"The Last Church" (2000)


It is impossible to imagine a greater difference and disparity than exists between John the Baptist and the Western Church at the beginning of the 21st Century.

Our city-wide crusades and nation-wide campaigns, conventions and conferences consume millions of dollars and man-power hours, and wittingly and unwittingly side-line and side-swipe God’s key and basic building-block for End Times’ Revival...the Local Church! The Baptist by the sheer, naked power of his own personal, desert-forged relationship with the Spirit of God, drew the populace of entire cities and provinces out to his riverbank “pulpit” where droves yielded to his unrelentingly blistering repentance preaching.

We preen around our conference “product” tables which groan under the weight of glossy publications trumpeting our certainties and triumphs. But the successful Baptist still asked, “Are You the Expected One, or shall we look for someone else?”

Our finely tuned denominational machines grind “untimely”, pre-emptive seers to dust, while idolising and lionising the agreed man and message for the hour, scheming and lusting to ride his coat-tails to bigger crowds, buildings and budgets. But the Baptist while yet a green-stick of a boy turned his back upon priestly caste, kudos and comfort, determinedly preferring obedience to his appointment in the uncharted “outside the camp” wilderness.

We have heretically ordained that financial excess be the pre-eminent stamp and seal of the Lord’s approval upon our lives and great plans. How sceptically the Baptist (so content to be clothed and fed and housed by the Lord's hand with what was simply at hand) looks upon our generation, chosen to be his spiritual heirs.

These and other plainly observable credibility gaps ought to send shudders of corporate apprehension and unease through us all, rather than the current rash of yawns, because we’ve been predestined and charged with preparing “the way of the Lord” Who must very soon return to be this world’s King of kings, Lord of lords, President of presidents and Prime Minister of prime ministers.

And while I believe absolutely that every Believer’s salvation is secure as we persevere in a lifestyle of repentance for our sins and profound surrender of our entire selves to Jesus to be our Saviour and Lord, I’m not nearly so confident about our corporate destiny.

The Lord’s poet-warrior King David was honoured for having “served the purpose of God in his own generation”. This is a corporate as well as a personal truth. It means that the Church of God in every generation, locally and globally, must seek to comprehend and then be apprehended by that one pre-eminent purpose of God which is to over-arch and set in perspective and motion any and every other perception of His Will.

There are seven distinct periods within the Christian Era, described in prophetic detail in the messages to the Seven Churches in The Revelation. Every one of these unveils with astonishing sharpness and clarity God’s first call, concern and over-riding purpose for each church-period, as well as His infallibly acute judgement of its condition and counsel concerning its necessary character.

The Last Days began with the 20th Century and the genesis of an international resurgence and restoration of the fulness of the Holy Spirit’s government of the New Testament Church, which has taken place concurrently with the equally divine reappearance of Israel as a nation-state and the restoration of Jerusalem to Jewish care and jurisdiction.

These two radical and primary prophetic events had by the end of the 20th Century (and the conclusion of the 2nd Christian Millennium) set the international stage for ultimate events which must precede and be completed with the return of the Lord Jesus to be this world’s first and last Monarch.

The question which must now grip every Believer in the light and face of these impending events is, “What kind of People ought we to be, to understand, embrace and then serve God’s End Times’ agenda?”.

The goal of these pages is to plainly and simply set forth God’s answer, contained in the Laodicean Letter, which is the Holy Spirit’s revelation to His Last Church - our call, condition and character.