For years I have subscribed to Maurice Smith's "Parousia Weekly Update Letter" and been challenged by his thought-provoking articles. The latest PWUL is no exception...
"Easter is over and most churches have returned to "life as usual." Indeed most churches go to great length to celebrate Easter... But Easter was not the end of the story. It was only the beginning, the prologue if you will, for what was to come. Luke tells us as much in Acts Chapter 1, declaring that his previous work (the Gospel of Luke) was "about all that Jesus began to do and teach" (Acts 1:1). What came next? Pentecost - the out-pouring of the Holy Spirit to empower the Church for the task of proclaiming the good news of Jesus' victory over death and the promise of salvation to all who believe to "the remotest part of the earth" (Acts 1:8).
God is shaking His church today in ways not imagined a few years ago. He is shaking existing structures and paradigms and raising up new ones. The rise of the modern house church movement is just one example of the shaking currently underway. More is coming. Prepare to have your paradigm shaken!
Some 100 years ago a powerful movement of the Spirit of God swept around the world, shaking old paradigms and raising up new ones. This worldwide movement of the Spirit between 1904 to 1907 gave birth to a new paradigm that found expression in the Welsh Revival of 1904 and which gave birth to the modern day Pentecostal movement. Then, it was a new paradigm for a new day. But people and movements eventually get trapped and become the prisoners of their paradigms. The paradigms become institutionalized, trapping its members inside and fending off outsiders who might bring change. When that happens it isn't long (and 100 years isn't long in God's sight!) before God moves in a fresh way, challenging and shattering "once new/now old" paradigms, whether Evangelical or Pentecostal, and bringing in new paradigms for a new day.
What does it mean?
It means that God isn't done yet. It means He has more to teach us. And it means that He fully intends to accomplish His original stated goal of empowering and equipping His Church to be His witnesses "even to the remotest part of the earth."
I believe that house churches represent one of God's new paradigms for this time. And I believe the River of Ezekiel 47, the River of the Water of Life, is another of God's new-but-old paradigms for His people...I believe that God is about to bring these two "new" paradigms together in these last days in a way that is more powerful than we, our fathers or our grand-fathers ever imagined...I believe that the River of Ezekiel 47, the River of the Water of Life is about to flow in unprecedented power through a new paradigm of networking house churches, resulting in renewal, revival, awakening, empowerment and a great harvest.
The issues will not be baptism, tongues, healings or any one experience or gifting. The question of the day will be, "Are you standing in the River?" Everything else - empowering, gifts, evangelism, etc. - is a by-product of The River.
As the Church of God prepares to celebrate the Liturgical Season of Pentecost, culminating in Pentecost Sunday (May 27th), it is a good time to reconsider the River of Ezekiel 47 and to pray that it will begin to flow through your home and the church that meets in your house!"