will cause Your ear to hear," (Psalm 10:17).
King David basically said to:
1. We petition God, we must pray.
2. In His Presence through the moving of the Holy Spirit, we allow him to search our hearts and humble ourselves, and sit, be quiet and allow the Holy Spirit to prepare our hearts to hear His voice.
3. Listen for the still small voice of the Lord, because as a good Father, He will speak.
2 Peter 1:3-8, “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence 4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.
5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
It is time to be effective for the Kingdom of God. It is time to humble ourselves and get into the Presence of the Lord and allow Him to change us from the inside out. Only He can do it, but we must be willing to cast down everything that keeps us from seeing Him clearly. Everything. It’s our choice.
My choice is nothing else matters but Jesus, and what will I do to be captured by Him and know His heart so that I will be ready for whatever He puts before me being empowered by the Holy Spirit.