Israel was in a kairous moment. It was the time appointed by heavenly Father.
It was both a fitting and the specific time God had appointed for their visitation. Yet they failed to grasp the opportunity set before them.
Indeed, most seemed blind to what was happening. They continued to run their shops, curse the government, meet their buddies at the bar, bet on the games and take care of their families.
History has proven that mankind has often missed God's visitations. He is visiting us again. Will you miss God's visitation?
The religious and political leaders continued their game of politics; pushing and shoving for a better position and a bigger slice of the pie.
Serious threats were straining the tenuous relationship with the Roman prefect because of the zealots, particularly the zealot out of Galilee.
He was a Nazarene portraying himself to be a prophet of God.
The very thought was offensive.
But large crowds were following him, and he seemed to be persuading them with his new doctrine and stunning ability to make them think miracles were happening.
They seemed oblivious that the man standing before them, teaching on the temple steps and on the mountainside, was the same one who had astounded them when He was 12 years of age.
His grasp of Scripture and His ability to open the understanding of the common man, combined with the authority of His spirit and word, astonished the crowds but angered the spiritual leaders and the politicians.
They had no idea this man was not the ordinary zealot or self-proclaimed prophet.
He was God in the flesh.
Even more curious was the inability of the Pharisees, Sadducees and priests to grasp the moment and to know the true identity of the man with the level of knowledge they possessed about the promise of Messiah and His coming. How was it possible for them to miss the timing and fail to see the Son of God when He stood in their very presence?
The answer to that conundrum is the great danger being faced at this very moment by the church in the United States of America.
The Pharisees, Sadducees, lawyers and priests of Jesus' day were blinded by their preconceived notions, messianic charts and political rhetoric. Their spiritual senses had been dulled by their secret sins, their form of godliness with a calloused spirit, their personal ambition and their spiritual snobbery.
The general populace was too busy trying to survive.
They loved seeing the miracles and hearing the messages of hope spoken by this new prophet. It was great fun talking in the market place about his criticism of the Pharisees and Sadducees and their hypocrisy.
But who had time to take seriously his call to lay down your life and follow Him?
It was the very few religious leaders, like Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea, who dared humble themselves and truly grasp the moment. Although thousands ate His miracle meals and saw the blind eyes open and the dead raised to life, only 120 faithfully waited in prayer for the promise of the Father.
I wonder how many in America today will get past the political rhetoric and hear the voice of the Holy Spirit? I wonder how many pastors, professors and denominational leaders will turn off the talking heads and silence the news anchors to hear what God speaking?
How many Christians will turn away from the riot scenes on their television and stop listening to the anger of their family members, coworkers and neighbors and let God show them what He is doing in America right now?
It is not about Democrat or Republican. It is not about the haves and the have-nots. It is not about the popular vote and the Electoral College.
As significant as those things are, and they do hold significance, their great importance will only be realized if we can see how God is working at this critical juncture of American history.
Three of the most politically charged times in modern U.S. history were seasons God was doing something far greater.
The turn of the century was politically charged with progressivism, women's suffrage and racial inequality. God was about to address all of these social ills and political issues by pouring out His Holy Spirit.
It all began in 1896 at the Schearer Schoolhouse near Camp Creek in Cherokee County, North Carolina. A congregation led by a holiness preacher began to experience the baptism of the Holy Spirit with speaking in other tongues.
This stunning work of God was also ignited on the west coast of the United States 10 years later in Los Angeles.
A humble African-American preacher, William Seymour, began holding meetings teaching the biblical experience of receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the initial evidence of speaking in other tongues. The crowds grew until private homes could no longer hold them.
They rented an abandoned building on Azuza Street that was only 2400 square feet in size. God was seeking to resolve the racial issues of America by the great outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Blacks, whites, Hispanics all came to hear this former slave preach the Word of God and to seek the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The Pentecostal movement swept across America like a great tidal wave.
America and the world were healing from the wounds of World War II in the late 1940s when God stepped in with a miraculous healing ministry and a fresh outpouring of His Holy Spirit.
Jack Coe, a tent evangelist who began preaching while he was still serving in the army during World War II; Oral Roberts with his "Canvas Cathedral" that would seat 3000 and more; Gordon Lindsay, T. L. Osborn and others began crossing the United States with their tent meetings and faith healing.
While controversy surrounded their work, America was experiencing spiritual healing by a fresh outpour of the Holy Spirit and truly amazing physical healings.
Dr. Billy Graham was invited to LA in September 1949. A large tent that seated 6000 people was set up in a parking lot. It was later enlarged to seat 9000. As the crowds grew and overflowed the tent, the three-week meeting was extended. Thousands came to Christ including several celebrities.
This was the national-wide launching of the Billy Graham crusades. God was healing what man and politics could not heal.
The 1960s saw America was being torn and divided. The ravages of an "unpopular war," the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, college "sit-ins," the Haight Ashbury love-in, hippies, flower children, LSD, the killing of Bobby Kennedy and the Watts riots shook our nation.
Into this cauldron of anger, hate, free sex and "turning on and dropping out," the Jesus People and the charismatic renewal came transforming lives.
Thousands of teenagers and college students were delivered from drugs and immoral lifestyles as they came to Christ on the beaches of California, in coffee houses of the Pacific Northwest, on the college campus in Berkeley and in home Bible studies.
Businessmen and business women were finding salvation and the baptism of the Holy Spirit through Full Gospel Businessmen and Women's Aglow. The Episcopal and Catholic churches were coming alive through Sunday night charismatic renewal Bible studies, and hundreds of lukewarm Pentecostal churches experienced a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
God was doing what the social engineering of the Great Society could not.
America has reached another crisis point.
Isis is threatening to destroy Western civilization. Progressivism and the New World Order are seeking to change culture with political correctness and tolerance, demanding the Christian church embrace women's rights, same-sex marriage and the LGBT agenda.
Our cities are being divided blue and red, minorities are feeling disenfranchised, and our first responders are serving at great risk. As the world hurtles headlong into the last days with Lucifer setting up his one-world agenda, many in the church are becoming apostate: participating in same-sex marriages, welcoming transgender members and preaching a compromised gospel.
God has His agenda.
And it will be that, afterwards, I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; then your sons and your daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, and your young men will see visions. Even on the menservants and maidservants in those days I will pour out My Spirit. Then I will work wonders in the heavens and the earth—blood and fire and columns of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and awe-inspiring day of the Lord comes. And it will be that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. For on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the Lord has said, and among the survivors whom the Lord calls. (Joel 2:28-32).
Can you hear the voice of God calling His church to a new outpouring of His Spirit?
While the culture grows dark with evil and the streets are filled with looters and angry voices, while men and women burn with lustful passions and every thought of their imagination is only evil, God's eyes are searching across the nation looking for the righteous ones through whom He can show Himself mighty.
America is not lost, not yet. This is the hour of our visitation.
The greatest spiritual awakening of this generation, maybe the greatest in all of history, is before us right now. God desires to pour out His Spirit on our nation one more time, healing our damaged emotions; bring peace to the war zones of our inner cities; uniting the blacks, whites, Hispanics and Asians in the divine love that can only come from Holy Spirit.
This is the day of our visitation. The question remains.
Will we seize the moment, or will we be like the Pharisees and Sadducees?
Dr. F. Dean Hackett has served in full-time Christian ministry since October 1971. He has ministered throughout the United States, Canada and Europe, serving as pastor, conference speaker and mentor. He has planted four churches, assisted in planting 15 others, and currently serves as lead pastor of Living Faith Church in Hermiston, Oregon. Dr. Hackett founded Spirit Life Ministries International in 2001 to facilitate ministries in Croatia and Bosnia Herzegovina and to open a training center for workers in those nations. You can find him at F. Dean Hackett - Foundational, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
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