A New Spiritual Awakening is Upon Us
On October 31st, many people celebrate Halloween, AKA All Saints Eve. Instead, many Christians celebrate Reformation Day. It is a religious holiday celebrated on October 31 in remembrance of the Protestant Reformation sparked by the 1517 posting of Martin Luther's Ninety-Five Theses.
The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to ("protested") the doctrines, rituals, and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led to a spiritual awakening. This awakening drew us out of the Roman Catholic dark ages into a new realm of spiritual growth and understanding.
The Catholic Church, much like the Pharisees in Jesus' time, did not take kindly to this action and sought to kill Luther and his dissident followers. From that point on, Martin Luther was on the run for the rest of his life. Many thank and praise him for his actions more than 495 years ago.
While it's true that the actions of Martin Luther caused a great awakening among those of the Christian faith, he also was the catalyst of massive change- Change that spurned the eventual fracturing of the church into over 40,000 denominations (each a slight variation) of the Catholic religion.
Many well meaning Christians today do not realize that how and what they worship is actually a slight variation of what The Catholic Church still maintains as its version of "The Truth".
Modern Christians today often are the first to deny their roots in Catholicism saying their church is not Catholic, but Christian, or Baptist, or Methodist, or Protestant... or any other one of the thousands of denominations and off-shoots.
This belief stems from how and what they were taught by others. Few truly research the Bible going back to the ancient Greek, Aramaic, Latin. Few understand how to study the written Word of God in order to prevent private interpretation that is often the basis of denominational teachings.
Instead, it is easier and more comfortable for each one of them to tout that they alone hold the undeniable truth according to scripture. This arrogance prevents God from being able to manifest fully in their personal life. This belief (that their denomination) holds close to the truth blinds their eye to see that the 'parent' of their teachings is still that of Catholicism.
While the challenge of Martin Luther's 95 Thesis was a good thing causing an awakening of a spiritual renaissance, the reality is, the Catholic Church is still very much in power today.
A New Reformation to Celebrate
Recently there has been a new movement, a new awakening of spiritual truth. This awakening has been grass roots. Much of it has been happening outside the denominational churches - all of them. God is calling many more people to turn to Him and the awakening that is occuring is happening outside of brick and mortar church style buildings.
God calls up on the heart- and people of all ages, from various backgrounds, ethnicities and professions are heeding the call. To some Christians, who are only comfortable with the established rote and routine that is found within the protocals and doctrine of their churches' dogma, their eyes are blinded to the truth of what God is doing.
Sadly, these new believers of often labeled by well meaning Christians as “spiritualists, hippies, wackos and all other sorts of unkind and unjustified names"- simply because they do not conform to the rituals found within a denomination.
What we are seeing is that God still calls people from all walks of life. He is not a respecter of persons. He does not look for people to be 'perfect'. Part of the new reformation is that God is revealing His Word, principles and the need to operate fully the manifestation of the Holy Spirit. People who hear this call upon their heart are going to God, and through faith- right believing and having trust in God- they do become born again and then operate the power of the manifestations of the Holy Spirit.
It is when we are humble and receptive to the knowledge that God is not confined to a building, nor is He confined to just the print on a page of a book- that we see true reform and spiritual growth occur.
God is working with and communicating with people today in ways that we can relate to. Our customs, cultures, input and use of language is different today than it was in life during the 2,000 years of the ancient Hebrew culture. The foundation of God's principles has never changed. We, as individuals, as cultures and nations, we have changed.
Through years of dedicated study and deep biblical retrospection I have come to believe that the Bible is not a "big magical puzzle book of secrets" as many mainstream Christians would like to think it is. What it is, is a record of the way God revealed himself to a people and culture over 3,000 years ago.
God chose to speak to these people in a fashion and vernacular that they would best understand. They were Bedouins, nomadic herders and farmers. They were not searching for deep wisdom of the ages written in code for them to unravel long after they are gone. No, they were struggling to survive the season. God provided exactly what they needed in that time. He spoke to them in a way they would understand. He worked with them in their culture.
What of today in your culture? Does God's Word still apply? What he wrote to them specifically, it was to them, their people in their time in their language in their culture.
That written word- the Bible, is still a resource for us today to read, study and learn from. We should be thankful for the wisdom, insights and instruction on how to be a strong believer. It is a great life manual on how to change our thinking and actions so that God is First in all things we do. However, we should be mindful to not try to limit God in our life today by thinking that the written from of His recorded word is the only way He speaks to or works with people.
A Modern Day Renaissance
Today as we read the accounts of God's interaction with these people, why is it we try to shoehorn ourselves into the historical picture? God revealed himself to THEM (the Ancient Hebrew Nation) in a way they understood and would relate to. He's done it before, even documented it with the Bible.
Do you really think that's all our creator has ever had to say to his creation? REALLY? Maybe, just maybe, God has chosen other ways to reveal himself to other people in other cultures in a way that THEY in particular would understand.
THAT is the new awakening happening right now. THAT is the modern day renaissance occurring right under the upturned noses of mainstream Christianity. They are closed minded to the truth that God works from within our hearts individually – still by faith, not by 'works' (or actions of piety.)
God also still reveals himself directly spirit to spirit. Manifesting and fully operating the Holy Spirit as God declares us to do daily- is outside of the confines of a church building. It is outside of the covers and pages of a book.
Sadly, most Christians are MISSING IT! They are missing God's blessings of abundance and prosperity that always has been, and still is- available. The arrogance they hold in their heart as 'their way' being the only right way- or true way- is off the Word. One cannot grow in spirit, body, mind and knowledge if they are too afraid or uncomfortable to look at, and even question things from a different perspective.
Martin Luther had the right idea over 400 years ago. I applaud his efforts of questioning the church on what he believed to be the truth and on the points he believed the church was in error. And he called them on it under duress and great peril to himself and his family!
How much more do we know about the Bible today than he did in his time? We have a greater advantage over that which Martin Luther had. We have less tyranny in government (in the USA and in most countries) allowing us freedom of religion, research and self expression. We have science, technology and global communications at our fingertips. Our methods of learning have far surpassed those of people even 50 years ago.
Why then do Christians still cling to the tenets of an ancient Roman Catholic Church? Going back even farther, why is it that when we read the Bible the common first thought is to try and wedge ourselves into a Jewish/Hebrew culture that mostly ceased to exist nearly 2,000 years ago? The Bible was written to them AND about them. However, it was preserved for our learning.
Our Creator Has More to Teach Us
God is not done with His creation yet. He is still revealing Himself to us in ways that we, (you dear reader in your culture) can best understand.
God is the creator of all things. On that we can agree. God is STILL creating. God is all knowing, all powerful and all loving. He is there for you. Embrace a new reformation in the spiritual growth of humanity that God is stirring among the nations.
Open your heart to new knowledge and wisdom from your loving God. Allow His creative power and influence into your life. In so doing, you will grow in ways you have never imagined. Humanity is on the cusp of a new spiritual awakening. Similar to how enlightening coming out of the dark ages was for people over 400 years ago. Will you choose to be part of it or will you close your eyes letting it pass you by?
The choice is yours. God will still love you either way. But just think what amazing blessings God might have in store for you when you open your heart and mind to the new awakening!
By Minister Daniel Sweet and his lovely wife Debbra Sweet
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